September 2005

September 19, 2005 08:21

I'm starting to think that I might not go for that job.

I've been working my way through "The Inner Game of Music" and have got up to the part of Goal Setting. I decided that I really want to be an orchestral Musician, so I should start working towards that. Therefore taking time off to do a job such as that, while I might enjoy it for a while, I might find it hard to return to performing music.

I had a rehearsal with my pianist today during my lesson. It went fairly well. Again, I'm trying to implement some of the issues presented in "The Inner Game" over this next week. I've got a performance on Wednesday, and I've decided to see if I can do concert practice as well on Thursday. I've set myself a goal of just having fun in these performances. I'm not fussed about seeing if I can win the competition. I just want to get out there and perform this great work of music, because that's what I enjoy doing.

So that's my aim - we'll see how I go. Have fun!

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September 16, 2005 02:20

Decisions... opportunites.

One of my lecturers today told me (just me, no-one else in the class) about a Job that is opening up. It's working for a Music store doing computing stuff. They want someone with a knowledge of classical music (which makes me a candidate). There's lots of pros and cons, but the biggest con is that it's a full time job. With still a year to go in my course, and the fact that I would like to get a bachelors, It's a big sticking point.

I will post more details later, when I have them, as I am about to head out.

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September 15, 2005 07:27

I'm unsure about a composition I'm working on. I decided to enter a different competition than the one I mentioned earlier in my blogs. Instead I decided to work towards a competition to celebrate the "octocentenery of the founding of the saxon capital of dresden." I had to write a piece for piano trio of about 10 minutes in length.

I need to post it by the end of this month so that it will get there by the closing date. However, at the moment, I'm about 80% completed, and the piece is only a smigen under 6 minutes long. By my estimates, I can probably get it up to about 8 minutes, maybe 9 by the time I think it will come to the final cadence, however it will be extreemly rushed, and I'm not sure whether I'll get it completed or not in time. Is it still worth me working on it, given that I am really busy up until the end of this month?

On other news - i've managed to get a ticket to the West Coast Eagles final on Saturday. This is a semi-final, if we win this we play the grand final next Saturday. Tickets are a)hard to come by, and b) expensive, so I'm really glad that I am able to go. :>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

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September 8, 2005 16:24

I've been invited to join Eneksis - an "exciting, new vocal ensemble" run by Micheal McCarthy (the Aural lecturer at Uni, educated in Ireland and the Kodaly Institute in Hungary). It's a real honour to be invited, and I'd love to be able to do it. I just need to consider whether I'm available for all the rehearsals. If I join it, I am required to be at all rehearsals. And that's fine, I can usually make all the rehearsals, and there's nothing to say that I can't - however they rehearse on Monday evenings, and that's one of the days I am available for my nightfill work. I usually work wednesday, just because I prefer to do stuff on a monday evening. But if for some reason I can't work on Wednesday (for example in two wednesday's time I'm performing in a competition) I would usually work the monday instead. Now, if I join eneksis, I won't be able to work at all that week - which means I need to live on less money.

I'm going to talk with Micheal about it on Monday - it is something that I would like to do, but whether I can do those rare weeks with less money. It's a shame that money is a deciding facor, it would be nice if some nice benefactor said "Hey, I like what you're doing, I'll give you a (substantial) allowance so that all you need to do is music." but I really don't think that's going to happen these days. But if there's any out there, please feel free to contact me :)

Either that or find more students.

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September 6, 2005 18:30

During my Practice session today, I started thinking about how much I had learnt from my 1 and a half years at the conservatory. Thinking how far I had come from my rather sub-standard audition. I know I was really below par then. I'm probably still below par now, but I'm a lot happier where I am now as opposed to where I was two years ago (That might have had a bit to do with my state of mind back then, but it's the whole package). I was thinking that perhaps I should share some of my tips, especially seeing as we seem to have a lot of people starting at conservatories in the US and England right about now.

Tip Number 1: Have an open mind, and an open ear. Everything someone says has a purpose. Whether they're a string player or a percussionist, you can learn something from everyone. Listen to what they have to say, and think about how it may apply to you. Even comments directed at other people can be helpful.

