Like Jane Austen's Emma, I think I have a talent for arranging things. On more than one occasion, I have introduced friends of mine to each other, and they have gone on to become "bosom friends." A blind date I arranged once resulted in matrimony. And tonight, I attended the senior recital of a girl to whom I introduced the viola.
To be honest, she and the viola had already met. She had chosen to play the viola when she joined her elementary school orchestra. She and I became acquainted when I was called to be her primary teacher. When she and some friends were asked to play their instruments for the Primary program, I saw that this girl had a natural affinity for the viola. She had good intonation, and an impressive, confident tone. I advised, to the point of being pushy, that she get with a good private viola teacher, one who happened to be a friend of mine, and one of the best viola teachers in the valley. I knew that lessons alone, not to mention the cost of the instrument, music, music camps, strings, etc., would likely be more than the parents wanted to pay, but I made a convincing case. I witnessed the fruits of my efforts tonight at her recital, and I am still impressed by her confident tone.
My young friend is going to be a music major, and part of me worries about the difficult and dangerous path that lies ahead, knowing for myself the pitfalls that await young music students who set out to master their craft. Being an intelligent, beautiful young lady, she could do anything she wanted. Will she thank me, or blame me later on for setting her on a musical course?
My guess is that she will not remember my role in her career in the end. Ultimately, just as the other friends I have "set up" could not have formed a bond had they not already had so much in common, it is her love of music that drew her in.