At the age of 5 my parents arranged for me to study the violin with a neighbor who at the time was the assistant concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He was an elderly Russian Émigré. I was his only young student, as he usually worked with advanced violin students in the Detroit area. I remember doing the regular practice that my teacher expected. At the age of 7 I played on the Detroit Public Radio station and before an assembly at my elementary school. When I was 10 I played for a short time with the city youth orchestra. My lessons continued for 5 years. From the musical memories of this period there is one particular experience that had a lasting impact on my life. One evening at the age of 7, I was at my usual practice place working on a musical selection I had been given to study. Suddenly, for the first time I can recall, I fully entered into the present time. I became one with the moment. My spirit, mind and body opened to the fullness of sound and the physical joy of playing a musical instrument. The memory of that experience has remained with me throughout my entire life. It was the definitive awakening moment that led me on a lifelong path of musical exploration.

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