My name is Maisie Ellul, I am 19 years old and study Music at Manchester University. I love being a musician, it is a very exciting part of my career. I have been playing the violin since I was 4 years old. My passion for music came from my sister because she was a pianist. My parents were so generous to be able to support me by giving me the opportunity to learn.
How I started
Violins are really scary to tune at first. I have gone through many strings as a kid trying to learn how to not tighten them too much. Violins come in sizes too, which means that when you are growing up you must change violins according to your height and growth. There is a 1/8 ,1/2,3/4 ,4/4 violins. Once you grow up you get a 4/4 violin, which is a full-size violin. Once, you go past a certain level you must buy a professional-grade instrument. Getting to meet your musical best friend and soul mate is fantastic. Some musicians give their instrument a name, and some musicians base that name on the luthier or workshop that made the instrument as an honor of their work. I was shocked to find out that the name of the workshop on the label of my violin was ‘Mai’, which is quite similar to my own name. The journey you take with your instrument is a journey that should be remembered because you grow together as a musician and instrument. Your instrument is not just your equipment, it is your partner in crime, soaring through the highs and lows of the melodic contour.
The best things about being a musician and a violinist are the stories you gather along the road. My violin ‘Mai’ has a reputation for being very cheeky and playful. It seeks attention…I and ‘Mai’ were playing at a concert. It all was going so well. The crowd was loving the show. The orchestra was sailing in the high seas of rich chords and symphonic glory combining every ounce of passion into playing the Hungarian Dance No.5 by Brahms. The crowd burst into applause. Everyone was preparing to play Egmont by Beethoven when ‘Mai’ decided the orchestra deserved more attention, or maybe ‘Mai’ just sought attention for itself. Suddenly 2 my strings unraveled. I looked to the conductor in despair. ‘Help’ I thought. It was great I sat in the front or else I wouldn’t have gotten the attention of the conductor for a general tune. There was me thinking, we saved it! When I managed to tune my violin back the entire 4 strings unraveled again. After the long wait, the crowd cheered once my strings were back intact.
Challenge along the way
In my journey for violin, I have faced many challenges and it was not an easy ride as some may think. I have had to compete against many other musicians to get places in orchestras and sometimes rejection can be hard. However, don’t let how others' views of your playing and your level define you. I worked hard and put blood, sweat, and tears into the ability and the experiences I have had in music. The best way to get over challenges is to never stop believing that you can do it.
I will leave you with one inspiring message:
Do this for you, Do this for the music. Do this for all those who believe that you can do it and to all those that put you down and said you can’t do it. Don’t just be a musician be a legend!