You had me at "viola forum".
In the late 90s/early 2000s I was a big message board junkie, then BigSocialMediaGiant ate my soul. I rediscovered message boards a few months ago and ran around getting myself on some music ones. They are so much better at staying apolitical and I'm so much happier than I was 6 months ago.
I started on viola in 1983 and added flute in 1988, then lapsed on them both for decades. I was just starting to get into the viola again in my late 30s then a car accident took my bow arm (and a whole lot more) out of commission. I tried in vain for years to be able to get it back but the best I could do after 15 months of physical therapy was to get back to being able to write on the board (I'm a science teacher).
I was fooling around with my husband's guitar and figured out I could strum, but the neck... it was so big and devoid of viola logic - my left hand was hopelessly confused. And then it hit me - the mandolin.
I took up mandolin and it brought me back to my happy place - better yet - after about a year at it, the much more gentle act of strumming built my right shoulder up enough that I was eventually able to bow again.
I snatched up a couple other fretted things in the throes of COVID but I'm less than a novice at them. They're fun though.
One of my step kids recently moved back in with his mother and I was kind of down in the dumps about it so to cheer me up, we had a talk with him about it and he said he was ok with the idea of us reclaiming his room as a hobby room. My husband just wanted a weight bench and a (magnetic) dart board, so about 80% of the space is mine for music. It's my sanctuary and whatever is going on, I can go in there and come out better. Good days are for playing with abandon, stressful days are for focussing in on a shift or a rif or a fingering or anything else that requires slow repetition and closing everything else out.
Looking forward to joining your community.
Welcome to the Fiddlerman Forum!
Super great you are able to start back on your Viola,
we can always use more Violists!
I'm in the middle with a 5 String Violin.
Really nice to see you like Cape Breton music.
Can't wait to hear more about what you like & don't forget to
check out our 'Party Room', too.
Glad you found us!