So much to do and so little time. Every night this week we have been preparing and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights are the moment of truth. What, you may ask, have we been preparing for? Every year my college, Luther College, puts on a program known as Christmas at Luther. It involves our Symphony Orchestra and 6 of the 7 choirs (all in all around 700 muscians are involved). Every three years something very special happens, the performance is broadcast nationally via Public Television. This year is very special because apparently it will be on in some places in Europe. There are 5, 2+ hour performances in all. For those of you who have access to MPR it will be broadcast on there December 19th at 7:00PM, for those of you in Iowa who have access to IPTV it will be on December 21st at 7:00PM and December 25 at 10:00AM. In other areas check you local listings because it will be aired in December the week before Christmas. I encourage you all to watch or listen to it. It will be an amazing performance.
I think I came to a realization tonight...I can't make it as a music major. I am great at theory but I can't do ear training to save my life. I'll be lucky to get a C in that class. I spent 2.5 hours doing 5 melodic dictations tonight and I didn't even start the rythmic dictation. I think the real reason I'm so bad at ear training is not because I don't have a good ear, my violin teacher tells me otherwise and so do a lot of other people, my mind just get's confused. I can catch the first measure and the last 2 measures. It drives me insane, if it's 4 bars I can do it but if its 8 bars and has ties or dotted rythms my mind goes, "wow, that was a lot of notes" and I just can't do it. Practice doesn't really seem to help either. In fact, my grades in ear training have actually not improved much at all. I'm about ready to snap.
I have a viola lesson tomorrow, gag me. I have no interest in my viola lessons. Over the break I didn't practice viola at all and I even hardly touched violin as well. I was also supposed to buy a suzuki accompaniment book for the viola but I'm like, what, $11.00 for a book that I may never really use in college since I'm not switching to viola, I think not. I'm also supposed to play viola in seminar next week on Monday. Well, I'm not sure if I have an accompanist. The bad part is, yes I'm stressing over it now, but when it comes down to it, I couldn't care much less. I stress about it because I don't want to hear from Spencer and listen to him speak of his high expectations. Frankly, I'm tired of it.
You know, if I'm not a music major I don't know what else to do. I don't really want to do anything else. I love music and I want to share it with the world through teaching and performing. However, in light of ear training, my future looks bleak as a music major. Well, I agreed to help a friend out early tomorrow so thus my rant ends.
Last Thursday my College Orchestra had its first official performance and it went really well. We opened the concert with Night on Bald Mountain and then we did the Brahms Violin Concerto...it was amazing. Our soloist was the concerto competition winner from last year, and for his encore he played a brilliant rendition of Ernsts Last Rose of Summer. Interestingly enough, he spent one semester at Juillard, hated it, and then came to Luther. He is an amazing violinist, he started when he was 11 and was playing Paganinni Caprices by the time he was 14, he also won many competitions and learned the freakin Bruch in a WEEK and then went on to win a competition with it!! Then we had an intermission and then played the Vaughn Williams Variants on a Theme from Dives and Lazarus, and we ended the concert with William Waltons Henry V Suite. Everything went really well and we had a much larger than normal audience.
Well, that's it for now, I have a viola lesson tomorrow and frankly...I haven't practiced viola for a week, but I have gotten a lot of quality time in on violin. On Sunday I spend over two hours on technique alone, I spent about 1.5 hours on Saturday on technique as well. I have discovered that it's really hard to go from playing violin to viola and vice versa, my hand always seems to hurt, but I guess I just need to get more aquainted with switching between the 2 instruments. I love practicing violin so much more though, on Saturday and Sunday practice went so amazingly well, probably becaue of all the time spent on technique.
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Hello everyone, do you remember my post about my 4 year plan, well, I've done a lot of revamping of the plan, really the only thing that looks similar is Freshmen and Sophmore year, but even those have changed slightly. For the most part I am giving myself more time on pieces so I can learn them thouroughly with memorization. This of course is still under constant revision, but it is coming closer to the ideal set-up or repetoire for me and my teacher agrees on the order of concertos. I will not be doing a sonata and a showpiece every new set of repetoire, at least during these 1st 2 years, it will bascially be one or the other for the most part. Any critiquing is welcome. BTW, I know there are some pieces that I am missing from this list, but I will have a lifetime in which to learn things like Symphonie Espagnol, the Veuxtemps concertos, Barber concerto, Paganinni concertos, and many others.
My Violin Repetoire 4 Year Plan
Year Semester Title Composer
This list does not include etudes, the Paganini Caprices or scales since things of this nature are generally decided on an as needed basis. Things of course can be moved around and pieces can be added or subtracted but I wish to maintain this order for concertos with the exception of adding in Mozart Concertos and other more modern works.
