June 2009

Smile :)

June 26, 2009 02:12

All of you know that there are many different stages in life.  Sometimes we are ready to change and enter a new stage, sometimes we struggle against it and want to keep things exactly the way they are. 

Right now, I am at another such change in my life.  For the last two years, I have been a teaching assistant at a Gymnasium in Germany, and in less than two weeks, its back to home for several weeks and then off to a different state for graduate school.  Am I ready for this change?  Not really.  I would very much like to stay here.  Two years is more than enough time to get settled in a place and make good friends.  And for me, living in Germany has been my life-long dream.  I studied abroad here several years ago, and the return to the US after studying abroad was one of the roughest times of my life.  What will it be like after being over here for 2 years?

These past several weeks have all been about saying goodbye and doing those things that I now take for granted that I won't be able to do in the US.  I will miss the people the most, and their approach to life.  I will miss the public transportation and taking a train to Berlin, the food, speaking German, my students and colleagues, my first violin teacher.  And, and, and.....

Yesterday was my last lesson with my teacher.  We have been preparing for her student recital for several months now and went over the piece that I am playing for the recital tomorrow.  For several lessons now, she has not made many comments, but yesterday, I was having trouble playing without tension because of all the stress from moving.  She stopped me in the middle of the piece and had me go back to play it again.  This time, I was to play it with a smile, no matter what.  So I did, grinning like a Cheshire cat through the whole piece.  And wouldn't you know, it worked.  Somehow most of the tension was gone and even I could hear the difference in sound.  I was even able to do vibrato in first position first finger G string, which I've never been able to do before.  What a difference a smile can make.

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