My procrastination is going very well, and indeed this week I need to videotape myself teaching both a private student and a group class. I think. This is how this semester seems to be going–I’m not even entirely sure. I’m sure on the group class, which will be this Saturday, and I’m already freaking out, but I’m not sure about the private student, I think I have to? So now I get to panic all week, stay up late worrying, finally do it, watch the thing and cringe at the sound of my voice, and then (hopefully) learn a little bit about myself and my teaching…again. Probably I need to talk slower and less!
Less than one week until our quartet performance! It’s been a bumpy ride getting things going between music problems, snowstorms, and the like, but hopefully we can pull off a fun/decent performance on Sunday. I also hope we get a decent audience who enjoy it. We’ve ended up with an eclectic program–Mozart, Villa Lobos and Piazzolla–that should entertain a variety of folk. 3 pm, Sunday, February 28, St. Margaret of Scotland Church. Free admission!
As long as I can remember, I have loved the Winter Olympics. When I was in elementary school, I recall our class doing a big project on the Calgary games, learning about the various countries and sports. Now, I actually haven’t really participated in many ACTUAL winter sports, other than the occasional turn around the rink on ice skates (and I am not talking about anything fancy here, just trying not to fall too much). But I do enjoy mountains, and snow, and watching figure skating.
Figure skating is the ultimate musician’s sport–where else do we watch sports AND listen to classical music? At least some semblance of classical music…very romantic/dramatic with interesting cuts (so many odd renditions of Scheherezade, and we haven’t gotten to the ladies yet). Plus as a musician I can certain respect their level of dedication and hard work. Not to go on a tangent, but that reminds me–the other day I was watching, and there was a 16 year old skating (I think?) in the pairs contest, and the announcer says “She has been so busy training she hasn’t had time to get her driver’s license!!!” as if this is a huge, gigundo THING that she is missing out on…I think of MANY musicians who didn’t get their licenses by then either, or even later, because they were just as busy (lazy?) and yet, we don’t get to be on NBC…oh well. I suppose they are trying to shock the common people into how hard athletes work? I don’t know, I think they shouldn’t sell people short–many Americans are actually able to realize that it’s not that easy to be an Olympic athlete. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s difficult, more difficult than being a violinist, since I don’t see many figure skaters at weddings…
I had a better time than I thought I would in Columbus, Ohio last week. I played with the Columbus Symphony for an all Shostakovich program, and with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra for a different set of concerts. It was a lot of fun, though a ton of work. I thought I would be completely exhausted and unable to enjoy playing, and I was completely exhausted (one day I had three rehearsals plus a concert)…but I seemed to be able to always find energy to a) play Shostakovich Symphony no. 10/Mozart Symphony no. 25 and b) hang out with friends. Weird how that works!
I’ve been busy since I got back as well. I’m playing with the Quincy Symphony this week, in addition to teaching and preparing for our upcoming quartet concert (Mozart d minor quartet, Villa Lobos no. 5, and Piazzolla’s Four for Tango).
Being busy is great–it makes me feel alive! I am not that busy here generally, but I have lived a busy lifestyle before (in Cleveland, for several ridiculously busy years.) I am hoping I will just continue to be more busy the longer I live here. A colleague suggested it takes seven years to really become a successful freelancer in a city. I’m only 1 1/2 years in, so I suppose I need to be patient. (Patience is not my strong suit, except while teaching others…)
My friend had a DMA recital tonight–I wish I had been able to be there, but she lives in Arizona, which is a bit far to travel. I hope she did well!
I’m looking forward to Saturday night’s concert (attending, not playing, to be clear!). It’s all Beethoven with the SLSO, including the Violin Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff. A source (a certain viola player I know well!) tells me he sounds fantastic though his interpretation is a bit unconventional.
My work week is effectively over, all that remains is Saturday morning group classes up at SIUE, and this Saturday is observations only for me again. TGIF! (Remember when Full House was a part of that? Random, yes, I know.)
I recently started teaching a viola student. I am having a lot of fun with it! I don’t really play viola, nor do I own one, but I decided today I know exactly what I want. Her viola is the same size as my violin–that’s what I need! A viola the same size as my violin. Then I can play the Walton Viola Concerto easily, without undue stretching. (I can just imagine my boyfriend Chris’s reaction to that statement…NOT pleased–a bit of a viola snob, he is…silly!). My younger sister became a violist the other year (from violin) and I believe the Walton was her primary reason. (Also, I think, doing something a bit different from her two older sisters). I’ll add “small viola” to my list of instruments to buy! (Mandolin being the other on the list, and of course, ultimately, a piano…)
I was really touched by the story about the Haitian violinist Romel Joseph today. Here’s a link to the story. I have no real words…just wow.
Follow up thought from earlier post: No matter how I act, not everyone is going to like me. Since I work primarily in a service oriented field (music for hire, or music lessons for hire) I spend much of my day acting in a way that I perceive to be “appropriate.” I want people to want to hire me to play, and I want to do that by acting in a most professional manner. Then I see other people (primarily Males, of course) who don’t worry in the slightest about being easy to get along with or nice, and having success in their lives…ugh, what a pain to have been born a middle child female who always just wants people to get along and wants people to like her, or at least well enough. Naturally I am ALWAYS going to be willing to work with people professionally and meet the needs of my clients, but perhaps it’s okay if not everybody agrees with me at all times (or for that matter, it’s okay if occasionally I might inadvertently do something or say something that someone else miscontrues or is mildly offended by?). Okay, now I’m definitely overthinking this whole thing!
Today I have been thinking about this blog, and what I want it to reflect. I sometimes forget how far reaching my audience can be! Of course, I KNOW that anyone can read this, and Yes, I do have the address in my email signature, but I am excited to know that people ARE reading it! Thank you.
That said, how can I keep people reading this? How can I make my blog worth reading and interesting, without being too offensive? I have no intention of offending people, even you brides who want your weddings outside in October! (Seriously though, do remember that it is not always beautiful and pleasant then, so PLEASE have a back up plan, even as simple as having portable heaters). I don’t even want to offend conductors or reviewers, even though as a musician, you are not always my friend. We are all on the same side however, in that we want to grow our audiences, and we want people to love music as MUCH as we love music (oh, and we do, we DO! and we feel if you just understand the music even a little bit like we do, you will love it too!)
I think though, my main point of this blog, is to satisfy my urge of writing things down, my urge to be heard, and perhaps to entertain and inform. If you learn something you didn’t know about violin, violin teaching, violin lessons, weird internet women (that would be me), or…anything at all, then perhaps your day is just a little bit better. I consider the search for more knowledge, on all subjects, to be of utmost importance. Learning makes us better.
So there you have it. First, do no harm. Second, learn something. No reader left behind!