What A Year!
May 12, 2012 at 4:36 AMToday was officially the last day of classes for the semester. I figured now would be a good time to look back and reflect on how I have grown as a musician this past year.
When I first came to music school, I realized that I was quite behind violin-wise. Although I certainly wasn't a "bad" violinist, I was lacking a lot of technical skills. I had never played a 3 octave scale. I had never worked on etudes or solo Bach. I had very little experience with "real" orchestra music (although I loved listening to it, the orchestras I was in were never good enough to play any of it)...I was so used to playing arrangements. It was really frusterating to realize how unprepared I was and how much I had to do to catch up.
I spent the first semester working on a lot of technique. I worked on Mazas and Trott etudes, most of my scales and Presto from Bach Sonata No. 1. In addition, I was exposed to some great orchestral pieces. We played Symphonie Fantastique for our first concert of the year! I left first semester with a pretty good idea of what I needed to do to succeed the second semester.
When I came back from break, I knew I was going to be doing my level, so I worked really hard to prepare all my pieces, etudes and scales perfectly. And, in the end, I think all my hard work really payed off. Even though I didn't pass my Kreutzer etude, when I look at all the stuff I DID pass my hard work really shows. I passed my scales, even though just a few months earlier I was learning them for the first time. I passed a double stop etude, I had never seen anything like it before coming to college. And I passed both a Bach and Vivaldi piece.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that, even though I am still upset about not completely passing my level, I can now realize and appreciate that 4 out of 5 isn't too bad. And I plan to work just as hard this summer and come back to pass Kreutzer like nobody's business. I guess, for now, all I can say is...What A Year!
From Kathryn WoodbyEmily, you sound soooo like me going into college, except actually probably a little more prepared than I was! Great work this year. Keep it up! And, if I may take the liberty-keep enjoying your journey and not try to compare it to anyone else's. I remember what it was like to work my tail off mastering etudes and scales, while it felt like everybody around me had been doing this since jr high or something. It sounds like you have the tools and the will to rise to the occasion, but if you ever get discouraged, remember that you are Emily, with the skills and the challenges that you have been given-you may not be the virtuoso in the next practice room playing paganini like it's easy-but you are not supposed to be. You are you, with a unique set of experiences and perspectives that will continue to develop especially through your college years, and that will give you a unique set of gifts to bring to the world as a performer and as a teacher. Never regret your own journey, just take it as far as you possibly can!!!
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM
From Emily AllenThank you for your encouraging words! It is nice to hear that other people have been in this boat too. And you totally hit the nail on the head about not comparing yourself to others. I have friends who say things like "I can't believe so and so got a better grade then me" or "well I'm not as good as him/her so I can't do that". But the simple fact is that it's all about self impprovement. If I can look back and see that I have learned a lot, then I will be a happy violinist :)
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 7:02 PM
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Emily Allen is from Potsdam, New York. Biography
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