Today’s post is written by Holy Hen House sponsor Abigail Peterson of
. She is a violinist, teacher, and blogger at
When I was in seventh grade, I decided I was going to be a professional musician. Of course at that age, all I wanted to do was play in a major symphony orchestra. I had just started playing in a youth symphony program and, even at twelve years old, could barely imagine doing anything else with my life.
Over time, my dreams became a little bit more realistic and six years later, I started studying music therapy at the University of Minnesota. When I first arrived, I was thrilled. I had been fighting for independence as long as I could remember.
You see, I've been in a wheelchair since I was four years old. I was born with a rare spinal cord injury. For the most part, I have been extremely blessed and have been able to do most things independently. Sure, I couldn't play kickball the same way all the other kids did at recess in grade school, but we had our own modified version. I also played wheelchair basketball and of course, my main thing was playing violin. However, as a teenager, I began to crave more independence. I just wanted to live on my own in a new city.
So there I was in Minneapolis. But college was not all I expected. The classes were hard and when faced with health issues during my first semester, I was alone. I kept at it, studying music therapy for the entire time I was there. I made lots of great friends and enjoyed my time, but during that time I started doubting whether or not being a music therapist was actually the job for me.
Sometime during my time there, I decided it wasn't. I moved home to Milwaukee, got married, and started the only other thing I could imagine doing with my life. I still wanted music to be my main focus, so rather than using it as a tool to heal people, I decided I just wanted to share my love of it with others. I wanted to do what my first violin teacher and parents did for me.
That's what I do today. I teach Suzuki violin because I truly believe it is the best method out there, especially for teaching little ones. My favorite thing about it is the focus on the child as a person above and beyond being a violinist. I have an almost two-year-old son whom we take to a Suzuki Early Childhood class on Saturdays and I know he'll take Suzuki lessons in just a few short years, no matter what he picks as his instrument.
It wasn't what I imagined for my life before college. But God clearly had other plans for me. Things didn't go perfectly for me in college, and things certainly aren't going perfectly now, but I can't imagine doing anything else. That's not to say God doesn't have different plans for me along the way. I realize that. But for now, I'm completely happy sharing my love of the violin with my students and watching them learn and grow while I keep learning and growing, too.
Abigail Peterson teaches Suzuki violin in West Milwaukee. She started playing the violin as a "Suzuki kid" at 4 years old and somewhere along the way decided she was going to be a Suzuki teacher, too. She loves teaching students of all ages and spends a lot of time learning and growing to become a better teacher. When she's not teaching, she's playing with her young son, Otto, reading a great book, or watching Netflix with her husband, Kyle.
If you are interested in Suzuki violin lessons or hiring a wedding/event violinist in the Milwaukee area, contact Abigail here.