September 2005

September 22, 2005 21:26

I had an awesome violin lesson today, one of my best yet. I haven't really practiced violin since monday and so this morning I woke up and practiced about 2 hours before my lesson. At my lesson we started with Kruetzer no. 3 and it went really well. She said the intonation was right on for the most part, but it could have been better. So for the next 20 minutes or so we worked on open string resonance and she said that I will only have to work on the first 3 bars of it and one part in the middle but otherwise I'm basically done, I just have to practice it using the open string resonance. She then allowed me to go onto Kruetzer no. 4 and 5. On no. 4, because I could already produce an already decent up bow stacatto she gave me the andvance bowing, which changes some things around so I have to do up and down bow stacatto.

The de Beriot went really well today as well. I played the first page plus the cadenza like section and when I was done she said everything was coming along nicely and said that we just had to work on some small details, and best of all, most of it wasn't problems with pitch or rythm. So we worked on that and in the end I felt pretty good because she told to look at the entire concerto if I could in the next week. I am so excited about lessons, I hope to have this concerto completely learned and mastered within 2 months, and if it's going this well after only 2 lessons on it, I don't see why I couldn't do it in two months. Today after my lesson I asked her about starting a Bach sonata, I am going to do the entire first sonata, I have already learned the first movement and we will start witht the presto, then do the siciliano and then do the incredible difficult fuga. I will revive the adagio on my own. All I can say is that I am excited, everytime I play a Bach piece my technique and playing ability just absolutely skyrockets and now playing an entire sonata will make me work that much harder and efficiently and I will improve so much. I hope we will add some Kreisler in the mix too, I haven't done anything by him since Praludium and Allegro over a year ago. I want to do either Tambourin Chinois or Caprice Viennos.

I am on a violin high right now. I have played my violin for about 7 hours total today, 4.5 hours of practice and 2.5 hours of lesson and orchestra rehearsal. My goal for this school year is to learn 3 concertos, the de Bariot followed my Bruch and then Mendelssohn. Hopefully this summer then I will do Wienawski's 2nd Concerto and then when I get back take a little break and do some thing like Mozart V, or mabye I will that over the summer and do Weinawski when I get back. Perhaps I will do Barber and then Weinawski. I also hope to fit some other fun pieces in there like Kreisler and some Sarasate. After Wienawski I will hopefully do Vieutemps 4 or 5. Then perhaps something like St. Saens No. 3. Then I will hopefully do Paganini Concerto 1, and then finally do the Beethoven Concerto and Brahms. I hope to do all of this in 4 years. Of course I hope to cover all of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas while I am here, and hopefully Jr. or Sr. year do the Chaconne. I will also hopefully do Paganini Caprices. I know this is a lot, but I'm willing to work and I am going to tell my teacher my outline and see what she thinks. These are my goals and I hope to reach them by my senior year, and with lots of hard work and practice I will. I also need to be ready to audition at CIM, CCM, and other grad schools for my masters performance degree.

I doubt I will be switching to viola, I love the violin too much, but I do enjoy playing the viola and will continue to do so, perhaps in a chamber ensemble on campus and perhaps I will be able to convince them to allow me to do both instrument, but if I can't do it during school I will just have to study of the summer and to the best I can with the viola over the school year with minimal teaching, I will just have to maintain it with some chamber ensemble and careful, aware practice.

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September 21, 2005 14:53

I had an awesome viola lesson yesterday. We worked on so much stuff in only 30 min. He said I had everything very nicely prepared for the lesson yesterday and thus we could work on viola technique. We worked on loosing all tension in the body to play with more ease and a more relaxed body, nothing will be forced and it will all sound very natural and resonate even better. It was a complete turn around from last weeks lesson and I was glad for that.

In other news, I am dropping my calculus class. I have too many credits this semester and I just don't have time to do everything justice and the other classes I'm in are more pertinent to my major and I am better at them anyway. I will be a much happier much less tired person in the long run.

