I love when I have a new treat to give out to my students. Today it was a new pack of little “push-pencils” to give away. They were a big hit! Usually I just do stickers, but lately I’ve been picking up a variety of different items at the “one spot” in Target. Anything to keep the kids happy!
After dinner and chatting with my friend for several hours, I have come to several conclusions: 1. Auditions are a terrible thing. 2. I need a new musical project. Ideas? I’m thinking a recital/chamber music type thing. Plus I need to organize all of my teaching materials from the year (I am running over with binders/books/notebooks from my pedagogy classes). Other ideas could include really working my way through a variety of etude books that might be effective for teaching with the added bonus of improving my own technique. Or maybe I should just buy a better mandolin and work on that? More pottery/other art projects? Write a book? Take better pictures? Make new friends?
I suppose now I’ll have more free time. Probably I’ll just end up sleeping a bit more, and maybe doing some cleaning 😉
I played for the SLSO this afternoon. I was (most likely) more prepared than ever before for an audition, but still, things went wrong during it…enough (I suppose) that naturally I didn’t advance. Story of my life. Just fyi, the next person I meet who asks if I play with the symphony (this happens on at least a weekly basis) might get killed with my bare hands. Or at least set on fire from a distance. (I’m totally kidding…)
The good thing that comes from auditions is that you get to see friends who come in from out of town. I’m looking forward to dinner with an old friend who is a violinist with the (potentially now-defunct) Charleston Symphony.
The bad thing about auditions, or perhaps it’s just St. Louis in general, is that again I feel like a complete failure. It’s really obnoxious, how this city keeps doing that to me. In Cleveland, I was surrounded by the most obnoxious, snottiest musicians,some of whom actually WERE often far better players than me and I felt fine. Here–constant failure. Maybe it’s that I feel like I don’t know the game here yet, and the goalposts aren’t set–they are different for different people, and it doesn’t seem to matter what I do, how I play, or who I know, I still get the shaft. Maybe I just miss playing in orchestra. It was one of the things I loved most in the world, and the whole reason I went into music as a career.
At least I have my students, right? The positive, shining light here–I have TWO different recitals in the next month to prepare them for (well, only one recital for each student). I am hoping for great success from all of them, and I know they will fantastic if they work hard and keep practicing.
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.
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.