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Kelsey Z.

January 6, 2006 at 5:20 PM

There, the first week is over! (Almost...I still have school today but today is an "easy" day) It feels good to be back to the grind of things but now it's exams looming over my head in only a few short weeks. It is nice to be back at school though. My first week back has been relatively good. I feel I've grasped basicly everything I've been taught, I've been subjected to gory film versions of King Lear (I pre-occupied myself writing down phone numbers and "taking notes" for that...), I've written what I think is a brlliant paragraph to submit and it's good to see my friends again and sit in "our" spot in the hall talking about school, non-sense, music, cameras....whatever!

Yesterday was a really nice day for me at school for a particular, not usual reason. I asked the previous day if there would be a room that I could practice in during a spare block that I had that day so that I could get in over an hour of practicing in between classes. This turned out to be a really exciting thing for me. The administrator that I asked said "is the stage ok?" Now you have to understand that this particular stage/hall/auditorium has some of the best acoustics I've ever played in. The only place I've played in where the acoustics have been better is the concert hall at Domaine Forget - the one specially built for classical performances and acoustic excellence. So to get an nearly 90 minutes in this auditorium at school is basicly the equivelent of dying and going to heaven for a musician. I had the place all the myself and I had a blast! The really sad thing is that this hall is going to be torn down next year. That leaves this city without anything comparable, only a dead, echoey, badly designed theatre that is not practical and seats far fewer people. But moving on...I had a lot of fun playing in my schools auditorium. As you can see by the picture, it's nothing extravagent to look at but the sound is amazing. You don't even have to try and you can fill the hall with sound. You can hear a page turn.....it's great! Unless perhaps you have 800 people in there who all turn the pages of their programs at once, but we won't go there.

My first week of teaching was overall pretty good. Everyone's a little rusty from the Christmas break but they are all getting caught up! At the end of the month the music school's monthly recital is going to be a big birthday bash for Mozart. So I'm trying to convince some of my students to play and a bunch of the kids are going to play Happy Birthday as a big group for Mr. Mozart. My student who's only had a few lessons so far just started Twinkle and the look on her face when I told her that Mozart wrote it was priceless! She quickly followed up and said "I didn't think could Mozart write such childish things" . She's a really fun student so far though, she's a little bit older and has wanted to play violin for years and I think that want to play for so long is going to make her a fun and interesting student to teach. The challenge for me is going to be to keep her motivated and interested in it when things don't sound like she wants them to right away.

Today I am picking up the equipment I need to record my audition cd for summer festivals. It's insane how early some of this stuff has to be in! I'm applying to Banff for starters and my hope is that i will know the results from that before the application dates pass for Domaine again and the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Festival. I really dislike recording audition cds because I always think I sound horrible. I only hear the wrong and the "bad" and never the good but having recorded myself a lot lately and listened to previous years audition cds I think I can go into the recording process with a more open mindset this time around. I'll do the best I can in the time given and then whatever happens from there happens.

Well, I am off to school!

Oh! does anyone have any advice for shrinking pictures but having them keep their clarity of when they are bigger?

From Marcianne O'Day
Posted on January 6, 2006 at 5:55 PM
90 minutes of practice in an auditorium with great acoustics does sound like heaven!
From Susan Jeter
Posted on January 6, 2006 at 7:08 PM
Kelsey, What graphics program are you using now and what format is the picture in? I use Paint Shop Pro, and if the picture is in .bmp format, you can 'shrink' it and save it as .jpg - hope this helps.
From Patty Rutins
Posted on January 6, 2006 at 7:44 PM
Kelsey, the rule is that if you want to keep the clarity, you have to keep all the pixels.

JPEG is not really an exception to the rule; the file size will be smaller than a bitmap, but it also loses some of the detail -- the trick is that it discards only detail that isn't really needed by the eye anyway. This could help you if you keep the number of pixels the same, and it's a photographic image (not a line drawing, for instance, or a comic).

If you want to resize an 800x600 image down to 400x300 and then be able to blow it back up to 800x600 -- don't.

You can try some tricks with the Blur and Sharpen filters, but there's only so much you can really accomplish with them to improve the apparent quality of an image.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on January 6, 2006 at 10:25 PM
Kelsey, that auditorium looks like a great practice room!

Patty, what does "lossless compression" mean?

From Eric Stanfield
Posted on January 7, 2006 at 12:44 AM
If you have Photoshop (aka, most pirated piece of software ever), size the image down and then hit it with an unsharp filter or use the non-tweakable 'sharpen' filter. Try sharpening before resizing also, sometimes it looks better to sharpen first then shrink, sometimes the other way around.

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