By Lecy Fredo
When I was a little girl I went to a concert with my parents and instantly fell in love with the sound of a violin being played by Isaac Stern. Right then and there I told my parents I wanted to learn to play a violin.
My Dad searched our area for a violin and bought one for me. That was easy but finding a good teacher for me was not as easy. He finally found a woman named Miss Gindl who played in the Chicago Symphony and was highly recommended as a violin teacher. Unfortunately, her studio was an hour away from my home and she told my Dad she did not take beginning students. My Dad was able to convince her that I was passionate to learn the violin and he was committed to the long drive every Monday so I could have violin lessons with Miss Gindl.
My lessons were something I always looked forward to and I was eager to practice because she was so lavish with praise whenever I played something well. Miss Gindl hosted many student recitals so her students would get over being nervous for a performance.
As I progressed she drove the long distance to my elementary school to cheer me on when I played a solo with my 6th-grade orchestra and she also paired me up with other string players to perform in various string ensembles.
I will never forget how she pressured the conductor of our local community orchestra to let me join even though I was only 15 at the time and I was thrilled when she arranged for me to audition to play with the Chicago Youth Symphony the last two years of high school. I was hooked on being a violinist from then on!
Miss Gindl then made the long drive to my high school to sit in the front row when I was selected to play a violin solo for my high school graduation and I kept focused the entire time on the encouraging face.
She encouraged me to apply for a violin music scholarship at the U. of Colorado which was being offered and how we celebrated when I received it. I was, however, sad to think that was the end of the time I would have as her student. My family moved away after I left for college and after I graduated and got married I sort of lost track of Miss Gindl but her fine teaching stayed with me throughout my life and so was the confidence she helped me build to perform.
After many years had passed and we had no contact I finally decided to contact her on the computer. I was successful in finding her son and asked him to put me in contact with her so I could tell her what a great contribution she had made to my life.
Sadly her son said she passed away just a month before. It was devastating to me but I decided to turn it into a tribute to her by devising a plan that whenever I perform something difficult on violin I pretend she is sitting on my shoulder and cheering for me and I can hear her say “Lecy, you can do this!” This tells me she is listening from above and her encouragement will never leave me. I have indeed, FOUND MISS GINDL.