September 2005

September 25, 2005 22:36

Have you ever gone on a walk and been completely pre-occupied then realising too late that you really should have been paying attention? No? Ok, well I did that this weekend. I was out on a walk while down in Vancouver and fooling around with my camera because I wanted to take a picture only to suddenly bang my knee and ankle into this angled iron post. Initially it didn't hurt so bad but I felt rather woozy and dizzy, then it started to hurt. I now have two very nice swollen, purple-ish bruises that are quite sore. To add to this wonderful Saturday morning excursion of exercise and well-being I somehow managed to lose one of my contact lenses. Hmm..... Now I have to wait until my new lenses come in sometime this week before the gift of clear vision is restored. That was rather frustrating. I have glasses but find them uncomfortable and annoying to wear, especially for playing and being out and about doing things.

Saturday was a good day all in all though. I had a violin lesson most of which was spent working on my Bach Fugue but then some time on vibrato and the Barber concerto. Chords are so much easier to play and make sound nice now! I feel like I have direction in the Fugue and I know what I want to do with it and where I want it to go. Now I just have to practice. I feel so motivated and excited to go and practice it now. Before it seemed almost like a chore because even though I haven't been working on it long I just didn't really have an idea as to how I could make it sound better. There were of course some obvious things but I was doing things I didn't realise and making the chords sound really nice and beautiful when there's so many of them was a real obstacle for me. I now have the tools I need to make it sound good!!

After my lesson, later in the evening I managed to get 45 minutes of good work in on the first half a page or so which made everything my lesson sink in more, I think. It's pretty rare where I feel so excited to go and practice right after a lesson like that but if it wasn't 10 at night and if my hands weren't needing a break I would have practiced a lot more, I just felt so excited to get in there and work on it! I'm all inspired now!!! I wonder how long this feeling will last though.....*crosses finges* ......hopefully for awhile at least!

I really appreciate having the opportunity to study with a teacher who doesn't accept anything but the very best of your ability. It motivates you to work harder and believe in yourself because they believe in you and your ability to suceed and acheive a high level. Even though compliments aren't being handed out I still leave with this feeling of a sucessful (not nessecarily great playing....) lesson.

Shortly after my lesson I got to meet up with some relatives I haven't seen in awhile for a walk, music and fish & chips! You can't go walking by the ocean without getting some fish & chips that are for sale along the warf, it just wouldn't be right. It was really nice to get to visit with family and tell them about my trip in the summer, show them pictures, and to just catch up. I played a few different Bach movements for them and the Vitali Ciaccona.

Well it's been a long day sitting in the car, traveling back home, doing homework, reviewing lesson notes and packing up/unpacking. I think I'm going to hit the sack!

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September 19, 2005 21:13

It's been a good day. A good weekend (with minimal stress.......not) and a really good Monday.

I think I could probably handle the idea of doing full length recitals more often. This one I did yesterday turned out to be a great sucess! I had my issues that came up, whether that was thinking too much or subconciously being aware that "I still have a concerto, and concert pieces to do," I don't know but all in all I think I can be proud of what I accomplished. Beethoven Sonata No.8, Bach G minor Adagio, C Major Largo, Vaugh-Williams Lark Ascending, the Barber concerto, Vitali Ciaccona, Gershwin It Aint Necessarily So, and since an encore was needed, Vieuxtemps Souvenir d'Amerique - that's a pretty decent sized program to pull off. It was a really fun program for me because it let me do so many different things.....chamber music, unaccompanied, soloist, virtuoso...... it was a nice variety and a good balance of styles.

I arrived early, my dress being completed only moments before leaving the house. I had an hour to get comfortable with the setting and atmosphere and how everything was set up. I got into my dress and my teacher here came and did a sound check and made sure that balance and everything was fine and good. The dress made me feel in a really happy mood and to my great delight I didn't really feel nervous or anxious at all. I was expecting to be a bit nervous or anxious at least. I guess I got my panic attacks done and over with on Friday and didn't need to have them again on Sunday or maybe my expecting to be nervous scared the nerves away, I don't know, but it was a lot of fun.

A lot of people came. Many I knew, many I didn't know. I saw at least one of my students and his family along with faculty from the music school I work at and take lessons at. I had friends drive as much as a 3 hour drive (if not more!) on a days notice, just to hear me play! I certaintly have some great friends! It was a lot of fun to get out there and play for friends, family, colleagues and everyone who came. The hall was nicely filled. If too many more people had come it would have been a little too cramped.

