Summer buskin' had me a blast

Some notes on the violin

The summer months open up my normally hectic school schedule to all sorts of possible different activities. I have been playing the violin for about 12 years, so one of the things I like to do during this time is busk at various street fairs. I find a couple musician friends and we play ensemble music at informal locations. It's a nice way to make some extra money and, when I was younger, a fun way to get over my fear of playing in front of people. Normally I have a relatively easy time finding someone in Seattle to play with. This summer was a little different. I go to college about 3,000 miles away, so most of my fellow string players are about that far from me this summer, making for a difficult rehearsal schedule.
Luckily I discovered an old music camp friend, who goes to UW, and had some extra time on her hands. We squeezed in a few quick rehearsals and then met later that week in Ballard for our first street fair.
All of the tunes went pretty well, especially the ones we threw in at the last minute. Although playing my violin for tips is fun, it's almost more fun seeing the reactions of the people who walk by us. Some of them look as though they could care less about classical music, but others seem truly happy to have us there. Sometimes parents will stop to listen with their children, and request a song. Other times elderly couples will stop by to tell us about their time playing an instrument. I once had an owner of a nearby vendor actually give us two of his homemade mugs, because he said he didn't have any cash on him.
No matter which fair location I end up at, every summer I am drawn back to this performance opportunity. I think partly it is because I get to meet people I might never have had the opportunity to speak to, but it is also because of the musical freedom that accompanies these informal performances.
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