Alexa Fauson’s passion for her violin cannot be measured


At just five years old, after months of imploring, freshman Alexa Fauson finally convinced her parents to buy a violin.

But she wasn’t even allowed to hold the bow until a year later, which, to a self-proclaimed “impatient” person, was an agonizing experience. 

“I went through this method with an old teacher where [you have to wait] 6 months to a year just to hold the violin properly,” Alexa said. “At first it was no bow at all; I wasn’t even allowed to touch it.” 

All Alexa wanted to do was hold the wooden instrument up to her chin and pluck the strings she watched her sister, just two years older than her, so expertly do. An inspiration in many ways, it was witnessing the growth her sister experienced through learning the violin that pushed her to start; while slow and steady may win the race, the pace that Alexa learned the violin through her teacher was perhaps unorthodox. 

But, it did not completely deter her, as much as she was impatient. 

“I was always like, ‘Uh, we’ve been over this for weeks now, can I pick up the bow and learn something?’ It was [a lot of build-up] until I finally could,” Alexa said. “It definitely made me want to quit when it took a year just to hold the bow, but it didn’t turn out that way, which is nice.”

Once she finally moved past the initial stages of learning the tedious workings of her violin—and the initial stages of undoubtedly wanting to give up—Alexa literally could not put it down.

Falling in love with the placement of it on her chin, her passion and energy resonating through the strings, and the overwhelming sense of serenity it brings, Alexa is one with her violin, and it is most definitely one with her. 

“I’m so used to holding this position,” said Alexa, lifting her arms up as if she was holding her violin. “It just feels normal. I never get tired of it.” 

While playing the violin does give Alexa a “sense of calm,” she, oddly enough, strays away from playing more melancholic music. Admitting to enjoying “regular” classical music, such as Bach or Vivaldi, Alexa tends to get bored if that music is too slow, too melancholy. 

Instead, she gravitates towards faster-paced pieces, relishing the feeling of her fingers moving at lightning speed. 

“I like more faster-paced [songs] with slow parts in them,” Alexa said. “I was working on something that was really slow and [melancholy], and I had to steer out of that one and go to the next one. [Enjoying faster pieces] probably means I’m a little more energetic; [I like] to release some energy, and it’s a lot more work to get your fingers and bow moving faster.”

Alexa actually did not learn how to read sheet music until a few years ago—another method of her unorthodox lessons. For the majority of her life, after she nailed down the basics of holding her violin and the placement of the notes, Alexa simply played by ear. While that may sound extremely difficult, it was simply all Alexa knew, and now she credits her success to her ear-trained upbringing. 

Commuting to the high school every morning to play with the orchestra during seventh and eighth grade, and now being the only freshman in the advanced orchestra alongside being a member of the audition-based Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, these accolades are gold ribbons in Alexa’s eyes. 

Racking up hours upon hours of playing time throughout the week—and throughout the years—Alexa has one thing to say to her beloved instrument. 

“[I’m sorry] for accidentally dropping it, scratching it, and breaking the strings,” Alexa said with a laugh. “And probably a ‘thank you’ [because] it lets me use it so much, and I’m not always the nicest [to it].”

A lifetime of her violin always attached to her, Alexa owes who she is today to her instrument. Despite the unique lessons and the occasional frustrations with the instrument she knows so well, Alexa cannot imagine her life without the violin—a life without hearing her own music that she so expertly makes. 

“[One day], my dad asked me if I would rather be blind or deaf, and I would probably choose blind because I don’t want to lose my hearing at all,” Alexa said. “[My violin represents] my love for music, and it’s just a big part of my life.”