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Jessica Hung

Into the swing of things...

January 30, 2006 at 5:11 AM

This is definitely one of the hardest semesters I've had to juggle in college, but I'm holding up well so far. Among other things, I'm taking two theory classes, Form & Analysis and 18th-Century Counterpoint; a music history class, Chamber Literature; and 2nd-year German. My German professor is from Munich and knows all the ins and outs of the language, of course, and as we have a class size of a whopping three students, she's able to help us with our accents and pronunciation more than she could otherwise. I'm much more comfortable writing, but I know that if I ever visit Germany or Austria someday, the conversation will be what counts.

I've reached a small milestone in that I can now sometimes predict fingerings and bowings Mr. Preucil will suggest to me. That tells me that I'm becoming a little more integrated into his style of teaching and understanding better his interpretations. It's also just helpful when I'm fingering/bowing a new piece myself and know, for example, that he'll want a certain passage commonly played on the A string on the D string instead, for color. Having studied with Mr. Ribeiro for the previous eight or so years, this is in some respects my first major teacher change, and while I still have some adjusting to do, virtually all my lessons are really engaging, and I hope the new perspective is giving me a wider palette of colors, sounds, and characters to choose from.

As things are now getting even busier with my recital in three weeks, I'm changing my practicing strategy. Thus far I've been doing good work but it's been so painstakingly detailed that for one thing, I don't touch all of my repertoire frequently enough. Particularly with excerpts, I now have to switch to simply running them, even or especially when cold, and learning to focus more quickly and be more comfortable getting through them. I generally indulge myself and stop at the first mistake to work, or play the opening a few times until it settles in, when I know better--auditions are a one-shot deal (unless perhaps you're asked to play the whole excerpt again faster, which is apparently a good sign, but certainly not relaxing). So my goal this week is to hit all seven excerpts every day, in between some orchestra, quartet, sonata rehearsals with pianists, and class.

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