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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

May 29, 2005 at 8:08 PM

I think that perhaps today I will not practice, and give my day to doing nothing but reading, sleeping, laying in bed, petting the cat, playing on the internet, and hopefully getting around to watching "Phantom of the Opera", which needs to be sent back soon. The reason for this decision is because yesterday I spent no less than two hours trying to practice. To get started. But I was so physically wound up and mentally "something?" that I could not control my playing. It was so wild and uncontrolled that my bow was slipping, I could not hit any chords, the Dvorak was really wild, I could feel my left hand in supervibrato mode and careening all over the fingerboard. I could not even HEAR pitches, and forget about anything being in tune. I took twenty minutes in the middle trying to tune my violin with a tuner and couldn't even hear the intervals then. My hands were shaking, my body was like wire chords, and my mind was whirling and fast. I kept trying harder and harder to relax. I tried doing the Ciaconne, thinking I needed something sombre and relaxed instead of concerti to put my body down...but everything just seemed so loud. Sometimes when I play, my right ear buzzes. This has been going on for about six years. I can ignore it well, but it was quite distracting yesterday. I have TMJ and attribute it to that and possibly just the time of day and certain frequencies and overtones. I ended up really frustrated and out of sorts. All I wanted to do was work on my music, but I couldn't work on anything. I was spending every minute trying to tune notes and get the bow straight and not squeek and be loud...I don't know. It might have sounded fine, but my perception was all off. So I think I need a day of rest. My life has been stressful lately. Well, no it hasn't, it has been quite void of stress, but I've been stressing about where it is going and what I'm doing with it and the "big" questions of life. Struggling with health insurance fears and wondering if I can sustain myself through a job. I get depressed and then I am estatic when something works out and then I worry that I've made some mistake and it will come back to haunt me. Mostly I'm just wound up. I snapped at my husband. I'd appologized earlier in the day for not being able to sit still and being on edge, and he said "no you're not" but when I got mad at him, he said that then he accepted my apology. I need to chill out. I don't know why I'm so hyper and upset and worried. If it is life or just brain chemicals. Whatever it is, I am going to use music to fix it. And for today that means not practicing and studying the raw enjoyment of listening to it and noticing music in the things we do each moment instead of trying so hard to create its presence. Anyhow. I really enjoy reading everyone else's blog entries. It keeps me connected. I like to get little photosnaps of people's lives. To realize that the best violinists and the ametures all have the same plights and that invariably we are human with the same things to work through and deal with on a daily basis. Some are more emotional and some are more cerebrial. But all is on a foundation made of the same stuffs. I wonder what I'd be writing sometimes if I hadn't been taken down a certain personal/mental path. I don't know why or how that is. Sometimes I feel as if I do it to myself. But nevertheless, a section of my life involves having certain symptoms that I cannot share, but kind of like to relate with in these pages. There are others of you out there, I know. The main stress behind all this, I guess, is what I am capable of. The government labels me as disabled and permanantly and seriously (or somethign like that) mantally I don't mind that. I need their help. But it is confusing. On paper I seem so competant and successful. But no occupation seems able to go with me. Make allowances and understand. Except for the academic world and the subculture of mental health which I try to not be so much a part of but where I feel at home when I'm really sick. The suit that fits me best is that of a violinist. My own inside, my own outside. I love to teach. I just have to figure out how that will work practically speaking. Private teaching has been a saviour for me. There is nothign in the world that can replace the mentor/student relationship. Learning at both ends. It revitalizes me and pulses life through my veins. I am always and forever a student, but at times I feel things making sense when I'm teaching someone else. It just feels so right. So. I'm learning and studying on my own right now. Getting back up with my French. Gobbling up things on instruments and how to fix them. Reading philosophy and getting into governments of other countries and how they work. Learning about anatomy. I can't wait to take classes again.
From Jonathan Stuchell
Posted on May 30, 2005 at 9:32 PM
How's the piano tuning going?
Do you have one at home you can work on?

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