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Andrew Paa

Changes Around the Middle

July 28, 2009 at 6:35 PM

I have literally visited the "Post Blog" page three times a day for the last two weeks, yet have never actually written the blog entry!  Well, as you can see, that changed today.  I think my lesson yesterday spurred me to this.  Over the last few weeks, my tendonitous has acted up but it is now subsiding again.  I've discovered that my biggest weakness as a violinist is my "heavy" fingers.  Though not as a bad as a few years ago, I still tend to pound the fingerboard.  My left hand gets heavier the louder I play with my right hand.  It's quite amusing really and something I never really noticed, until my summer teacher, Dan Auerbach, pointed it out.  It's the whole reason I've never been able to play quickly!  So, I'm using a menagerie of Sevcik, scale exercises and special practice on my repertoire to get my hands out of the habit of pounding.  I'm also working on seperating my left hand and my right hand, or to play forte with my right hand but keep my left hand at a piano dynamic.  Apparently, my intonation is better than I thought because he wants me to focus less on intonation (that is, don't spend as much time working for the intonation I already have) and to focus more on the light left hand, shifting and phrasing. 

It's always interesting to get a new teacher and realize what's improved and what it's needs work.  I'll have another new teacher this coming fall because the violin teacher at my grad school has decided to not return after a semester away.  Now, the school has 3 candidates coming in for the position and I've been fortunate enough to be invited to play at the public masterclasses.  The first candidate that I'm playing for tomorrow is Eunho Kim and the second, that I'm playing for on Thursday, is Michael Jorgensen; I don't know who the third candidate is yet, but I play for them a week from today.  Both are highly qualified violinists, going to outstanding schools.  They're also pretty young, which is somewhat different to me because I'm much more used to working with older teachers.  I'm very excited to play for them and it will be an excellent experience for me, as I've never actually played in a masterclass before.  Also, it's intimidating because there will be students and faculty listening that I have never met.   But, let's be honest, I'm more excited than nervous.  I'm quickly becoming much more comfortable with performing; which is good since that's what I'm getting my masters in. 

Also, on a personal note.  I've lost 10 pounds since getting back from San Francisco!


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