December 2012

Happy Holidays, everyone!

December 25, 2012 15:30

Happy holidays! This morning, my family and I opened up gifts; I got an amazing new stand as well as a composing book (though it's more for guitarists and pop composers than for me, but I think it still has some useful information in it I could use). It also pokes fun of violists and bassoonists. My parents also got me a small composition book I can use. Later tonight, we are all going to play some Christmas carols together using our four instruments (piano, violin, guitar, ukelele) as a family, so I'm excited for that!

Happy holidays, everyone! Have a good night! :)

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My First CD! :)

December 23, 2012 09:46

This morning from 8:20am to 10:30am, I busily worked on completing my Violin Christmas CD as a Christmas present to my parents, and I spend all morning working on the final two tracks of the disc. Using GarageBand and iTunes, I created the disc. Eventually, I think I'll upload a YouTube video of the tracks (if I do it today, like this afternoon or evening, I'll put a link at the bottom of this entry; if not I'll do a separate entry), but for now, here is a list of the tracks and in parenthesis I included the instruments used. There aren't many, and that's because I didn't have a lot of time to work on the CD. Next year, I'll work harder on finishing. Although I am excited when it comes time to do the music for this summer's movie... I'll be able to made a soundtrack disc for it too... :)

Track 1: Jingle Bells (Bells and violins)
Track 2: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy (Guitars, pizz. violin)
Track 3: Deck the Halls (Piano, violins)
Track 4: Silent Night (Violins)
Track 5: O Holy Night (Violins)
*Track 6: Batman- The Dark Knight Rises (Violins, guitar, and orchestra) (For my dad who loves Batman!)

1 reply

A Daily Violin Game

December 19, 2012 17:00

Haha, I've started a daily violin "game" to help me practice. Actually, my violin teacher told me about this method so I could practice. Basically, I'm playing an excerpt from "Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla" by Glinka - it's one of four excerpts for audition music for the highest group at school. She told me to, when I'm playing, start at one tempo and bump it up every time I do it flawlessly. In other words, it's like a game of some sort with tempos as stages:

1. Half=72
2. Half=82
3. Half=92
4. Half=102]
(After Stage 4, I'll increase it in smaller increments that I'll figure out once I get to that stage since it might get too fast for me to keep up.)

So every time I practice violin, I'll spend fifteen or so minutes trying to beat a stage, and hopefully the next time I see my violin teacher, even if I'm not quite up to the "final stage" - half=135, I'll be pretty well on my way so that I can play well for the audition. I do have three other audition pieces, several three-octave scales for auditions, three orchestra pieces, my solo and ensemble piece, and any Christmas music I feel like playing for the Christmas Violin CD. That's a lot of music to practice! But it's almost winter break, so I should be able to find at least an hour every day to spend time with my violin. Hooray! :) I've already exhausted my hour today working with audition music, and I have finals to study for, so I'm going to stop for the night.

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Some Updates

December 16, 2012 16:27

I just wanted to do a quick update since it's been awhile since I've been on, so bear with me. First of all, Christmas looms ever closer! I've been playing all sorts of Christmasy tunes on my violin, and just this past afternoon today I had a piano recital where I played Linus and Lucy, Vivaldi's "Winter" arranged for piano (by me), and "A Christmas Carol", which is similar to Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival". But with all the music has come all sorts of studying for finals next week! I've been listening to music as I study, though, so it's been fun. In orchestra, we have a final where we have to play an etude from our technique books (I guess they're like our orchestra textbooks) and write a short paragraph on ways we approached it on our instruments. I chose Mazas' 17th etude, the second half, because it sounds pretty cool.

In AP Music Theory, we actually have, for part of our final, a take-home portion where we have to listen to a piano piece and, after writing it and a simple bass progression, we have to analyze it, so that should be fun. All in all, once next week is over and Christmas is finally here, I'll be feeling extremely happy inside! I'm planning to, on Christmas morning, play through a bunch of tunes and record them for a Christmas Violin CD I'm making (although I've used guitar and piano as well).

Two more quick things. One is that yesterday, I went to see The Hobbit Part 1. I enjoyed the film, although I was thirsty the whole time. My mom had said earlier Howard Shore's soundtrack got bad reviews. Although I was barely paying attention to the soundtrack (well, I was, but in some parts of films it's hard to), I thought that from the pieces re-used from the original Lord of the Rings fit in perfect spots. Anyways, afterwards we went to Panera Bread. That place is a cafe of sorts, so I was thinking when I got older, on my way to working as a film composer in the mornings, I'd bring my laptop or staff paper and pencil, get a cup of coffee, and compose. :) Ah, I got six-to-ten-to-more years before I have to worry about that...

Finally, one last thing. ... What was that one last thing? I'm completely drawing a blank here! Oh, maybe it was that that link down below at the bottom of this entry leads to the violin Christmas special I recorded just this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it! Please leave a comment if you watch it here or on YouTube. Any feedback is nice!

So thanks for reading, and sorry I haven't been updating. It isn't like July when I wasn't playing violin; I'm still actively practicing every day, it's just I haven't been updating here. Thanks again!

Oh, and by the way... my violin, Amber, has been revived! She has a super-glued crack on the chinrest, and a bridge from Germany, but she's fine! All good! Still my favorite thing ever! :) (I'm talking about my violin like pirates do their ships... What is wrong with me?)

What Child is This? Violin

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Prism 2012 Events

December 8, 2012 12:37

I have played four different violins over these past few days (Wednesday to Saturday) due to various events that occurred. Various situations occurred during transitions of the nights of Wednesday and Thursday, and although I have two more concerts to perform in tonight, I just decided to write this entry now rather than later since I'll be home at about 10 or 10:30pm or so and wanting to go to bed.

The first violin I played was my own. Wednesday night during practice of "A Christmas Festival," the A string snapped off. This marks (I believe) the fourth time this has happened! Luckily, a friend lent me one of his strings, so I got that taken care of right away. The second and third violins were during the concert and they were my friends'. The fourth violin I have now is a rental because last night the bridge cracked in half. Although I probably should wait till I have my personal violin back, I wanted to work on my Christmas Violin CD I'm giving out this Christmas to family members today so I used the rental.

All in all, my first Prism has not been very delightful, although I at least got to play through both pieces with my violin during the 6:00 concert Thursday evening. Hopefully all will go well tonight and I'll be able to get my violin back so I can get practicing on our next concert in March - we're playing with a professional string quartet!

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Christmas Tree!

December 2, 2012 18:28

Today we put up the Christmas tree!

Photo on 12-2-12 at 7.19 PM

It was great fun listening to a Classical Christmas CD playing quietly in the background, as well as pops CDs but had string orchestras in them. You can see in the picture above the piano and the various music notes (maybe?). Now I just need a guitar and violin ornament! :P

The Christmas Concert I'll be playing in this year, Prism, is December 6 and December 8 from 6pm-8pm and 8:15pm-10:15pm both nights. They're going to be long, but at least I'll be playing my violin, my favorite tangible abiotic object in the world that I hope to keep with me forever! :)

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