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September 17, 2005 14:51

Hello there everyone, I just thought I should tell you have my violin and viola lessons are going. First off, I love both teachers. They tell me a lot of usuful information some things I already knew (although, that reinforces it) and some new things. On the violin I am playing the entire de Beriot Concerto in a-minor this semester. It is already going well and I think she is rather impressed by how well it is going after only playing it for a week. I played a double stop thing that covers the first though like 9th position perfectly at the lesson. She was also impressed by my tone on the upper octave stuff but not quite satisfied with my lower octave (I worked a lot to get a pure sounding upper octave and a narrower vibrato up there over the summer). So I need to relearn how to get a beautiful, singing tone on my d and g again. We are going to pick a Bach sonata or partita for me to play soon (she didn't want to overwhelm me). I will also probably be doing some Kreisler (probably Leibesleid and Leibesfreud...spelling is a little wrong there). She has complimented on my bow arm and said that my intonation is solid. I need to work on rythm and 2nd position so she is giving me an etude next week that is all in the 2nd position from Dont. I also need to work on shifting a little bit, I need to work bringing the wrist back from where it was when I shifted, usually when I have to shift down from 6th postion and higher. I am also going to be working through the entire Kreutzer etude book this semester. I have been in contact with the former concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra. One day he just randomly knocked on the door of my practice room and said it sounded really good (Mozart G-Major Concerto). The other day he asked me to listen to some violins that he was trying out and I did. I gave all of my honest opinions of the instruments and he said that is exactly what he thought and said I had a very good ear. Then he went to see the violin teacher (Professor Strauss) with the violins and she asked if I'd like to stay and listen but I said I already had heard them (plus I had symphony), and he started to tell Professor Strauss how good of an ear I had and how helpful my comments were. I was kind of embarresed to say the least. I have also decided, per his encouragement to start learning Paganinni Caprice No.5. He thinks that I could manage it so I am taking the bull by the horns and going for it, slowly of course. He, as I do, had to overcome an impediment to violin playing. His left pinky is about half the length of his right pinky, which is a bigger impediment than I have. He manages nicely though, he just stretches forward as well as back to octaves and tenths. He is a truely magnificent player, he started when was 11 and was already learning the Paganinni Caprices by the age of at least 15. He learned the Bruch Concerto (which I will be doing next semester), the Mendelsohn Concerto (I may be doing this one instead, I'm finally getting a good grasp on ricochet), Mozart G-Major and some Paganinni Caprices in a week, and he actually WON competitions with the first two. I have begun to not have has much stumbling problems with my big hands. I have begun to realized how much I improved over the summer without taking notice while it was happening. My tone speed and accuracy has all greatly improved and my sight ready has gotten markedly better, I began to see all this during symphony rehearsals. I could play about 90% of the notes and rythms accurately in only 3 rehearsals. The last 10% is all the really hard hooked bowings we have (16th to 32nd notes) and some of the half steps in night on bald mountain. Wow, that took longer than expected and I haven't even gotten to viola yet.

Well, the viola is going decently. Professor Martin is really pushing me and we've only had 2 lessons. At my last lesson he seemed dissapointed in my weeks progress. He said, "There is so much I want to do with you this semester, but you have to give me more to work with at lessons." Most people would just have given up had a teacher said that to them but I'm not going to, it was for my own good. So this week I have really been concertrating super hard during practice on the viola and things are actually starting to sound quite musical. As for the switch, I don't think I will do it, I love the violin too much. I have acquired a love for the viola sound but I just don't think it's for me. I just don't get excited for the viola repetoire. I have heard a lot of the concertos thanks to Professor Martin but I find myself always wanting to hear the violin. I will still of course play the viola on the side but I wont switch to it completely. After my violin lesson last week with Professor Strauss I asked her a question about he concerto competition, like when it was and such. She said they hold it every other year and that it will be held next year and then she added, "you will be ready by then." But back to viola, I also find the viola very tiring to play, especially because mine is so heavy. I do produce, if I do say so myself, a rather pleasing sonorous tone. But I just don't love it like I love my violin. Maybe that could change if I had a better viola to work with, but I doubt it, I have heard the great violist Primrose playing the Walton Viola Concerto and couldn't fall as deeply in love with it as I did with violin, so I doubt a better viola would make that much of a difference. It's kinda like the saying that you will find many loves in life but none is never quite like your first.

My classes seem to be going quite well, I passed my first ear training test with a low B. Not bad considering that last week neither the teacher nor I thought I would even be able to pass it. I had a little bit of a voice lesson with David Greedy and he helped me to discover that I need to sing with "gusto" and "sing from the head not from the throat." It really helped and with practice it will only get better. Piano is going well, but we really don't have that much in there, just memorize one song a week basically. I really don't care much for my other classes but they are necessary. I like all of my Professors but I don't really like Calculus or Spanish. Paideia is only good because I enjoying reading ancient literature and learning about ancient cultures. I have my first actual college paper due on Tuesday by noon, but I'm not exceedingly worried (as you can probably tell, I am focusing way too much on music and should start to really study things instead of memorizing them at the last minute).

A little bit about my fun (yeah right) schedule. Monday is by far my busiest day. I get up for an 8am class that goes to 9. Then I work in the Car at ten-11:30, then i eat lunch, got music theory at 12;15 to 1:15, then spanish from 1:30-2:30, then paideia from 2:45 to 3:45, and then I have orchestra rehearsal from 4:00 to 5:30. Then I still have to eat and then I either do homework or practice. I spend a lot of time in the music building, sometimes 6 hours, 3 on violin, 2 on viola and 1 hour on piano and ear training, I adjust that as necessary. If i have a lot of homework I don't spend as much time practing violin or viola (sometimes I don't get to viola, or about an hour on it) usually about 3.5 hours on both. Bascially wed and friday go the same minus orchestra. Tuesdays and Thurdays are my more free days in which i do a lot of my homework and am able to practice without worrying too much. I also have lessons on these days, ear training and piano. I also somehow manage to hang out with people too, don't ask me how I manage this since most days I am going from 8 am to midnight. Friday nights and the weekends are great because I do a ton of practicing, homework and still manage to have fun while I'm at it.

