After nearly a week of umming and ahhing over what I wanted to do next year, I've finally decided.
It has been a tough week. I'd make up my mind, and then talk to someone else, and they'd inadvertently change my mind, so I was then decided on something else, then I'd talk to my parents and start feeling so very Emo that I was half a step from putting the black nailpolish on, before talking to someone else and feeling a bit better.
However, like most great thoughts and decisions, my mind has been set while I was having my shower this morning.
I have decided to do the Bachelor of Music, majoring in Music Studies. I eventually want to go into orchestral work, however I know that I need to build my technique up a bit, before I can head forward. By deciding to do the Music Studies major, I can take a step back and spend some dedicated time on technique.
In the Music Studies degree, I get an option of an elective, or "Practical Studies" which is basically lessons on your instrument, at a lower level than "Principal Study" which the Performance majors do. I've decided that if I choose the elective option, and not do any performance classes, I can gain some skills that will help me earn some money when I get out of uni - skills such as Music Criticism or conducting. At the same time, I can pay for some private lessons with a teacher of my choice, and really work on building my technique, without the pressure of exams or recitals.
This way, I can afford to take a step back to cover the ground that I skipped during the ADPA course because it was all centered around the recital and exams. This way, I don't need to learn this piece or that piece in order to play this piece in my recital. I can just sit back and work at what I need to work on.
At the same time, I'm still involved at Uni, involved in the ensembles and the social scene that I would miss if I took a year off. At the same time, I will learn skills that I wouldn't learn had I gotten into the performance stream, being focussed entirely on my next recital a year and a half away. This way, I will have a real possibility of earning money when I leave uni, and not have to face a couple of years of working in an unrelated job until I was ready to start auditioning.
When I look at it this way, I think "Why on earth didn't I think of this earlier? I could've saved myself a whole heap of emotional strain" but I'm here now. I've made a decision, and I'm happy with it.
Now, I'm off to do some practice. A bit of a warm-up then some scales. I had a bit of a look through the archives searching for Scale Practice techniques, as it's something that I've never really had. I found Buri's old column "Scales from a dead fish" and had a read through that. Having never done any scale work before, when he suggested working through Hrimaly before heading onto Flesch or Galamian, I thought "Well I've never done any scale work, so I'll start with Hrimaly" It just so happened that I had a copy of Hrimaly on my computer, which is handy, where as I don't have a copy of Flesch or Galamian. So, I had a look through that and found that it would suit my needs perfectly in all but one area - thirds.
It has been recommended to me that thirds are a vital part of scale practice, improving intonation, finger shape, and bow contact. So a quick scan through some other technique books I had, and ended up taking a few pages of Schradiek to add to the end to give me some octaves and thirds.
So this will be my bread and butter over the next few weeks, maybe months. But hopefully through some well thought through practice sessions, and working hard on these, my technique will improve significantly, and I will be happier :)
I received word yesterday that I would not be offered a place in the course that I wanted. I was hoping to get into the Bachelor of Music, Performance stream. Instead they have offered me a place in the Music Studies stream of the BMus. Music Studies is basically the theoretical side of music - History and what not.
Now, once I've gotten over the disappointment of not being accepted for the performance stream, it gives me a number of options.
First, I can accept it, and do the Music Studies stream. Three semesters, I get to do violin lessons as my elective, or decide to choose something else. Afterwards, I can decide to move on to education, or maybe arts management or promotions, or something like that.
Second, I can accept it, do the Music Studies stream for one year, and then apply for the Performance stream again. I'm still at uni, still in the swing of things, but my work is more theoretical than practical, so I might not have as much time to practice, so there's no guarantee that I would get in... in which case I may have just wasted a year of my degree.
Third, I accept it, but defer my studies for a year. I take a year off, practice and work. I can build some money up behind me, do some really good work (with a good teacher) and build up my technique in a way that I haven't been able to work on it so far, and then reapply for the Performance stream.
There's part of me that really doesn't want to settle down, that wants to throw my hand into the performance ring. I want to get into an orchestra, somewhere overseas. I want to travel, to work professionally in a different country.
But there's part of me that sees some of my mates who are a couple of years older than I am, who are now all earning good money in serious jobs (one a miner, the other an IT specialist), looking at nice cars and saving for a house deposit, and I think "I wouldn't mind doing that." (Though doing it with a music related job... I'd die if I wasn't working in music).
At the moment, the desire for performance is stronger. But I have just done three years of a Performance based diploma, and up until yesterday hadn't even really considered doing anything else.
I'm confused, I don't know what to do...
Well, my year has just about finished. All my uni stuff is over, all my auditions are done, all I've got left are a few gigs.
However, I've been thinking. I've finished the diploma (hopefully), and was just wondering if perhaps I should take a year off. I've been going for three full years now, and haven't really had much time to work, so the attraction of a year of work and putting some money behind me is very attractive.
Of course, whether I feel like heading back to uni at the end of it, where there won't be much opportunity to work, is another decision.
So, some pros and cons is the way to go.
Taking a year off:
Have a year to focus on technical stuff without worrying about exams or other subjects.
Have a year that I can work on my compositions without worrying about exams and other subjects.
Not in the scene at WAAPA
Unlikely to be involved in gigs
Have to pay for lessons - expensive.
Staying on with Study:
Get involved in gigs through the uni
Keep the momentum going
Another year and a half with no real opportunity to earn money
Have to improve technique and learn repertoire for recital and exams
Don't have as much time to spend on compositions
So I don't know, I've got a bit of time to think about it, maybe if the right job becomes available then I'll think about it more seriously.
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