July 2005

July 17, 2005 15:37

Tried some old fiddlin' tunes. The realtives tend to look more favorably on Old Joe Clark than Tchaikowsky. Shows just how cultured *that* side of the family is...I have vivid memories of playing the Seitz and Long Long Ago for a family reunion. LLA got a standing ovation.

So anyways, I'm tried to study up on teaching tips. This school year, I want to sit in on my bro's teacher's lessons and then tutor her students through the summer when she's gone. I'm nervous like heck though...

Vacation is just five blessed days away! It's funny...I spend all school year wishing it were summer, and then all summer, I'm writing out schedules/working/ordering school books for the next school year. Hopefully, this year I can fit in a Christmas break. Last year (freshman year) I had a grand total of five days off the whole bleepin' time. Stupid school.

I just found out that I can get my permit when I'm 14 nine months!!! (Just hear say, so don't quote me on this) so I could get me permit in December! Mom isn't too thrilled though...seems to think once one can drive, one starts doing...uh...*other* things in cars. At least, that was the impression she gave me.

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July 14, 2005 13:08

I FINALLY had a good practice! No, a GREAT practice! My fourth finger is killing me after doing all the scales in octaves (that's so cool!) but I am SO psyched now. I'm polishing Orange Blossom Special for my relatives in WI when I go up for vacation...I've got a wicked fast choo-choo goin' my friends!

Sorry, I guess I sound a bit demented. I'm so totally mentally READY for ANYTHING now, though. *gives self high-five* You GO girl!

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July 10, 2005 07:38

I'm in one of my practice slumps. I just don't sound good. I want my teacher! :-P

Oh, last night the local radio station played the MOST AWESOME VERSION of Night on Bald Mountain!!! Oliver Knussen conducting the Cleveland Orchestra playing Leopold Stokowski's arrangement. *drools*. To die for...to DIE for!
So I spent an hour on the net trying to find it on CD. I finally found it on Arkivmusic.com. Must...have...

Okay. I'm off to finish this Risk game I started last night with my family.
Say hello to the new world conquerer.

Natasham, magnam filam, laudbimus.

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July 9, 2005 04:53

It's so frustrating when you go back to review and you can't play some of the pieces. Several very important/good pieces in Book Five, I never polished due to the fact that my teacher didn't push me at all, and I was in a state of violin hatred in my youth (which only subsided about three years ago). So now, I'm polishing Book Five. It's both embaressing and humiliating to have to skip down from Book Seven/Eight to relearn pieces. I can play the Bach A minor better than the Vivaldi Concerto in G minor. Looking back at my book, I can't believe some of the fingerings my previous teacher had me do; no wonder I had so much trouble with it! I remember that being the only piece other than the Bach Double to ever truly utterly frustrate me for longer than a half an hour. And now I must redo.

So for all those teachers out there...PLEASE never breeze through a Book, regardless if the student has changed violin sizes. S/he will later curse your memory.

Stupid hurricane's moving in too. The cone they show on TV makes it look like nothing will happen to Florida, but one has only to look at the satellite pictures to see the truth; pretty much half of the nasty swirly thing of terror is expected to hit the gulfside---which is right where I live of course.

Okay. I'm done venting my frustration on all you innocent victims of my writage. Have a nice day!

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July 7, 2005 14:30

A conductor I had used to say that as musicians, it was our duty to play beautifully; that our music was our contribution to world peace. Well, there's a heck of a lot of beautiful music out there, and yet there are still these awful terrorist attacks.

And of course, there's this Hurricane Dennis. I moved down to Florida last year, when all the nasty storms hit, so I'm not as worried as I was when I had my first encounter with hurricanes. Being in Naples, the hurricane is usually senile by the time it sweeps by us. But there's always that horrid chance that it could veer suddenly and wipe us out. I'm so glad violins don't need electricity to run. If we get caught in the storm, I'm going to sit here and fiddle for a few hours. The worst part about hurricanes is that things get cancelled; last year, my first orchestra practice got cancelled, and then the day of, it wasn't even raining! Argh!

