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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

Cosmic Shifts (not on the violin)

June 23, 2007 at 5:04 PM

I've spent this past week on a roller-coaster of hopes, fears, relief and more fears concerning my computer. I had everything backed up on an external drive, but if my computer truly was dead, then I can't afford to just go out and buy another one....especially with the sound card and extra stuff I've been treated to over the years.

My husband is a genius. It took two total re-installs of Windows and clean starts...and a day with teh computer in parts around the room with Michael working on them (at one point I thought it looked vaguely like a car mechanic as he was upside down on his back under the with a flashlight looking up into the motherboard). First the battery was dead, which I was so proud of myself for being able to both purchase and take the old one out and put the new one in and reset the computer. But the second time was more intense. One of my three drives was bad and a cable was worn out. Luckily we have spare parts in a big drawer. I spent the day yesterday re-installing all my programs and formatting my equipment.

After all that I didn't feel like practicing at all.

It is strange because I had a few weeks of really motivated practice and very detailed work on things. I got a WOLF and FINALLY found a shoulder rest that works and fits! I loved the Kaplan shoulder horn, but had difficulties shifting as they weren't very stable on the back of my instruments. I was hopping with excitement after trying it on the violin (it is a viola one, but actually fits on my violin better) because I didn't have to make any un-natural squeeze to hold the instrument in place. It was as if I was just standing there...normal position and the violin just happened to fit exactly to where my shoulder and neck and jaw are. It was really exciting because it changed a LOT of the movements I was needing to do before that I dont have to now. THe fact still remains that if I'm stressed out, I manage to squeeze and tense anyway, using the old movements...but they aren't necessary and I just have to tell myself to breathe in and out a few times and let myself just be. With the violin there. Mostly the upbows are affected. And, well, my hunched, rounded, posture is remedied!

So...for weeks it was glorious playing (before the rest came it started, but then got even better). All I wanted to do was practice all day long.

And now....this week I have to force myself to play and practice. Can't focus. Spend more time preparing to practice than actually doing it. What changed? Oh....life did. In subtle, little ways. ANd a few days that were really full.

So I've decided that as a musician who isn't on tour and concertizing soloistically for a living...but one that is professional...I have to realize that life is sometimes really full. THat not every day can be spent with three hours of practice. That some days schedules don't allow it. That getting in one hour is o.k. It works out in the end. And being stressed out about not doing "enough" or being dedicated like I "should" be, just ruins the whole thing. Because thinking like that was what caused the subtle shift from being excited and thrilled with my instruments and music..not enough time in the day to do what I wanted...to having long tiring hours of arguing with myself whether or not I'd actually get anything done.

So. Less shoulds. Can't worry about things that haven't happened to my violin yet. and...keep all the important things in life (besides music) going relatively smoothly and the music will be there on its own by the nature that got me into music in the first place.

Yea. So. I'm back.
Jennifer

From Terez Mertes
Posted on June 26, 2007 at 2:50 PM
Well put. I think I'll copy your words and post them on my bathroom mirror. The violin/motivation stuff, that is. Not the computer mess. Ugh. My sympathies there!

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