On wednesday I found out when my graduation recital will be. November 17th, at 4pm. A much nicer time than the one I feared I would get. Last year they had recitals starting from 10am. I didn't want to be the one that had the 10am recital. Very difficult to get people to come in at 10am. Worse would've been something like 11am on a wednesday, when people are less likely to get time off work. At least with this time, People can get off work a bit early and come watch me perform. That's got to be an incentive :>
During the meeting where we were assigned Recital times, we were also told that the staff at WAAPA are implementing a graduate placement program, where they will meet with all of us, find out what our goals and aspirations are, and try and place us into further study or the workforce. Now I've got to do a bit of thinking before the meeting in May, but I think it's a really good idea. I'm pretty sure that I'll stay at waapa and do the bridging course, but I would like to see about international study after that.
We also had a session of Performance Fear and Sports Psychology. It was really interesting, and gave us tips for not only allaying performance fear, but also improving preperation. I think that even if performance fear wasn't a problem for some of the people in there, I'm sure the preperation advice that we received will be used very well.
So although the graduation recital sounds very scary, I'm actually looking forward to it, and am hoping I have a good time.
I can't believe how far into the semester it is. We're already about halfway through, but it doesn't seem that long. It's only a couple of months until my technical exam, and though it seems like that's still a fair way away, I know that it's going to creep up on me quicker than anything. I'm not certain about this technical exam. In fact, I've never been certain about my technical exams. I'm not a fan of technical work, and I've never really had a big scale background until I got to uni, so I've always been trying to catch up.
Unfortunately, this year is make or break for me. I've got to show my examiners that I've improved enough for them to let me do the bachelor conversion course. If I don't get into that, I have no idea what i'm going to do. There's always a possibility of moving interstate but I'll probably have to start the bachelor course from the beginning, and I'll have to pay for everything, which if the work load at WAAPA is anything to go by, it won't leave me much time for anything. Leaving for interstate isn't really an option, as I don't think I'd be able to leave my girlfriend behind.
So if I don't get into the bachelor course at waapa, where to next? Take a year off and work hard at my technical work and repertoire, saving up some money from the work I do at Tempest, and then try again the year after? Or should I purposefully fail some units in order to return next year to complete them, hence giving me an extra year before the switch to bachelors is needed.
I would really love to be able to get a position in an orchestra, that is my goal, and that is what is making me work hard this year (and every year), but there's always that doubt that if I fail, I've spent three years working towards a goal that was never attainable, and no useable qualifications in order to get a job.
I also had a meeting with my boss today. I haven't had any shifts for the past three months, because they weren't ready for me to start working. But we've come to an agreement now that I can start preparing materials in order for the first e-mail send out to be top notch. I've got 8 hours a week to work, half in the shop, and the other 4 at home. This is something that I'm really pleased about, because it means I don't have to worry about my Saturdays being taken up by work and I can move my student around so that I can play basketball. YAY!
Apart from that, all is going well. Got some practice done today, which I'm pleased about. My Bach is getting there, still having troubles with the last chord in the first section, but I'll see my teacher on wednesday and hopefully that will help out and I'll have a better idea of how to approach it.
One of my lecturers came to talk to me today. Asked me if I was doing a recital and what my plans were. I told him my repertoire, and that I wanted to do the bachelor program next year, and he told me exactly what I expected: You need to work really hard this year, and score well across all your subjects. Bang on what I expected to hear, and exactly what I plan on doing.
As I said, not a long entry, as not all that much has happened recently.
I burnt my finger last night while cooking dinner. Not nice, especially because i had only just started, so I had to cook the rest of dinner using only one hand, a very difficult job.
It's the tip of my left-hand index finger, which makes it very difficult to play violin - so much so that i cancelled my lesson for today, and am taking a couple of days off while it recovers. Stupid me.
Anyway, because I had some free time this morning, I was going through some of my old files on my computer, particularly old compositions/ideas (things I started composing, then left and never came back to). A lot of files had a small idea, 8-16 bars or so, and I can see why I left it there. Others were full pieces, and I understand why I forgot about them. But there was one in there that when I listened to it, I thought "Hey, that's actually pretty nice, I think I could use that." It was a piece for string quartet, designed as a first movement. It needs some re-working (it's in a loose sonata form that kinda resembles rondo-sonata form more...), but that's cool. I was all inspired and knocked up a second movement in about an hour.
I listened to my other dabblings in Christian Contemporary music. I wrote a few songs when I was in year 12, about 3 long years ago now... I recorded them, so I've got my voice on file. I had to turn my singing off because I couldn't stand it, it sounded awful. I'm not really a fan of those songs now, there's maybe one or two that I could see myself playing if begged to. Some of the lyrics are a bit dodgy, and the writing is kinda cheesy at times. But oh well.
