If you are an amateur violinist like me, it is sometimes difficult to learn how to tune your violin. It’s especially hard when the weather is very changeable because the strings react to big temperature swings, like we are experiencing now in Boston. Last night I was trying to get my strings tuned so I could practice and I was having a helluva time. I tried for about a half-hour to make it work, and still no dice. I was frustrated. I didn’t want to bother my teacher, but I thought, I will just text her. She usually says, “Come on over and I will help you,” since she lives just a block or two away in our neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.
My phone rang. She had received my desperate text. She was in Rhode Island rehearsing with an orchestra for a performance and had just a few minutes, but wanted to help me. I idly plucked my A string, which was the most difficult one to tune. She immediately said, “That’s a C.” I have an electronic tuner and I watched as it registered “C.” She was right! Then she listened as she told me to loosen the string, tighten the fine tune, etc., etc. “That’s a B.” “You are very close.” She gave me more instruction. “There, that’s A.” She did it all by phone. She’s a genius. I was blown away. She suggested that this scenario of tuning-by-phone could make a great commercial for AT&T, and I agreed. Then I happily got off the phone and proceeded to massacre Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto 1.