I’ve been practicing more (violin) than usual lately. I wasn’t going to tell you why, because it’s one of those things that most musicians don’t feel comfortable sharing publicly. But who cares. I’m taking the St Louis Symphony audition next month. I’ve taken lots of orchestra auditions in my life, and this is another one. It just happens to be down the street. There you go.
The other day I was playing the opening of the Brahms Violin Concerto and it just felt better than it used to. I felt STRONG and I felt as if I was playing exactly what I wanted to and was more engaged and focused than I remembered being in the past. I thought, huh, maybe lifting weights has helped me get stronger, especially from my back and shoulders. I feel like I’m playing really well, possibly better than ever. And then I thought, I guess I’ll see if that’s true at the audition in February.
In other words: my thought was that the only opinion on my violin playing that mattered was the opinion of some committee for about five minutes on a random day (click here to read a previous blog post about “orchestra auditions“). It hit me how awful that is. I should be able to have a valid opinion of my own playing. It shouldn’t be based on the last audition I lost or a negative comment I received. It probably shouldn’t be based on a positive comment someone gave me either. I mean, I’m 34 years old, I teach people to play the violin, I have very strong opinions on THEIR playing. I should be able to have an opinion on my own.
It’s not that I never think, oh that sounded good. But when I think that, I usually try to squash that feeling. I don’t want to get a big head, or overconfident, or heaven forbid, feel good about my violin playing, right? 😉 That’s not what we were taught in conservatory!
Okay, so here’s where I honestly think I stand, right now. I feel like I’m playing really well. I feel strong, my shoulder feels good, my wrists feel good (those are injury prone areas for me) and I feel like I’m doing a great job making the violin do what I want (I have specific things but I’m not going to get TOO technical!). So all that should count for something, right? My opinion should matter.
And I should be able to say, I’m taking the St Louis Symphony Audition in February, and I’ve been working on the list and will continue to do so for the next month. So what if you know that? You’re not going to stop reading my blog if I lose, are you? I don’t think I have any friends who will stop being my friend if I lose, either, so who cares?
Yet I’m still really nervous about publishing this post. I mean, I’ll care if I lose. But that’s regardless of whether I blog about it, right?