Being up on stage, having a whole concert to myself was a really amazing experience. Someone mentioned to me once about the meditative state a musician goes in during performance and if you lose track of time you probably have had a good performance. That certaintly happened. I thought fatigue might hit my towards the end of the program but my energy lasted throughout and the tiredness and mental mush came later, much later to my suprise. It's interesting how two hours of one's life is suspended while you are in the moment but the minute that you play that last note and the clapping begins it's like something happened and it feels like you just got out on stage. I really couldn't have asked for a much better concert, I even got the standing ovation at the end! (No one minds if my ego is slightly inflated for this blog entry do they?)

I want to do another concert. When can I do another concert?

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September 15, 2005 12:19

Let the count down begin! Only 3 days until my concert! I can hardly believe it! It seems like only a few days ago I was contemplating doing a recital and not that much before that was the one sitting in the audience saying "I wish I could be up there doing that!" Now I get to be up there doing that it's a dream come true! My program, on a whole is starting to feel really comfortable (always a positive thing before a concert) and I feel like I don't have to be quite so focused on "ok, this comes next so I have to be in this part of the bow for this to work and this to be...etc." I really think (and hope!) that it will be just a lot of fun to do and I can't express how excited I am!

Gosh, yes it is already Sept. 15th. Two weeks into school already. How come I have this feeling that the year is going to be gone and I'll be wondering what happened?

I'm reading 1984 by George Orwell right now. What an amazing writer! I've read Animal Farm before and last year had to do some analyzing of some of his essays. The guy really knows what he wants to say and how to present it and make it be effective. When you read his works they stick with you. I can still remember that famous quote from Animal Farm "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" He really has a profound way with words and making things make sense. Right now I'm trying to pick another novel to read when I'm done 1984. I have to do a novel study/presentation and I get a month to do it so I'm trying to decide on a couple to read and pick from. I don't get tons of spare time to read these days but I'm still going to try!

Yesterday was a really productive day for me musically and school wise. I got a bunch of my homework done and managed to in between teaching and doing some shopping and going to school I still got over 4 hours of practicing in! Yay! I got through my entire program for Sunday and for the most part actually worked on it and got in a good chunk of technique practice. When I got home last night my brain felt like mush.

Well that said, it's lunch time and I still have a class this afternoon and a whole stack of homework to do and some practicing to get done.

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September 11, 2005 18:28

Back to the grind! It's hard to believe it's already nearing the middle of September. Where is time going? In a week I have my major solo recital. I'm super excited and it lookds like I finally have my program finalised! Barber, Bach, Beethoven, Vaughn-Williams, Vitali and some Gershwin to add some variety and excitement to the mix. It's a program I'm really excited about playing. I haven't performed the works on it much before with the exception of the Vitali Ciaccona. It's a program that really reflects a lot of my tastes in classical music and shows many different moods and styles from the refined tradiontal classical-ness of the Beethoven to the more jazzy Gershwin to the intensity of something like the Barber and the delicate and intricacies of the Vaughn-Williams. I'm really hoping that a lot of people will come. So far it sounds like several of my students, friends and family are going to show up so hopefully in conjuction with that and other advertising I'll have a decent sized audience!

I am really enjoying practicing these days. Since Domaine there is a whole new level of focus in how I practice that I really like. I can get so much done in such a short space of time. Today I have done a lot of good work so far in my spare time and hope to get some more good practice time in tonight. I was kind of worried about how much I could practice with teaching and being back at school but it all seems to be working out well so far, mind you I am only 1 week in.

Being back at teaching is very exciting! I have a lot of new students this year which is keeping me on my toes. I'm teaching adults this year too which is something new for me. I was a little anxious as to what it would be like but I am really enjoying the experience and opportunity of teaching such a wide range of people and levels. I hope I live up to my students expectations this year and can have another successful year and that everyone has fun. I'm looking forward to seeing some of my students perform for the first time this year and seeing how everyone developes. It's already been a great experience to see how students from last year have improved over the summer and to see the difference in their personalities and their ability to concentrate. Should be a terrific year!

School is proving to be entertaining. My English Lit teacher I have decided, with support from fellow classmates, is insane. He's completely off the wall, very inspired and motivating! There are some things that I'm not so excited about in school this year but on a whole it looks like I'm going to have some great teachers and good classes. It's amazing what the difference a teacher can make in ploughing through textbooks and working out things.

I'm hoping to somewhere in my schedule of lessons, teaching, school and what not to find some time to compose this year. I am trying to finish off an orchestral composition and I would like to seriously try doing a string quartet or piano trio work this year. If only there were more hours in the day! It's scaring me already that we are nearly to the middle of September.

Well back to practicing!

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