87-year-old Bismarck woman proves you’re never too old to learn something new

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 1:40 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – Music can do a lot for our mental health; it can cheer us up, make us dance or bring back happy memories.

And as one Bismarck woman is proving, you’re never too old to learn how to make your own music.

This is Eunice Toman’s third violin lesson.

She’s taking a free violin class at the Bismarck Public Library.

“This is a class designed to get your mind off the stress of life. I don’t expect them to be concert violinists or soloists. I just expect them to be exposing their brain to something new,” explained Dr. Everaldo Martinez, who is teaching this violin class. He also offers classes through his studio, Dolce Vita String Studio.

For Toman, it’s all new. The 87-year-old retired kindergarten teacher is learning how to hold the violin and the bow and how to read music.

“I’ve never worked so hard in my life,” she exclaimed.

Her instructor has noticed her hard work.

“She’s connected very well to the instrument,” said Martinez.

That instrument is a family heirloom. The note taped inside Toman’s violin case holds a piece of her family history.

“It was my grandpa Grimm’s. He got this in 1892,” she said.

Toman remembers her mother playing the violin, but she never learned. Until now.

“I know I’m an old lady that shouldn’t be in this group but I’m enjoying it and if I don’t mess it up too much for the rest of them, so be it,” Toman stated.

Each note she plays leaves Toman feeling a little more connected to her family and to her past. And at the same time, this old violin has given Eunice something to look forward to.

She practices as much as she can

“My husband has a hearing problem, so he doesn’t hear me!” she laughed.

And, without even meaning to, Eunice has inspired the entire room and proven to these aspiring violinists, you’re never too old to learn something new.

Toman is no stranger to trying new things. She taught herself to quilt during the pandemic and has completed several quilts. She says staying busy keeps her young.