The first week of April this year, I began taking lessons. Today was my first "recital"...of sorts. I don't take lessons in a group setting, my teacher comes to my house (which is terrific for me, as I'm a homeschooler and we only have one vehicle). So, I had yet to play with anyone other than my teacher. He had scheduled one practice session the week before, but then cancelled it. That left the practice scheduled for right before our performance. One hour. With people I don't know. Not ideal, in my opinion, but that's what it was.
Our "recital" was at the library during the "Second Saturdays" activity - a school supplies giveaway. Families could come and get free school supplies at the library from 10 am to noon. They came in one entrance and left at another, and we were set up by the exit...serenading the patrons as they left with Twinkle Twinkle variations and various other songs, according to our ability to play them.
There were myself, another homeschool mom and her young daughter, a high school sophomore, and an eighth grader. Three other people who were supposed to join us didn't show up. The other homeschool mom and her daughter have been taking lessons since March, but I am 2 songs ahead of them. The high schooler has been playing for four years, and the eighth grader for two. They were certainly beyond my ability!
I was a bit frustrated that we didn't have another practice before like was originally planned. I am not a morning person, and was also very nervous (and strangely, not...hard to explain). I found myself, at times, messing up parts that I normally don't have a problem with. And I had no experience whatsoever playing in a group setting - I found it challenging to keep my eye on the teacher to make sure I was staying in time, reading the music (one song in particular I am having trouble memorizing for some reason, but can play it reasonably well reading the music), and remembering everything I've learned.
But, by the end of it, we were finally playing fairly well together. I learned a lot...including that I can play in public without throwing up on anyone. I think it would have been more nerve-wracking to have been up on a stage with a full audience of people staring at us. Having people meander by randomly wasn't so bad at all.
Over all, I am pleased with how I performed. Certainly, I could have done better, and believe I would have had I had more practice playing with others. I enjoyed watching the others play and look forward to the day that I am at their level. I even remembered to take my camera and the one girl's mom took some videos of us playing. I'm sure I'll look back on them some day and smile...or chuckle! But I'm just glad it's over with!
[Update]How exciting to see that our picture was in a local paper! Even more exciting was to see the caption "From left are violinists Dawn Yoder..." I am a violinist. I am a violinist...I can not tell you how wonderful that is to read. It is just what I AM. Somehow, seeing it in print, written by a total stranger, just makes it seem more "official". Silly, but still...
Previous entries: May 2012
Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles wraps up her coverage of the 2013 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, held at The Juilliard School in New York.
Dawn Yoder is from , . Biography
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