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July 6, 2005 14:13

Well I sorta practiced today. I say sorta, because my mind was totally on other things; like Latin. May it be fried. I had/have several hours of assignments to wade through and with an answer key dotted with errors, an uncooperative Latin counselor, two siblings, and the smell of freshly laid paint wafting though our house, it's hard to concentrate on anything else.

On a brighter note, I finally found a way to lay my claws on some sheet music for playing Cuckold Comes Out of the Amery from Master and Commander. I downloaded the trial version of that program that slows music down, planning to copy the notes onto paper.
Unfortunately, the trial version only lets you slow a certain amount of music.
So I downloaded ANOTHER program to cut the mp3 into little bits. So I feed each bit into the slower-upper, slow it down, and then copy the notes. It's actually going quite well.

Ah yes. I found my old piano books...FINALLY. You know how things are after you move. But anyways...I need the books cause I'm going to be helping out a friend of mine before he takes keyboard at a college.

So that's my musical adventure for today. Thanks for reading my boring life!

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July 5, 2005 14:22

Shoot me; I didn't practice.
I had to get my hair cut (the idiot who trimmed me last time cut it crooked) and then I went to the library, and then I spent a few hours trying to find sheet music for "Cuckold Comes out of the Amery" from Master and Commander. I did not succeed. One would think that with great music like that, they'd have a sheet music collection. But NO! Not even a stray MIDI file to convert. *mumbles*
I've been listening to Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez today. I LOVE the Adagio. The one Rodrigo wrote at night when he couldn't sleep from worrying about his ill wife. Very VERY pretty.
I was very un-American yesterday and refrained from playing any patriotic tunes for our neighbors. I feel that NO STRING PLAYER (not even violists) should have to stand the torment of playing Sousa. Am I alone on this? I mean, come on...Stars and Stripes was written for band not orcehstra. I've had to suffer that one just a few too many times (including an obnoxious rendition of "Jingle Bells Forever"...need I explain?)
So the most American thing i played was Orange Blossom Special. Gotta love that one. The only problem is that my copy (it's a score, actually...comes with a banjo, guitar, and bass) is 12 pages long. It makes for a lot of page turns. Either that or you lay it out on top of the piano and dance around it.
And then I polished mio babbino caro (*cough* uh, yeah, my violin) so now my bedroom aka Cell 27 (Count of Monte Christo) or *THE LAIR* smells like...well, we all know what polish smells like. But the saleslady told me "The smellier the gunk, the better it works." Hm.
So, yeah, that's my blog for today. Have a nice Fourth recuperation day you all!

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July 4, 2005 15:21

AHAHAHA! I have FINALLY made some progress on the accursed Bach A minor. Don't get me wrong; 'ts a great piece, but I'm relearning it because I improved so much last year. And I never REALLY got it down pat.
Gave myself a big pat on the back today, though. It just SOUNDED good and it felt like I was improving. This doesn't happen very often, so I am, like SO thrilled!

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July 2, 2005 05:41

I'm FINALLY back from summer camp!!!
For anyone interested in a relatively short (albeit intense) camp for highschoolers, I highly reccomend Sound Encounters in Kansas. It would make a good first camp for junior high schoolers as well.
Today, I think I'll work on Orange Blossom Special. I keep seeing opportunities where I could perform it...all I have to do is tune my double stops a bit and pick up the speed.
I was forced to play solo at our dinner party the other night. I despise being asked to play out of the blue. People think that once you perform with an orchestra, you have the ability to pull out any song you have learned and play it for entertainment upon request. However, almost the opposite is true; once you have established your reputation as a decent violinist, you are hesitant in performing anything not polished to perfection, lest your reputation be muddied. So I just performed the Gigue and Courante from Bach's Suites for Solo Cello (I knew I could breeze through those) and then finished with a Mozardian Minuet. They were a tough crowd to please, and I suspect that should I ever perform again for them, I should have some sort of virtuostic piece ready to play (like the Monti Csardas, or some sort of Kreisler piece...one of those "musical bon bons".
Practicing without a teacher to motivate you over the summer is so difficult though. It's harder to motivate yourself to do things well. So I'm attemtpting different approaches at playing. For the next few weeks, I'm going to practice in the way Heifetz devotees recommend; focus on technique and play lots of technical exercises. I'm getting bored spending a half hour solely on scales, though, so we'll see how long I can keep this up.

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