My brother and I began our violin lessons when we were 6 and 7 years old. We did two years of after-school group violin classes, and were suggested to take private lessons with the head violin teacher. I was intimidated at first, as my teacher seemed strict. We were so young, so at first our parents would arrange our maid to take us to our teacher’s home for back-to-back lessons. I remember waiting for an hour outside our teachers apartment for our first lessons – either him or us have messed up the lesson time.
As we grew older, our teacher offered to drive us to his place if we could wait for him to finish teaching his after-school group class. Those were really fun times. My brother and I got to hang out with other kids at school for a few hours, and then we would hop on our teacher’s BMW, and take an “unusual” route (not the familiar route to go home). My teacher drove fast too.
As we advanced to secondary school, the school day ended later in the afternoon, so I would get to my teacher’s place by taking the school bus (what did my brother go? I don’t remember us taking the school bus together. Maybe he had other extra curricular activities?) The school bus experience was strange, as I had to share the ride in a packed school bus with kids I see only once a week. I remember going to the library a lot before and after violin lessons, borrowing many wuxia novels and books on Hong Kong crime cases. Was I too young to read those brutal crime cases? It had to start somewhere…
During my high school years, I would take public transport to my lessons. Such a sense of independence and being a growin up (but never mature): should I take the bus? #1? #5? #5A? Or #10? All had slightly different routes and prices. What about the tram? Maybe check out a music store before hopping on a bus? Snacks and drinks from Park N Shop? The latest comic books or magazines before or after lesson?
I forgot when it was, but wandering around my teacher’s neighborhood gave me a chance to see the drummer of my favorite band from Hong Kong. I was star struck. He was talking to a friend, so he didn’t see me. I wouldn’t have interrupted and said hi anyways.
(To be continued in How it all started – 5.)
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