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When I was nine, I started to play the violin. My sister Becky was three years younger. She heard me, saw me and wanted to do the same. My dad said she was too young. She was patient, and when she turned seven she asked again. He said no but offered her an alternative. He purchased a plastic flute and instruction book. She went to work. 

It was great fun for her; I could see it. She played for one year and showed our dad what she could do. She had read the whole book of music. He responded, “Very well done.” She responded, “Now can I play the violin?” 

He rented one and the kid took off. She was meant to play the violin. She was very good from the start. She continues to this day. 

Last July I broke my wrist. I've played no music since then. It is painful to not play music. I joined the Wesley Home Encores Choir, which is fun but not the same. After eight moths of therapy and two surgeries, whether or not I play violin again remains an unanswered question. I have good friends here at Wesley. Someone offered me a wooden recorder. It is simple, does not require my whole arm which is often sore, and I like the soft sound of it. 

So I am on this end of my life doing what my sister started with in music. How long will this go on? I do not know, but life — to me — is less without music. So, I am beginning and hopeful. We don't always get what we want, but by appreciating what we get, we can make a difference. I'm going to do my best just like Becky did. Will I give up on the violin? Not yet. More time is needed. Thanks, Dad.

Roberta Needles

Roberta’s passion for music allows her to hear sounds all around her —in her children, nature, and the world.

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