There are numerous instruments and genres of music out there to choose from, but the sound produced from the melodious strings of a violin is unmatched. The pleasing instrument, contrary to popular belief, is not limited to being used as a part of an orchestra. A violinist can even lead a show and give a breathtaking performance worthy of being marked in the minds of the listener till the end of time.
On one side, there is the soothing sound of a violin and the art of learning it, while on another, there is a society full of racism, and I have no doubts in saying that our country has been shaped by racism right from the beginning. And it indeed feels pathetic when you think that you have no other choice than to be a part of such a society and community where people are judged based on their skin color.
As a violin teacher, the thought of some of my students walking on the streets or not getting the opportunity they deserve just because of their skin color haunts me, and the worst part is that there is nothing much I can do about it.
Since I am teaching students right from a very young age, they always try to copy me, notice how I respond to things, and the different parts of my basic nature. Many students have been in touch with me for many years, and it is me whom they look up to whenever they think about a violin.
When we talk about classical music, most people think about elaborate orchestras in Europe. There is no denying that many things are being done to change this perception, but the bitter truth is that these changes are still not a part of the mainstream culture.
You might find it surprising that some concerts were organized in the name of Black History Month, wherein some of the masterpieces of a black composer were showcased. But then, we never got to hear about those black composers after a while. This is why we are looking forward to an art form or a platform that promotes classical violin as a part of humanity where everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, and color, is contributing.
Indeed, I am not a master at the topic of racism, and there are many people out there who can give a better viewpoint. However, there are also several great musicians out there that have been widening the reach of music composers of color for many decades. And I encourage you to seek out these people on social media sites, websites, and anywhere else on the digital platform.
If you consider the concert hall as a place where the audience always looks forward to new compositions; it is actually the elementary schools where young boys and girls encounter music for the first time. As violin music classical teachers, we make the students understand the existence of music, the purpose, and how to master this art. But above all, we teach our students how to cultivate beautiful hearts to become violinists and global citizens.
But there are challenges in doing what we do as violin music classical teachers, especially when all the books out there have been written by white European men.