Olivia Maliszewski // HOW TO PLAY VIOLA

Begin with your rosin,

Remove the block of smooth, shiny amber from its velvet case.

Brush it against the bow until thin white clouds curl into the afternoon air and

Catch the warm, golden light streaming in from the windows.


Study the notes of your music,

Hear them in your head and feel them in your body as you

Perch the viola on your shoulder.

Hold it as if it were made of glass.

Create the perfect harmony of balance between player and instrument.


Place your bow on the string, applying the slightest touch of pressure.

Breathe in to begin the piece,

Let your bow guide you,

Let your instrument carry you,


Grow into crescendos,

Decay into diminuendos,

And make every note more beautiful than the last.


Close your eyes

As your final note begins to fade into the late evening air.

It is revived for a split second with the slightest touch of vibrato,

Then dies softly with the setting sun.