Note: Jr., Sr., and beyond years are marked 1 and 2 to indicate a period generally 6-12 months in length to prepare entire concertos and other pieces for recitals, and auditions. I plan to play the Dvorak Violin Concerto, Chausson Poeme, and the C-Major Bach for Grad School Auditions.
Hello everyone, thanks to all of you who sent a reply to my rather desperate sounding blog entry. I have felt much better today all in all, I didn't have a headache, my violin lesson went rather well, and ear training stuff went decently today, at least I didn't completely freak out on the make-up quiz. I didn't practice as much as I had planned to, my mind just was kinda wondering after about an hour and a half tonight so I just gave up, although, I felt I accomplished some stuff. I did get about 2 hours of solid practice in spending about an hour just on scale work.
I have to say, I was giving myself a lack of credit when I said I wasn't good at anything. Obviously I'm good at something otherwise I wouldn't have recieved roughly $18,000.00 worth of grants and scholarships for college. Actually my greatest natural talent is my memory. I can easily memorize things, except music (but that's getting better). I am good at things I don't have a real interest to pursue such as biology and basically anything else that, if you have a good memory, you can do that a career, such as being a researcher. I am also good at writing, even though I really don't like to write. I am good at reading as well, after my strugle with it. I can pull things out of a book most people would never see in a million years. I can also remember facts from a book really, really well which helps a lot on quizes. So yeah, last night I was just looking at the bad side of things.
I love having verious vibrato speeds, amplitudes and types. That is one thing I always am complemented on, my very strong and natural use of vibrato. My teacher said that I have good taste when it comes to vibrato. Although I did practice much over the weekend it reset my bowgrip back to the one that liked but couldn't get back. Now my bow is only slightly pronated, I can use the entire length of it again and my stupendously big tone is back (some of this may be due to viola). I am likeing my violin more than ever as well, it has such a nice quality to it that makes it have a gorgeous tone and it responds well and oh my gosh, I've rediscovered the violin.
Right now I'm listening to Wieniawski Concerto No. 1. I love this concerto, it's full of passion and technical stuff up the wahzoo. I can't wait till next semester, I am playing Bruch movement 1 and then over the summer I'm going to try to do the entirety of Wieniawski's 2nd concerto. Next week actually is when I may be starting Bruch because I'm giving a performance of the de Beriot in my seminar and if it goes well I get to move onto new music next week. I'm for sure starting a Mozart Sonata and hopefully I will go over Liebesleid and Liebesfreud with her next Thursday. We will keep chugging away with the Bach and I think I'm just gonna try to finish up the entire first Sonata this year before moving on, I really want to play that Fugue in it, right now I'm learning the Presto and then I'm gonna do the Siciliano and then the Fugue. My teacher also thinks it would be a good idea for me to find a student accompanist for myself next semester so I can have more experience practicing with a piano since I have very rarely done that in the past. I am planning to do a lot of practice over the weekend on piano, violin, viola and ear training. It will be fairly dead around the music building because 3/4 of the choir people will be gone (that's probably 400+students, we have 7 choirs, 3 bands and 3 orchestras).
I am beginning to wonder if I sould do music at all anymore. I am beginning to find that I'm a horrible music person. I am suck at ear training, violin doesn't go how I want it to go and neither does piano. I make mistakes that I shouldn't and I know better. My fingers aren't responding well right now and overall I'm just a mediocre musician. The only thing that I am good at in music is music theory but then again, I've had it once so this year is exactly the same stuff so it's pretty easy at the moment. Otherwise, all of my classes are going well (I hope, you don't really ever know your exact grade around here). I am on the verge though of just saying goodbye to music. I think a lot of this stems from the viola thing. I'm not excited to tell Professor Martin that next semester I'm not taking viola lessons and that I'm just going to stick with violin.
Also, I'm getting really, really tired of having to work really hard at everything I do. When I was younger I had a reading problem and I couldn't read so I had to try hard at that. Then came trying hard at math because I couldn't get it, then came trying hard at everything else I do, trying to forge friendships, the violin, ear training, chemistry, and writing. Really, I'm getting sick of it, nothing can ever just come naturally to me at all. I am a mediocre person at everything I do it seems like for everything. I am growing tired and my patience is beginning to wear thin.
I'm not sure if I really truely like Luther at the moment. I like the campus and the people for the most part, I like the professors but I'm not sure if I really an happy here. Most of my days are bad, headaches, homework, practicing, feeling tired all of time (no matter how much sleep I get) and ear-training. I'm also growing tired of my neighbors, they are quiet until around midnight for and then they dicide to be loud so I generally can't sleep until around 2am. I am tired...of music, of people, of school, of cafeteria food, of homework of neighbors, of nothing ever just coming naturally to me and of life.
Enter to win Leonidas Kavakos' recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto.
Andrew Paa is from Kent , Ohio. Biography
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