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Violinist Finds New Passion

Junior Idalis Webb rehearses her music as the lone violin player. Webb began to learn to play by watching YouTube videos. Photo by Danielle Marshall.
Junior Idalis Webb rehearses her music as the lone violin player. Webb began to learn to play by watching YouTube videos. Photo by Danielle Marshall.

Breathing. It is simple to do. But what happens when the oxygen flow that is so vital to life becomes completely restricted from entering the body? The majority of people cannot imagine what that would be like, but a select few understand the seriousness of an asthma attack. One of those select few is junior Idalis Webb. Before playing the violin, Webb had a passion for playing sports. She loved to swim and was very athletic. One day, however, while playing soccer with her sister, her body decided to take her in a different direction.

“When I was little I had a serious asthma attack,” Webb said. “And I still wanted to play sports but I couldn’t because of my health.”

Webb’s health caused her some adversity from other people. This attack led her to make some decisions that would ultimately change her future and convert her passion to something much more different.

“And so after a while I got tired of everyone telling me I couldn’t do stuff, so I still played but I began to lean more towards music,” Webb said.

Webb says that when she first started playing the violin it began as a bit of a challenge and she was worried she would not be up to par with everyone else.

“Before I actually got into an orchestra class I didn’t know any notes [and] I didn’t know any scales,” Webb said.

But the fear of learning to play a new instrument did not stop Webb. Just like with her passion for sports, she had put forth her musical goal and sought out to achieve it.

“I was self taught over YouTube,” Webb said. “I watched other people on the TV.”

Learning to play the violin not only posed problems, but adjusting to a band also brought challenges for Webb.

“I did feel kind of awkward [in a band class],” Webb said. “I felt ashamed because everyone knew what they were doing but me. Other band directors would ask me to play another instrument.”

Webb just moved to Prince George in September and is having to find her place in another band yet again. Music teacher Michael Warnock had to make adjustments with Webb being a new part of the band also.

“She got here just this year,” Warnock said. “She’s covering an instrument we don’t have.”

Webb feels she has found her place here and appreciates the support she has received in Mr. Warnock’s fifth period class, despite being the only violin player.

“I love the people,” Webb said. “And Mr. Warnock, the band director,  is hilarious and he helps me. I’m still learning about the violin and if I have a question that he doesn’t know he’ll go online or ask one of his friends for me, and he’ll come back with the correct answer. I think that is nice. I think he is generous.”

While being the only violin player may seem like a neat experience, Webb shares that being a single instrument in a band has it weaknesses.

“I get sad sometimes,” Webb said. “I can only hear myself, and with string instruments there are no correct notes. If you move your fingers in the wrong position it’s flat or sharp.”

Warnock also shares that it is harder to get her in tune with everyone else with her being a single instrument.

“It’s really hard,” Warnock said. “In an orchestra there are a lot more string instruments and a lot less woodwind.It’s harder together incorporated.”

However, Webb feels that practicing in a band is easier and helps her to learn even more.

“It’s easier [in a band] because you have a tempo, you have scales, you have dynamics,” Webb said. “They keep you on track so if you lose your place, you know where to go. We all balance each other out.”

Even overcoming the adversity of learning a new instrument and having to change a passion she has had from a young age, Webb has learned a lesson that cannot only be found in sports.

“In the band, same as with sports, you have to start together and if one person doesn’t start together it’s wrong,” Webb said. “You have to start together, your pitch has to be perfect, your notes have to be perfect because if everything doesn’t sound the same it sticks out and everyone will hear it.”

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