I have always been an avid singer–a choir geek through and through. Being on the road with the Mobile Booths makes it somewhat difficult to be part of a musical ensemble, since I am jumping from city to city every month. Therefore, I often live vicariously through StoryCorps participants who come in to talk about their own musical experiences. I was overjoyed when 10-year-old Julian Picazo came to the MobileBooth in Reno, Nevada with his violin teacher, Caroline Karl – known as “Miss Karl” to Julian.
Julian picked up the violin in second grade. His father, who plays the guitar, encouraged him to play. Julian remembers, “When I started the violin, he told me not to quit because he knows that it’s really fun. And so do I. I said don’t worry, I’m not going to quit. I love playing the violin.” Now Julian and his father teach each other songs, and Julian has even started teaching his little sister to play the violin as well.
Julian’s love of the violin is abundantly clear. As he tells Miss Karl, “I don’t want to miss any single day I can. I don’t care if I’m on vacation or not, I just want to go to violin class. I remember this day I was really, really sick. I didn’t go to school, but I did go to violin class!”
Julian even brought his violin to the booth. Although he was willing to pose for some photos, I couldn’t convince him to give us a taste of his musical talents. Lucky for me, just a few days after Julian and Miss Karl came into the booth, Julian was to perform in a concert at Reno’s Pioneer Center, as a member of the Reno Philharmonic’s Youth Strings Symphonia. Eager to see Julian in action and hungry for some music, I attended. Below, a slide show with photos from Julian’s performance, and at the MobileBooth with his mother and his little sister.
While listening to the orchestral sounds, I remembered how Julian explained the feeling of playing his violin just a few days prior. “I feel so good,” he said. “Maybe when I’m upset with something, when I play the violin, I feel so much better. I feel like I’m listening to a radio station, but its actually me, playing the violin. So that’s fun. Or maybe if something sad happens, I play the violin. It makes me feel better.”
Well Julian, your music made me feel better too! Bravo!