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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

Struggling with the chair, Hating the stand.

December 14, 2006 at 4:52 PM

Well, today I am a violinist again. I decided yesterday to pretend I was not. I kind of missed it, kind of felt guilty, and kind of enjoyed the relaxation from the constant worry of getting music prepared.

I know I write a lot about taking breaks and a few days off. It is right for me, though. I have had enough burn outs and intense years to know that it is not necessarily important to work as hard as I can every-single-day.

Though, reading discussions, I am aware that there needs to be more focus on technique and disciplined thought surrounding my instrument throughout the day.

It is really hard to keep that up in the midst of orchestral work.

Sometimes I think that my playing suffers from so many rehearsals and performances, but other times, it gives me a good time and space to experiment without too much attention drawn to it. I've been experimenting with hand positions and body positions and vibrato during rehearsals.

I think, though some of my technique needs a serious upgrade and re-thought and work-through, the most important thing right now is to correctly position myself for long rehearsals. I've always been the one with my chair turned to the side, sitting with my scroll facing the music. It looks odd and so I've been adjusting. Now I'm coming full circle, back to what causes less pain instead of what looks correct.

There is a problem there, though. Many times there are limitations of space in a performing space, and cramped playing conditions in which I cannot spread out and be comfortable. So that needs to be taken into consideration as well.

Blah blah. It's funny. I used to get up before dawn and go practice in the school.
Now I don't feel like the practice day can really get started until about noon.

Mostly because I used to practice without my brain ready. Half-asleep practicing was o.k. Now I don't even think it is worth it unless I'm totally ready and awake and in full-day-gear.
Growing older, perhaps....FOR SURE!!!


From Richard Hellinger
Posted on December 15, 2006 at 5:33 AM
I know about the space limitations. You would think that all these places that invite orchestras to play in would ensure adequate space for the orchestra.

I just played in the nutcracker at the Ithaca State Theater. They gave us a Pit of 30' wide by 10' deep. We had to fit nearly 65 musicians and percussionists in there. And they got snotty when we asked to sit up against the first row of seats, because they sold them.. Crazy. I was so uncomfortable I barely even played. I almost took out a flautist's eye with my bow, And the flutes aren't even supposed to be near the Firsts!

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