Anyway, after choir rehearsal today, I was talking with one of my friends. When I was in year 12, I went on a weekend camp thing, and she was part of the group that went down. ON the way back up, we were singing rounds and such, and she could remember that I had a really good voice. It seems kinda funny that the voice I had back then is something I'm ashamed of now - something that sounds disgusting to me.
Ok, time for a bit of a fuller blog entry than my previous one, as there is kinda a lot more to tell.
I've completed my first week of living in the house that I'm house-sitting. My first week of shopping was more than my buget, but when I went shopping yesterday, I brought it back down. Good to know.
I've been having trouble with Technical Work. There's no problem with it in how I can do it, that's fine. It's just getting up and doing it. After my break, all I want to do is play my recital pieces, but I know that I need to do all my technical work in order to pass this year.
I was talking about this with someone on Friday (we went to a local pub during a break for a couple of drinks). She mentioned a couple of ideas, including pulling scales out of a hat. After thinking about that for a bit, I went about putting together some small cards to take around with me. I have made two sets, one has every scale that I do (G Major, G Harmonic Minor, G Melodic Minor etc) and the other has every piece of technical work I do (Two octaves, 3 octave arpeggios, oneing scales, Kreutzer 2 etc). The idea is that each day I start off with technical work, so I'll go through my normal routine of technical work, but choose a different scale for each piece of technical work. And then, before each practice session, I'll also choose a piece of technical work (and scale if neccessary) to begin with.
Also, talking about my practice sessions, I'm trying to get away from the feeling that I need to practice for three hours a day, all in one hour blocks. Instead, I'm breaking them up into ultra-productive sessions of whatever length. I'll go into a practice session and say "Ok, in this practice session, I'm going to play this section of my Beethoven. When that section is up to an acceptable level at this point in time, I'll go make myself a coffee" The idea behind it is that by spending lots of short productive sessions, with each one having its own goal, you eventually get more done each day, plus you get a better sense of memorisation, because you've memorised each section, and you've memorised each section extreemly well, so when it comes to put it all together, it's all there in stone.
So yea, that's basically what's been happening.
Until Next time...
I went shopping this morning. This the first time I have had to shop for myself. I thought I was doing pretty well, keeping within my buget of $75. But when I got to the checkout I had spent $92! Now I did have to buy a few things that I won't have to buy again, so I should be ok. But just to be on the safe side, I won't be buying any wine or beer this week. I'll just have to get along with what I have got.
So far, I seem to be doing ok. I kinda keep thinking that maybe there's something I'm missing that I should be doing, but I'm sure that will kick in next week as i get into the housework and stuff. At the moment, everything's pretty clean.
It's been a busy week. So busy that I've hardly had any time to practice or study. Monday was a really good start to the week, as mentioned in my last blog. But after that, it just got really busy.
Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday. My church had decided to put on an Indulgance night, where we all had chocolate deserts, hot chocolate, chocolate port, and watched the movie Chocolat. A very nice night, but after having spent all day at uni, I wasn't able to do any practice that night.
Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. Again, another full day at Uni, and then the Ash Wednesday Service at my church. Again, no practice that day.
Thursday, I was at uni until 5, and then had teaching until 7pm. Got home around 7:30 and was very tired. Watched a bit of TV, and then made some preperations for moving out. More on that now:
I've been aksked to housesit a friend's place, while he and his wife enjoy their retirement with a trip around australia. So I have to look after their house and two cats for three months. I've never lived on my own before, so I'm looking forward to that experience, but also I'm kinda freaking out about possibly forgetting something... like not having time to feed the cats in the morning or something like that. I'm sure I'll be ok, but I just don't know. It's an unknown experience, and I'm scared and looking forward to it at the same time.
On Wednesday, I also went to visit my old friend that I've known since pre-primary. We have been really close friends since then, and her dad died on Monday Night. It was a real shock, and no-one had suspected it. There's lots that can be said about Bill. But the thing that lives on in my memory is that he always had a smile on his face. He was always enthusiastic about everything, and interested in knowing what people were doing. That's my fondest memory of him.
I'm also considering the possibility of moving states, or possibly countries. I'm not certain, but I think that after this year, I would like a change. I would love to go to England and study at one of the Music Conservatories there, but I'm unsure about whether I'm at the right level, and whether I'll be able to afford it. I'm almost certain that I'll need a full scholarship to attend, and I'm uncertain as to whether I'll get that. I'd hate to be accepted to a school, and then have to turn it down because I can't afford it. Another possibility is that I could apply for a school in the eastern states, Sydney Con or Melbourne Con. That way, I would be doing a program that is half paid by the government, and half paid by me when I can afford it (that is, paid back over time through tax when I'm earning over a certain amount in australia). But again, I'd need to leave everything that I've been doing here (jobs etc) and start all over again - and it would mean leaving my girlfriend here while she finishes her course.
It's something I need to think about a lot more, and consult with my trusted friends and mentors.
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