CONTRIBUTED BY MICHAEL WILLIAMSON
Since I can remember, I have been molded by the very fabric of art: singing with the choir in the church, painting in the classroom, and acting on-stage. Shakespeare said it best, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”
However, I was still missing a part in my journey for self-actualization, and that part was a musical element. Now, do not misunderstand me; I have listened to music, danced to music, and even written my own—cough, cough—love song, but there was still something that moved my spirit when I heard a local national strum the sanshin, or when my ears tingled as the banging on the drum echoed through the street during an Eisa dance.
I had been stranded on a beautiful, tropical island with three-year orders surrounded by dancers, flying fish (koi), and mermaids (well not quite, actually scuba divers). The magic of it all inspired me to have dreams of playing music for my future children as I prepared to tuck them into bed. You can call it prophetic, subconscious, or just plain coincidence, but my dreams caused me to act and after the confirmation from a fellow kin at church, I decided to pursue my yearning for musical expression.
I knew instinctively that my instrument of choice would be the violin, so I began my search for the great musical sensei of Okinawa by channeling Mr. Google, and I found a few advertisements on Bookoo.There she was, Mrs. Krista Cala, the English-speaking Floridian who is a classically trained musician (piano & violin) available on Camp Butler (Foster) for all types of learners, young and old. Hallelujah!
Mrs. Krista Cala is the best of the best, the cream of the crop. She has toured all over the United States, and has played with the North Carolina Symphony, Opera Company of North Carolina, and she has performed for several Broadway tours. She also has played with some musical giants like Joshua Bell, Midori, James Galway, Andre Watts, and Itzhak Perlman, yes, Itzhak Perlman. With more than 20 years of teaching experience in traditional violin instruction, Krista Cala’s range as a performer and instructor is colossal. She teaches her students how to read and count music, while also placing strong emphasis on correct violin technique.
I spent a wonderful short six months with Mrs. Cala, and without fail she provided the best service as a mentor and teacher. I am happy to say that we are now friends, and she continues to encourage me in my pursuit of becoming a competent and advanced violinist someday. As I am now out of the Marine Corps and pursuing my college education stateside, I hope people will see this and be inspired to pick up an instrument and invest in music, but most importantly invest in themselves.
Plato the philosopher-dude says this: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” If you are on Okinawa, single, accompanied, or unaccompanied, call Mrs. Cala for a trial lesson and see if the spirit within you is drawn towards musical creativity and expression. My bet is you will not be disappointed.
Directions: Camp Foster (Butler) – Plaza Housing. (Contact Krista for specific directions)
Hours: Lessons are by appointment only, Monday – Thursday
Payment: US Dollar or Yen
Rates: $25.00 for 1/2 (30 minutes), and $50.00 for 1 hour (60 minutes). (Rates are current as of the time of author’s submission, July 2014. Please check with Krista for possible changes.)