September 2005

September 24, 2005 05:04

Well, we put away the Bach A minor for a bit longer. Mr. Neal's strategy is to pull it out, work on it very intensely, and then put it away to bring out some other time so we can bring it up to the next level. You just can't rush Bach, you know?
On the dark side, now I can't say I finished Book 7. But since I'm not really doing Suzuki anymore, I guess it's okay.

I was given the Kabalevsky yesterday and told I would really "dig" it. And I do! I started working out the notes/rhythms last night. I have a competition in January, and I think this will be the piece I perform! Man, that is such a cool piece!

We have another orchestra practice this week. I practiced really hard on the music, especially the Beethoven Seventh. Have any of you realized that the less you like the piece, the more you have to work on it? It's frustrating...

My brothers and Dad left for Chicago this morning, so now it's just me and my Mom alone in the house. I picked up some movies and I'm planning on just staying home and watching great flicks all day (hopefully in pajamas) Then I want to listen to "Madama Butterfly" because I got it from the library and I've read the plot. Who the heck gets married when they're fifteen? But anyways, I just need the libretto (preferably with an English translation).

Last night though, I had one of those "contemplating life" evenings. Vaughan William's Lark Ascending is good contemplation music. I have so much to think about in my personal life, my school life and my violin life. *sigh*

I'm off to movie out the day, y'all. Have a great and relaxing weekend!

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September 22, 2005 18:03

I had a good practice today. With my lesson tomorrow, I want my Bach Andante to sound beautiful. I think I've succeeded.
I also played around with Tchaikovsky's Canzonetta from THE Violin Concerto. Oh my gosh...that is one of the most divine pieces around!

My violin-caused wounds on my feet have now scabbed over. I'm trying to conceal them from everybody with bandaids, but it just isn;t working. *sigh*

Today, my dad and I got into a MASSIVE discussion about music and art and things. Man, when we get going, we get GOING! We ended up mixing math, science, theology, art, and music all into this big philosophical discussion. We covered what music was, why rock music is inferior to classical (it's harder to explain than you first think)...all kinds of stuff.

Now I'm off to type up my lab report for Biology and read some letters and then go to bed. Good night all!

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September 21, 2005 04:29

Well, Mr. Neal's scheduling idea worked.
I can now safely practice two-two and a half hours a day.
I found the GREATEST practice room on campus:
It's the drama club storage room.
It's a really echoey room, which I love, and the second mov. of the Bach A minor sounds SO pretty back there!
So I can practice there from 9:30 to 10:30 every morning, with my music propped up in my case, surrounded by costumes and scenery and boxes.

I was up studying again last night though.
That's the only problem with practicing a lot.

Oh, and I tripped on my violin backpack straps the other day, fell on the sidewalk, and lacerated my knees and feet. It's SO GROSS! My knees are pretty much scabbed over, but my feet are still...well...ripped up with gunk oozing out of them...

I have to pack a lunch now. Ta ta!

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September 16, 2005 14:57

Heck, having a violin teacher is like having another parent.

We had THE TALK.
The scheduling talk.

In other words, more practice, Natasha.
My assignment is to schedule my days out in advance and leave room for violin. Gonna have to take my violin in to school with me and practice there. But if I really want to exceed, I'll have to deal with the PAIN! :-)

On a brigher side, when I was finished, my tracher said "You sound fabulous, as always." That was nice. I always wonder how good I really am.

I found out some SCANDOLOUS information about my teacher;
He played electric guitar professionally in a rock band.
And graduated from Yale.
And his undergrad was psycology.
Which is what I want to do if I don't become a musician.
Maybe that's why we click.
Heck, we have so much fun together!


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September 15, 2005 15:32

I am very unique;
I don't like getting compliments on my playing.
Well, my teacher and conductor, I love compliments, but other people...I dunno. I never have. When I was five and had to play for my grandparents, I always asked them not to clap for me when I was done, cause it embaressed me.

To get to the point, I'm still being mobbed over that performance. I really can't believe it was THAT good, but I don't know...I haven't heard it.

I have lessons tomorrow, and I can't WAIT to show my teacher my octave etudes. They are VERY very good.

I have to run and order some new music now. Kreisler, kabalevsky, *drools* here I come!

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September 13, 2005 12:49

Back to my normal pace now; scales/arps, shifting exercises, etudes, Bach A min (GOT to finish that darn thing), Orchestra, string ensemble.

Our string ensemble has SEVEN concerts this year! And our teacher promoted me to principal second violinist! I'm really exited about that because, we get to play ALL originals (or as our teacher says "All originals except for the ones I've arranged...and those ARE original!"). The worst part about reading the music he arranges is that at least half of it (usually all of it) is a Xeroxed copy of hand written music, which has been clipped and glued onto our score with numerous arrows written over the music, showing us where to leap around.

He took the first (I think) movement of Death and Maiden (schubert) and condensed it into 5 minutes.

I'm going to have so much fun with it all this year! It's challenging but just SO cool!!! And I've printed out my supply of buisness cards, so I can promote myself with ease. I'm off to the practice room now. Ta ta!

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September 12, 2005 13:57

It actually was my best performance of that piece EVER!
I got there early and got ushered behind the stage to warm up. I've played there before, but as the first violinist in a quintet, never as a soloist. True to their word, there were sound and video wires EVERYWHERE and they streamed it all outside, where the students (and incredibly heat tolerant) people sat. We had a full house...a couple hundred (but not 3000 like I was told).
I was praying the whole time; before, during, and after performance. Nothing creative, just "Please God...please God, PLEASE GOD!"

