I got a call from my violin teacher one night. She had gotten an offering that she couldn’t refuse halfway across the country. She told me that after the semester ended, she would leaving immediately.
I told her I understood and was extremely happy for her, but deep down, a part of me felt abandoned -- as if I hadn’t been enough for her. This rejection stabbed me in the heart and left me heartbroken. I constantly thought of whether things would have been different if I had practiced a little harder, or if I had worked on my three-octave scales daily, the way my teacher had said to do. These whirling thoughts trailed behind me and continued to hurt me.
That is, until I met Peggy Klinger.
Starting that next semester, Peggy became my new violin teacher. From the moment I met her, I knew I would like her. She knew how to get a messed-up kid back on her feet, and that was exactly what she intended to do for me. Peggy was always down-to-earth and her thoughts never wavered, and yet, she was loving and thoughtful at the same time. All of her positive energy was channeled into making me love the violin and be the best I could be at it.
Peggy always seemed to understand me. She pushed me to practice harder when she noticed I was lagging, but when she sensed my exhaustion and stress, she went easy on me and let me relax.
By far, Peggy was the most demanding teacher I’d ever put up with. I often heard of kids who didn’t practice for their lessons. Peggy kicked them out of class and told them to come back when they were prepared. Luckily, this never happened to me, but I was constantly kept on my toes, in fear of not being satisfactory and getting my butt shoved out the door.
Though I loved Peggy’s upbeat attitude and kindness, what I loved about her by far was the spark of passion that her eyes reflected when she played the violin. She loved playing the violin more than anything, and her dream and goal was to share this love with all of the students. Let me tell you this -- if I can ever reach half her passion and talent for the violin, I will be the happiest person alive.
Peggy, I want to thank you for all that you’ve done for me. You’ve picked me up from the dark hole that I was living in and taught me to live on the highest mountains. You’ve given me a passion in life and a drive to always improve. You’ve taught me to look at this world with different eyes. If there’s anyone who’s always been there for me, even after seeing me at my best and worst, it’s you.