Here I sit on a Friday night, relaxing in my living room after a long week, looking forward to several special events this weekend in addition to some more hard work, and unable to actually see past this Monday (I never talk about some things until after they happen, but my close friends and family know the deal!). Today was about confidence. I’m ready, I’m prepared, I’ve worked really hard…and I need to tell myself that. (and goshdarnit, people like me?). Since moving to St. Louis, I’ve had so many confidence issues–I have felt like what I had to offer wasn’t good enough, and I have been doubting myself. What I really need to do is go out there and tell or show people what is awesome about me (and my violin-ing, naturalmente), and to do that in a way that they just can’t NOT understand. So that’s my plan. We’ll see how it goes. In a nutshell, I am great, I play in tune, I have fantastic rhythm, and you WILL listen to me!
*hums “I have confidence” from The Sound of Music*
Thought I’d start by giving you a picture of my best pot so far. On Monday night my instructor helped me with a step of the process I had been doing wrong, so hopefully in the future my “work” will be even better. However, I absolutely love the color on this pot.
Intonation: the title of this post. Monday I had another lesson and realized I needed to work even harder on being perfectly in tune, or having “gorgeous intonation.” I’ve been practicing with a drone from my little metronome. I thought I would hate drone practice, having avoided it all my life, but much like metronome practice, I actually love it because it requires less worry from me, and more absolution. So that’s a relief! There’s a saying (I’m sure you all know it) that you can never be too rich or too thin…well let’s add that you can never play too well in tune. And I’m also continuing to work on the “thin”.
I went to a gathering the other night to celebrate a friend’s birthday (two friends actually). It was fun of course, but I was struck by a few people commenting that I was “disappearing” and this was of course considered a compliment to them. It’s interesting that women are expected to “disappear” to be considered healthy and attractive, whereas men are expected to “bulk up” and take up space. Just a thought. At least I’m tall–
I also went to see Cirque de Soleil over the weekend. They were in town doing the show “Allegria.” It was my first time seeing the group live, and it was just breathtaking! They will be back in January.
End note: this luckily doesn’t affect my violin-ing at all, but I managed to injure my hand by being a bit too determined and perhaps reckless/incorrect on my centering technique. Let’s be glad I can still play the violin as out of tune after the injury as before! Here is a gross picture of it.
That’s from today, the incident happened on Monday. It actually looks grosser today but feels much better.
I was so pleased with the children’s performances last night at St. Margaret’s! Things went really well, and my students played wonderfully. Of course it wasn’t perfect, but overall we did a great job showcasing the hard work all of my students did this year. And my piano playing wasn’t bad…It was also fun to watch the other performances. There was quite a bit of singing and speech making, and everybody did a wonderful job!
Two more student recitals to do-one at my house with all of my private students, and one at the ballet school. The ballet school one I am very concerned about as I will only have two students playing and I don’t have to organize it. The one at home should be a lot of fun, but I’ll have to make sure everything is in order (and hopefully the audience can fit comfortably enough.) On both performances I will also be playing a little piece, so that should be a nice treat for the audiences 🙂
I’m glad this week is over though–I was so stressed about it (and naturalmente my stress continues for a bit longer), but I did great on my Suzuki final and will be registered for books 5 through 10 (10!) shortly, AND as I mentioned, my class performance went well. My practicing continues, with another lesson on Monday. I’m ready to just relax into wedding season/summer…but we are not quite ready for that yet.
Tonight my two violin classes (well, one is violin/cello) are performing at the school’s Arts Night. (St. Margaret of Scotland School, just fyi). I am playing piano to accompany them, which is always a bit terrifying for me. I took piano lessons growing up, but since then have not owned a piano nor do I have very good access to one for practicing, so it’s a bit scary! Luckily these accompaniment parts are pretty easy. I could probably get someone else to do it, but I don’t trust them to play with the group/lead the group the way I need it, and then what would I do? Conduct?
Hmm…there’s a more frightening thought!
My Suzuki class comes to a close on Tuesday. I’ve been working all day today on a take home final exam and also on finishing up my binder of work. It’s been a wonderful year learning about Suzuki Pedagogy with Vera McCoy-Sulentic at SIUE, and though I will be relieved to be done (and have a few hours each week back to myself), it has been a WONDERFUL experience. I have learned so much, and my students have certainly benefited in many ways.
Next on the learning docket-book 4 at Ottawa Institute in June. I need a break, but by then I’ll be ready to focus again, I hope!
Tomorrow is back to practicing and preparing my students for a variety of upcoming performances. I also have pottery class again, and should be able to pick up four pots that I glazed last week. I can’t wait!
As I wait at home to head off to my third wedding of the weekend, I would say that wedding season is in full swing. So far I’ve played with a duo, a quartet, and now a trio. Since it is also baseball season, I can’t help but make the correlation to hitting for the cycle–a single, double, triple, and home run all in one game. Perhaps playing a wedding “cycle” would be solo, duo, trio, and quartet, all in one weekend? Has anyone done that? I think it would be worthy of a trophy, or at least some sort of ribbon or homemade certificate or banner (perhaps a la print shop from the mid-80’s).