There are three cardinal rules that must be followed at all times in a Dr. Bob class.
Rule #1 - Don't Panic.
Rule # 2 - Stay with the tour.
Rule # 3 - If you don't understand, it's my fault (Dr. Bob's - not the students).
The third rule comes with a disclaimer though: Until Dr. Bob says "you may begin the exam."
Tigidapipa, Tigidapipa, Tigidapipa, Tigadipipa. Say that 10 times fast. Say that 3 times fast even. Then try that and play percussion instruments at the same time with 3 other other musicians.
Everyone, at some point in their life, whether they hate newmusic or not, should sit through an all contemporary music performance. No, Stravinksy and Schoenberg don't count. Sorry. I mean post 1980. Last night I got to spend a couple of hours in the very funky Telus Theatre which is located inside the beautiful Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on the campus of UBC overlooking the ocean. The Telus Theatre is set up so you can watch from all four angles of the stage or so that it's like a round theatre. I sat in the 2nd of three balcony seating areas. It was an incredible concert with really good variety. There was a piece for electrified flute which was very cool. It had some really neat percussive effects and I honestly have no clue how the guy played it. There was a piano trio which was very beautiful, by Bright Sheng. I've seen new music performed before but never in a genuine setting like that. It's always been a well received piece that's been tacked onto a program, not a program devoted entirely to stuff that people have never really heard before and the experience was an incredibly satisfying one. So, even if you've never been to see new music before or think you hate it, stretch your mind a little bit and take in a concert like that once in awhile. You might be pleasently surprised and in addition, you're supporting the future Beethovens and Mozarts of our own generation.
I've had my first lesson this past week and it went pretty well. It's going to take some time to adjust to a new and different teacher but I'm hopeful that things will work out! There's already a masterclass scheduled for October 5th and I'm supposed to have my new Bach mvt memorised and prepared for it. Help!
I got into Choral Union at school so now I have the task of mastering Verdi's incredible Requiem between now and December 1st in addition to my scads of orchestra concerts repertoire, my own repertoire and chamber stuff.
Back to practicing! And doing laundry, and grocery shopping and cooking and such.
So Tuesday has to have been on of the most "amusing" days yet. It started off with 3 busses driving past me, completely full, no room for another soul and her violin and the few other odd people also waiting to get a ride. Finally, a bus stopped and I was the last person able to board and it looked skeptical that I would fit. I technically didn't fit as I stood in front, not behind the red line, but the bus driver was nice and said to come on anyways, violin and all. So I boarded and thus began the tedious bus ride, facing towards the back of the bus. Suddenly we go around a corner and the weight of my violin and book bag made me do a nice little swing around the front part of the bus and sent me crashing into the doors of the bus. How embarrassing. Others were amused though.
Amusing-ness didn't end there though. In my first class, there's almost 100 of us, we all had to sing gregorian chants together. Our history prof (trained and worked at Harvard as a musicologist) is actually very good at singing. In theory, we also had to "sing" but this was as part of an exercise to learn about the difference between durational, pitch, timbre, dynamic accents etc. as well as about rhythmic things and continuity and how to listen to a piece and distinguish between these many things.
The day ended off (I was at school from 7:30am-9:30pm last night and we get out early for the evening class) with the wonderful sightreading experience of.....Firebird. Oh. My. That piece is so hard to sightread and to play. I'd say roughly 2-4 of our 16 first violins were playing at any given time. We also sightread Les Preludes by Liszt. Not exactly friendly, "welcome back to school!" pieces to play when you haven't been doing big orchestra repertoire for a couple of years now.
Ah....fun. Oh yeah. We have to perform Firebird on October 5th along with two song cycles and the Les Preludes. I think my work is cut out for me.
I have a teacher!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!
My teacher this year will be Eugenia Choi. :)
Apparently 6:30 is the new 10am for me. Yay for early mornings. There's nothing like being forced to get up early to get you out of your old habits quickly! I've survived the introductions to music history, theory and musicianship. I've had the expectations for drama laid out, plain and clear (a play a week shouldn't be a problem should it? I mean, come on....that's only like....14 plays before exams begin. I've done my orchestra audition, signed up for my choir audition and staked out keys for practice rooms, a locker, paid my fees and am set to go. I still don't have a teacher though. Maybe tomorrow I'll get that email that says, "you're studying with so and so". I might check in with my student advisor just to be sure.
Since 6am is the new 10am, I should probably head off to bed!
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