I am thinking of having a violin/viola recital either at christmas break or during the late spring (middle to late May). I am leaning towards May because then I can revive some pieces and I will have new pieces learned and I will have a viola I wont be ashamed to perfrom on in public. Next weekend my parents are coming for the family visit weekend, so that will be fun. Well, sorry this was so long and kind of random in order, I have been getting up to go check my laundry.

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September 13, 2005 08:10

Ok, I'm back again. I was just having a bad last couple of days, I haven't been sleeping well, it's hot and then it's hard to focus and I just get frustrated. I do indeed like college.

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September 12, 2005 22:01

I just discovered that I don't like college. I like my violin and viola teachers and the orchestra dircetor but I basically hate everything else about it. I want to just focus on music but I can't. I have Spanish quizzes and calc quizzes and papers to write. It just makes it so hard to actually fit in the violin. I am horrible at ear training and I have to practice that a lot as well and everything just sucks. I didn't have time to play my violin or viola today, except in orchetra, and it just sucks. I will I would be good enough to get into a conservatory, there I would be able to practice however much I wanted and not have to worry about how gramatically correct my sentences are. Perhaps it will get better, I don't know, I'm new at this. All I know, is that I had the realization that I don't like college.

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September 11, 2005 10:56

First off, I would like to thank Jessica Hung for putting up this website in her blog, it's the same one she did and the results it gave me confirmed what I believed:

Stengths: Intrinsic Motivation, Will to Succeed, Commitment

Mid-Range: Presence (focusing on the here and now), Negotiating, Self Confidence (this one suprised me)

Areas for Improvement: Abilitiy to relax, Self Talk (the way you talk to yourself), and Mental quiet

The areas for improvement definately apply to me when I audition. I am usually not extremely relaxed, I say bad things to myslef and think of the worst that could happen, and I have this constant voice that criticies what I am doing while am playing. This was a highly usuful survery which confirms and empowers. It helps to give you exactly what you need to work on and what one should know in order to improve yourself.

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September 8, 2005 16:57

Well, I had my first violin lesson at Luther today. I am going to do the entire de Bariot Concerto. I was hoping she would change her mind and have me do the Bruch but oh well, small steps I guess. She said she would assign some solo Bach in the coming 2 weeks or so. She also said that I will be learning all of the Kreutzer Etudes reguardless of if I can already do the technique, she wants to do this since I am going to be a teacher, that way I will have familiarity with every etude in the book. We will also eventually do some Kriesler. Lastly, of course I will be doing scales.

The decision between violin or viola will be a difficult one. So far I like both teachers so it will be most difficult to choose. I guess it will just depend on which instrument I choose.

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September 6, 2005 10:52

I had my first viola lesson today. I think I may have to consider switching to viola a little bit more seriously now. I really liked the sound of the viola. Of coure I wont make any decisions as of yet. I am still learning to read the clef. Once I get into the real viola literature I will definately be more sure if I wish to switch. For a little while I will be working on the Telemann Concerto and his double concerto, and some easy etudes. Basically all of this is for reasons of learning the clef and he said that my first actually difficult concerto would probably be the Vanhal Viola Concerto and he said that at some point I could do the Frank Sonata. All in all, I'm pretty excited. He commented that I already had a nice vibrato for viola so we don't have to work on that much, just get it a little stronger. I only have a 16" viola and he said I could handle a significant viola meaning a 17" I suppose. I think that basically reguardless of my decision at the end of semester I will get a nice viola at Christmas Break. Not super duper nice but one that's for an advanced student (so probably between $2000-$3000 retail at probably about 30% off because I have an awesome person I buy instruments from. Anyway, I have my first violin lesson on Thursday and I will tell you how that goes afterwards.

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September 2, 2005 14:37

For those of you dying to know my decision about violin or viola I have decided to still take my 1 hour lesson on violin and a 30 min. lesson on viola plus to do the viola seminar every wednessday. That way I have at least an 1.5 hour viola "lesson" a week. Also, I made it into the symphony orchestra (the good one) 6th chair second violin, not bad for a freshmen at Luther College.

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September 1, 2005 17:04

Well today I found out something interesting. Apparently after I finished my audition on Wednessday the violin and viola teacher talked about me. I they think I would make a good violist. I am in general a very large person. I have long arms and big palms, but my fingers are rather short. I love the violin and I own practically every violin concerto. I own almost no viola pieces. I don't know what I should do, I have no clue. I love the violin and I love it's sound. I like viola too, but I have played violin for 9 years now and when I read alto clef I see treble clef. I mean, it would probably take half of college before I actually became a proficient violist. I have been trying to learn alto clef and I just can't do it very fast. Should I wait a semester and see how the violin goes, should I take violin and viola lessons or should I just make the switch right away? I really, really love violin but I don't know what to do. I mean, if 2 college professors think that I would be better at viola do you think I should switch to viola as my main instrument? I bought some viola stuff today the Vanhal Concerto, the Stamitz D-Major Concerto and the Frack Sonata (which I have heard of). Argh...I'm just so confused right now.

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