Fat Kid with a Cello

January 9th, 2019 · 16 mins 22 secs

About this Episode

Why you should probably make your child play a musical instrument.

The autobiography you won't read is the one I won't write because nothing short of Mitty-esque imaginings could make it interesting. I am vain enough, however, to know what the title of that pathetically thin volume would be: Fat Kid with a Cello.

In the fall of 1966, when I was just five years old, my parents enrolled me in what I just recently learned was an experiment in teaching five year olds how to play the violin. Noted professional violinist of the time, Elsie Persson, published an academic paper in 1968 describing how she "undertook to organize a pilot group of ten children at Macdonald College of McGill University" in Montréal. Turns out I was one of those ten children...

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Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. The text version of this essay can be found on Medium where it was published contemporaneously. (photo: The indefatigable Mrs. Elsie Persson conducts three members of the Macdonald College Mini Strings in 1966.)

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