April 2005

April 27, 2005 07:32

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and despite knowing you have a allowed yourself just the right amount of time to get ready, you want to stay in bed just 5 more minutes and quite possibly have even done that? This morning was one of those mornings for me. I probably wouldn't be writing this right now had my alarm clock been correct. I woke up, with 40 minutes to get ready. That included time to shower, eat pack my stuff for school and teaching for the day. So after 5 minutes of trying to wake myself up from underneath those ever so warm covers I decided I needed to just force myself to get up and get on with it. So I did. I showered, got dressed, packed everything I needed for the day, only to walk into the kitchen to discover the kitchen micorwave and stove to say 6:40 instead of what should have been 7:40. WHAT?!?! So somehow I managed to muck my clock up last night in my late night, half awakedness state and here I am, with a hot mug of tea writing this because I still have one hour before I have to leave and I'm not likely to be too popular if I practice and let the family join in on my early morning after they too had a very late night.

Now onto the day ahead. Today should be exciting! I hope. I have school at 8:30, which I get to leave early for a massage. A very much needed one after the last week of playing all day long and doing concerts with the symphony (Beethoven 3 is not a sit back and enjoy the show during the rests piece). After my massage I am teaching in my spare from school and intend to do some solo practicing myself. Then I get to go back to school for last block today before embarking on an afternoon of teaching and practicing! I am looking forward to teaching today. I had to cancel most of my students last week due to the symphony tour, which I always enjoy doing, but I also really love teaching so missing a week is sometimes kind of saddening for me. On the other hand it can also be a much needed break and change of pace. I guess having to take time off before burning out is far better then trying to deal with burning out when it happens.

At the beginning of the symphony tour, the first day in, in fact, I recieved a letter from the Canadian music festival known as Domaine Forget in St. Irènèe, Quebec. I auditioned for their strings program. It's a huge international festival that runs from June into September. I've been accepted for the 4 week strings program which I'm extremely excited about attending! This will by far be the longest summer program I have participated in as of yet, and it will be my first experience with not having family around while I'm in a foreign place to me. So it should prove to be a summer of some new and exciting experiences!

St. Irènèe is right on the coastline of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and apparently whale watching is a popular thing to do there. Whether I'll have the time (or spending money) to do that one day, I don't know but just the nature of the setting should prove to be inspiring! It's a small city so you don't have the smog problems the same as cities like Toronto or Vancouver. The first challenge to overcome in this summer escapade of mine will be trying to figure out what to pack to last me for 4 weeks. Hmm..... One thing I'm going to do is put together a small photo album that doesn't take up too much space with pictures of my friends and family and the scenery back at home to have for my own personal viewing and then if my roommates want to see where I am from I can show them too. Now my only real problem remaining is I don't speak a word of French. A good friend has gotten me to sign up for a "travel French" course on the essentials when travelling in a French speaking place, so we'll see what happens! This summer should be both an awesome learning and cultural experience.

Au revoir pour le moment !

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April 14, 2005 11:31

The one day I could sleep in this week and I re-scheduled a violin lesson for 9 in the morning. This turned out to be a really awesome way to start my day. I love teaching but sometimes struggle with seeing such big potential in a kid and knowing what they can do and yet time again feeling frustrated with how to motivate to practice or to come up with tactful ways of holding the childs concentration. The student I taught this morning I've been teaching for a couple of years now and she's a very gifted little kid when it comes to music and to almost every other area of her life. I have yet to meet any other 8 year old who has a sense of humour to such a level and this child knows my sense of humour and knows how to make jokes that will make me laugh and brighten my day. This morning's lesson turned out to be a really awesome way to start my day. I saw a huge leap in progress from last week (her Mom said she had practiced this week!) and in the short space of her lesson I saw huge progress as well. This is a special child to me too. Not only have I taught her the longest of any of my students, but she's fighting battles no child should have to fight and it's really exciting for me to see such a talented student when she's been able to have a good week and have her come for her lesson. It makes all the lessons where I'm left frustrated and scratching my head going "what can I do???" worth it. Today it was most definetly worth every minute I've spent with this kid and every minute earlier I had to get up this morning.

Teaching can be one of the most rewarding things. To see a student overcome obstacles and master an instrument is quite inspiring! It reminds me to appreciate what I can already do on the instrument even though I myself still have a lot to learn. I know longer have to be conciously thinking "now is that a low two or a high two?" "is that a whole note or a half note?" I'm beyond the point where I have to be so aware of reinforcing everything that I have to do in my playing because I've done it for so long but these kids that I teach are still trying to master the art of cooridination, counting, intonation and the creation of music. You really have to appreciate and value the things that you, as a teacher, have already mastered and remind yourself of what it's like to learn the violin all over again. Personally, it forces me to be a better, more concious player and a more appreciative one. I'm having to reinforce what I am doing so at to not have a student say "but your bow isn't straight!" and I have to be creative in my approach to help them master and understand everything involved in playing but not scare or overwhelm them.

Aside from teaching I'm getting comfortable with some new repertoire and gearing up for an audition! It's for a summer program and I'm looking forward to getting some live audition experience when I go to audition. I'm really enjoying the task of learning some new repertoire and can't wait to do some of it at a recital in June along with some of my favorite pieces that I've learned over the past year or so.

I'm working on my History 5 music course. I write the exam on Friday, May 13th. I've decided I'm doomed to pass! Not to fail, but to pass! One of the composers that I have to be familiar with (There are many to be sure) is Steve Reich. I hadn't heard much of Reich's stuff and knew very little about the composer until fairly recently. I had heard his piece "Different Trains" sometime ago but my sister and I were both covering the composer at the same time and this piece came up. I got some of the background on the piece and watched the video and was left with this feeling that's not really describable. It's a really profound, moving, work. The music, though minimalistic has this very evocative, imagery that either just listening to the music alone will evoke or watching the video will stimulate even more.

I need to get back to practicing and studying now.

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