So they finally had me play, and I played and it sounded awesome and a zillion people complimented me. I felt I didn't deserve it, ya know? Like, it was God playing, not me, cause I have never heard myself play so well.

My mom was all teary and my Dad was walking around all proud and everything. And my friend...Oh my gosh was he good! He was so great he got a standing ovation! He totally deserved that; he was in top form!

At the reception, I got mobbed by college students who couldn't believe I was only fourteen, yada Sam (my friend) said, it was like being a rock god.
It makes me feel so embaressed to have every Tom, Dick and Harry fawn over me though.

And Mr. Monaghan was there.

Any of you guys ever eat at Domino's pizza?
Well, he founded it!
He's, like, a billionaire. He's building the university my Dad works at (Ave Maria).
And he was listening to me play! Heck, every single big shot at the universtiy was there: the university president, provost, chaplain....EVERYBODY!

That was so cool.
And they took my picture and the guy said they might put it on the FRONT COVER OF THE NEWSPAPER!!!!
Oh moy goshgoshgosh! I am so HAPPY!!!

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September 10, 2005 12:39

I'm recovered.
No more freaking out.
After all, I get to wear my solo dress and get free promotion. Nothing to get freaked out over, right? Only three...thousand.......
Okay, who am I kidding.
I'm totally in "solo nervous breakdown mode".
I've practiced my piece *tons*(I have those little black ridges in my fingers) and I've been listening to that DIVINE Kabalevsky teacher was thinking along the right path when he pulled THAT out. I can't WAIT to play THAT with an orchestra!!! :-)

I'm going to go practice now.
So I feel more comfortable with the double stops of doom.
They really aren't that bad, but double-stops are my weakness, so I must work them until I could play them perfectly in tune in my sleep.
Those and the hemidemisemiquaver runs. Not that I need to practice them. I just like to do them.
They're kind of a cheap trick, but the inexperienced audience loved em. hehe.

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September 9, 2005 16:37

Ohhhhhh my gosh.
They're rigging outdoor speakers and TV screens to project the concert outside.
They're talking about broadcasting.
They're asking for bios.
They could be accused of robbing the cradle.
Sure, everyone thinks I look like I should be in college, but I'm just a kid, really.

My first lesson since last May was today.
I gave my teacher a big hug.
He gave me some music to order.
In the meantime, it's a prescription of sustaining my bow and bowing out to fix me up.
With a dose of Bach and Kreisler before diving into some kabalevksy. Anyone played that? I've never even heard of it...he wants me to learn that before Scene de Ballet.

My friend was trying to convince me to play a BIG concerto this year. Like Scottish Fantasy. He doesn't seem to understand that although I could learn the notes and technique, I would rather play it to MASTER it PERFECTLY.

Okay, signing off to listen to those beautiful gymnopedies by Satie. gotta love em.

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September 8, 2005 14:24

Oh my gosh.
What have I DONE?!
That benefit concert I'm playing at...well, I thought it was just going to be the university peoples watching me. You know, faculty, staff, benefactors...
Double Ha.
I've just been told that they're ADVERTISING this shindig on radio stations.
WINK news interviewed the leader of it all.
I am one out of four soloists performing.
I am the youngest, being fourteen.
I am so freaked.
Me, amdist the college students.
Playing La Folia, a piece I just pulled out to review last week.
And I'm going to be performing it for a crowd of anywhere from 500-3000 people.
I thought it was going to be SMALL.
And my accompaniest is...well...busy. And he can't rpactice the music as much as he should.
But I he'll be playing on the organ.

Corelli+electronic perfectly tuned organ=total coolness.

That's something they don't teach you in math.

Anyways, at the same time, I'm kind of...exhilarated. I have quite a resume going at my age. I can't help but thank God for all these opportunities that are coming my way.
Looking back, last year, I was ready to kill my violin and all the trouble it brought me. Now...I'm ready to kill myself for all the trouble I'm bringing my violin. ;-) Okay, so maybe not, but you get the picture.

If anyone wants me, I'll be here, contemplating life with Satie and his gymnopedie No. 3. That music is so beautiful it makes me want to cry. Every time.

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September 4, 2005 04:49

La Folia is coming along very nicely for that benefit concert. If I do say so myself, I have a good stage presence. I'm very tall as well which (although everywhere else is a pain) seems to look better on stage. But for a dramatic piece like La Folia, you really have to, you know, impress your audience by flinging your bow about, using body movement, etcetera. Always in moderate amounts though, and at appropriate times.

I remember seeing this one guy (forget who) perform (I forget what), and all I remember is how AWFUL his presence was! He was always walking while he played (this is with an orchestra, where the soloist isn't supposed to walk) and he almost knocked over the first violins stand! And it was SO distracting that (as you see) I have very little rememberence of anything else!

My finger was saved by my nailpolish yesterday. I was shaving and ran over my finger with the razor. Instead of takin off half of my nail on my violin hand, it took off the thick layer of polish I had smeared on the night before. I am SO grateful that wasn't my finger, or else I would've had to forgoe that benefit concert!

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September 1, 2005 13:31

Phew! I was just asked to play for a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at the university. The accompanist I had for my last compitition said he'd play with me, so we have our first practice.....tomorrow morning at eleven. I decided to play Corelli's La Folia. That's a good standard rep. piece and quite the crowd pleaser, especially if you whip your bow around. So on September 11th, I shall have church from 8-9, classes from 9-10, drop off my friend's bday present at the Phil before orchestra at the Phil, orchestra from 2-4:20, string ensemble from 4:30-5:20, then this concert from 8-10. Wow.

Hey, do any of you guys get aching knuckles after playing a fast piece? What do you all do?

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