November 2008

What am I doing?

November 28, 2008 13:37

I've been completely focused on going to grad school for violin performance for so long but today I applied to a program for violin repair.  I'm not completely sure why I did it, but I did.  I'm interested in doing such a thing and I'm even interested in making violins.  If I decided I really liked it, I would probably try enroll in the Violin Making School of America.  Some of the reason I did this was because I want another year of preparation before I actually try for performance.  I want to go a good school for performance, one that is well-established and prestigious.  I would do this program and still take lessons, perhaps from a teacher in Minneapolis since that would be close.  There would be orchestra's in close proximity for me to audition for and attempt to be in.  I would still play but my day to day activities would be focused on other things.  I think another part of the reason is because I'm not certain that, even in a year, I could get into a masters program for performance. 

In other news, I have a new bow!  It's a really nice bow, made by Guillaume.  It's worth a lot more than I paid for it and it's just an awesome bow.  It works very well with my violin and it makes my bowing technique so much better. 

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Life Since August and Grad Schools

November 1, 2008 10:09

Ah...it's once again been entirely too long since I've written here. Well, I'm just over the half-way point in the final fall semester at Luther. I'm the 2nd violinist of the newly formed Enigma Quartet, I'm assitant priciple 2nd in Symphony and I play in the Chamber Orchestra. I'm taking lessons from the new violin teacher. It's been...interesting, to say the least. He's very hard on me, which is good but I'm never meeting expectations and I know this. I love Luther, but I just have so much other work to do right now that it's nearly impossible for me to do everything fully. If I focus on one thing, the other stuff suffers and if I try to focus on it all equally, everything comes out spectacularly average. It's really annoying. I wish I didn't have to do so much and I wish I could just practice for 5 hours a day and get all of my music learned quickly.

All that said, I think I've improved already this semester, not only because of the new teacher but because of the sheer amount of playing I've been doing. Some days, without practicing, I play 3.5 hours. These next two weeks are full of concerts and extra dress rehearsals.

Back onto the teacher, he has prescribed many, many, MANY scale excercise; one finger scales, major and minor scales every day of a different key, scales in position and chromatic octaves. A lot of this is stuff I haven't done before because my previous teachers just haven't focussed on this stuff. I know that it has already made me a better violinist and it's very time consumming to do all of this stuff. Some things he has me doing, I had heard of before but had never been taught to do on a routine basis.

I've had lessons with a few other teachers this semester; Sally O'Reilly, Yong Nam Kim and John Thomson. All of them have very different ways of teaching and I liked all three of them. They are really interesting people. Hopefully, I will have lessons in January with Tyrone Greive and Penny Thompson Kruse. I would also like to pay a visit to my summer tearch, Mr. Halgedahl. I'm planning on auditioning for UNI, USD, UM, BGSU and perhaps UW-Madison. I'm not 100% sure where I'll end up. USD is my best bet because I know the violin teacher and he was very impressed by progress over the last 4 years. UM and UW would be the hardest for me to get into but at UM I think I have somewhat of a chance, though Sally O'Reilly advised me to wait a year. Mr. Kim suggested I audition and see what happens. Dr. Thomson would really like to come and I know for sure that I would get into USD and have a good shot at the fellowship and playing in the South Dakota and Sioux City Symphonies as well as having some students of my own. In other words, this would be my best bet for a lot of performing and teaching experience at this point. So, I have a lot of things to weigh and applications are due December 1st.

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