Tip Number 2: Perform Often. I've often heard the saying: "The First 1000 performances are the hardest. After that, they start to get easier." If that is the case (which I'm pretty sure that it is) you should look to perform at every opportunity. Wouldn't it be much better to get those 1000 performances out of the way before you get into the world, where the performances actually start counting? Look for opportunities to perform in classes, concerts, master classes, workshops. Even inviting some random person out in the corridor to listen to you in a practice room helps. Where possible, receive comments on your performances, and take those comments and implement them in your playing.

Tip Number 3: Attend classes. Even if they seem boring, work hard at them - try to find why the University/conservatory believes that it is an important skill/subject to be taught. Your degree is only worth what you put into it - if you get a BMus, but you don't know anything, people aren't going to want you. But if you have a BMus, but know quite a lot, you will be more attractive (insert wolf whistle here) for employers. This brings me to my next tip:

Tip Number 4: Work hard. The way to get the most out of your degree is to push yourself, and to push others. The more you get through, the more you will know, and the more you will know when you leave the university. Why get a 50% degree? Find a study partner and push them and have them push you.

Tip Number 5: Use the Library. This could possibly be one of the most important tips I could give. If you have a good library, it should have a large range of books an various musical topics, a large music collection, and recordings to match. Where possible, look for opportunities to read books, listen to great recordings and follow scores. I find that even listening to pieces I am not learning, even pieces for different instruments, can inspire me in my own music making. There's so much great music out there, why limit ourselves to one instrument.

Tip Number 6: Immerse yourself. I think this is by far THE most important tip for life at a conservatory or music university. You will only get the most out of your course if you are fully involved in what it involves. We only get one shot at this life, and we rarely get a second chance at anything. So get out there and hear things, read things, see things and play things, but focus on what you need to know. I find myself always thinking about music - whether it's the work in Aural, my pieces (singing the phrases in my head, very helpful), possible composition ideas, what I learnt in the last class, what pieces I want to learn before I get out of here. By immersing yourself, you will love it, and by far get the most out of it all.

Oh, and don't forget to practice. :)

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September 5, 2005 08:19

Today was a really productive day, yet I only really spent an hour playing my violin. However, I did make good use of the other time.

I have found myself a few scores to look at - one, an Urtext edition of the Bach S&P (Available Online in the Werner Icking Music Archive), another a score of the Mozart Violin Concerto in D (K.218, available at Free Scores.com), and then finally a score of the Brahms Sonata, curtousy (sp?) of CD Sheet Music (CD Sheet Music).

For the Bach, I analysed the Largo from the C Major Sonata - analysing the Harmony, and working out where the cadences were. Then, knowing where the major cadences were, I was able to decide where I wanted to take the piece dynamically, and coloured in this printed score to give myself a visual aid of where I want the music to go.

For the Mozart, I just sat and auralised the score, listening in my head to the violin part, and hearing where the other parts went. I am sure this will be very helpful for when I put it together with the piano (and possibly one day with an orchestra).

For the Brahms, I first sat and listened (with the score) to the whole sonata, played by the Menhuins (Yehudi, with Hephzibah on Piano). Later, I studied the score, identifying where the violin needed to hold back for when the piano had the melody. I will also go through and identify where I need to lead for the piano (eg final chords).

I have also listened to Heifetz play the Bach C Major sonata, while following the facsimile in the back of the International edition of the S&P, and read an interesting article in the August edition of The Strad on double stopping - an article I intend to go back and take notes from

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September 1, 2005 06:50

Performance Review - Concert Practice 1st September
J.S. Bach - Sonata in C Major, Largo and Allegro Assai

This was an ok performance. I was fairly nervous once I got out on stage, and this affected the Largo. My chords were really scratchy, wasn't producing the tone I can, however the tone I was producing from the single line work was really good. I also felt that in the largo I had some really great musical ideas, leaving enough space where I wanted it.

In the allegro I was a bit more relaxed, and this produced a better performance in this movement. There were a couple of slip ups on memory, but I'm sure that will be fixed within the next week.

Comments from the Audience was very encouraging, and I am feeling very positive. I do have stuff I need to work on, but there's always stuff for me to work on.

I've got a recording of it, but although I said it was good, I'm kind of reluctant to put it up, mainly because of the chords in the Largo. If I get people wanting it up, I'll put it up.

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