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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

How to find musical emersion post-graduation?

May 5, 2007 at 12:26 AM

I have been evaluating my level of involvement with the music community and world this week (and I end up here again)! He he. No, I mean, can I sustain my hunger and motivation for music and the arts if I'm not involved in an orchestra or musical setting? Am I becoming apathetic and disconnected?

And I have come to the conclusion that I personally need a little bit of outside influence to keep myself rooted in faithful practice and dilegent personal education. And seeking out things to fill my senses with. Sometimes all it takes is an article in the New York Times to rev me up. Sometimes it takes a weekend of symphony rehearsal.

The reason this comes to question is partly because symphony season is over. And partly because of a comment I recieved that turned my world inside out. And I asked myself, how do I replace the college atmosphere which is so jamm-packed with experiences and stress and performing and the real life setting? Is it natural to do that anyway? Where is the line for what is appropriate to what I am now? What are real limitations, and what are just fears. And how do I get that involved feeling on my own.

So it has happened. I'm dusting off paganini, which I never really was able to get into as a performance lit. And I'm reading. And listening. And seeing how much my ears had forgotten about quality. I'm listening to my recitals and thinking both good and bad things. I got out the video cam and am watching myself play, astounded that I have not lost the quest for detailed perfection in my playing. I had just become somewhat disinterested for a period of time. I can, however, be connected to music and art from an inner desire...but it must be gently nudged into manifestation.

It is almost like a switch. From being overly concerned with other matters throughout the being overly concerned with musical matters throughout the day. Even if my performance schedule does not necessarily reflect my effort, who cares?

I suppose the REAL question boils down to...which is more important. Culture, or survival? Do we educate ourselves for purpose or pleasure? And I'd forgotten that culture and pleasure are a reason for survival and all that comes between.

Yes,it is much much harder when not completely surrounded by academia, when not automatically emmersed in music history, theory, and concerts. I must close my eyes some days and remember what a normal day back then entailed. And how I'd drive an hour or more to see a recital at another college. Or a piano concert. How I appreciated and digested the instruction and ensemble rehearsals/coachings.

So if I miss all that so much, then it is my responsibility to re-create it outside of the institution. I've been graduated now for about three years. I've learned how to have very boring and ininvolved days in that time.

Illness takes music away in such unanticipated ways. Puts emphasis on different aspects of life. It takes time to regain an old way of looking and thinking of things and weave it into the comfortable way living has become. Comfortable, yes....but happy?

Not to say that the continual emmersion in musical things causes happiness. It didn't then, and it won't now. But maybe I can use what I've learned about happiness in those three years and now bring music to IT, instead.

Musings for a pre-practice mind.
As for paganini....what is a good one to start with? I remember working on number 5 and 11. Should I pick up with those, or is there something in the volume that might be an easier beginning point? FOr a professional who at the moment for some reason doesn't feel so professional and wants to feel like a student professional of the highest degree (devotion and dedication-wise, that is).

-Jennifer Warren

From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on May 5, 2007 at 2:46 AM
5 and 11 are very hard. The chords in 11 are quite challenging, and the fast section really isn't that easy. I'd start with 16, then move on to 14, then go to 13.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 5, 2007 at 11:02 AM
What about joining/forming a chamber group, or busking, while the symphony season is over? You've said you have students, is there a recital to prepare for?

I was never as immersed as you or many on this site, but my perspective feels different. It seems to me as if the potential to be immersed in music is almost limitless, as if it will suck you in if you're not careful to keep a bit of yourself out, just for yourself.

From jennifer steinfeldt warren
Posted on May 5, 2007 at 5:56 PM
Thank you, peter. I worked on 5 and 11 last night and I felt became quite frantic with them. I'll try 16 this afternoon.

I don't currently have students that I'm teaching...I'm trying to start a studio and have some prospective students from someone who is leaving town. But it isn't solidified yet. I have had many good teaching experiences in the past, with a lot of students who will stay in a special place of my mind forever. I'm hoping to get back into the teaching swing.

Yes, we must always hold a little of our person outside of music, realizing that there is a seperate meaning in the critisism of our music (it isn't critcism of our soul).


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