Who would have thought that finding a viola teacher would be so difficult? Almost every teacher in the area seems to be either fully scheduled, or only teaches up to intermediate level. After many calls and e-mails, I finally found a teacher - Tayva Turner. To my pride and dismay she said that I was really to advanced for her to teach me much and recommended me to another teacher. However, she will take me on for a few months to work on my vibrato and refine my technique with the new viola.
She recommended that I try Joël Belgique. He is the principal violist in the Oregon Symphony. I e-mailed him, and got a response today. He may have an opening for me come fall. (crossing fingers)
Here he is
Orchestra practice was tonight and the first night I got to show off the new man in my life on my arm :) He played beautifully but he did not like the modern music so much. He had fun with Motzart skipping like a child through the piece. He has a much stronger dominating sound than the old man. He also taught me why the Widow was so Merry! His older brother is also in the orchestra. They had a fun time visiting tonight.
He is so much larger than my old man that my back started getting sore after having him on my arm after an hour. It will take some time for our relationship to develop. I feel like I'm cheating on my old man, sitting at home alone and not being taken out. There is a teenage prodigy in our orchestra who has a boyfriend who is way too small for her. I'm going to let her take my old man out for awhile so he won't get lonely and she can see what it is like to be with someone larger. I can't let him go though since I've had him in my life for so long. All his scars hold fond memories for me. He is a centurian by now, and I recently gave him a face lift so he looks younger than he really is.
Unfortunately, the batteries on my camera died tonight, so you all will have to wait tomorrow to see him.
Well, I did it! 2 bits of news...
First - I made an offer on a house and it was accepted today. Yipee! Closing is May 30th. So big it will feel empty for a long time since I'm coming from a house more than half the size of this one. Skylights all over the place, high ceilings, and .... a hot tub :) Great house and even better acoustics.
Which is good, because I bought a new viola today! It is a 16" John Hill made in the last year. Sounds great in both the lower and upper registers. So resonant, I can feel the vibrations in my bones. I'm so happy I can hardly put it down long enough to do laundry. I tried several instruments that were at the show and this one I just couldn't put down. It will take awhile for our relationship to develop, since he is so much bigger than the old man. But boy can he sing!
After moving up here to Oregon, I have been having a supprisingly hard time finding a viola teacher. It isn't because there are few viola teachers out here - there are quite a number. But because that they seemed to be all booked full for advanced players! This is a new one for me.
Luckily, I got referred to a teacher in the area who has a time slot availble on Saturday afternoons which is perfect for me with my work schedule. I spoke with her a bit tonight and we are scheduling a "meet and greet" session this coming week. This would include a short lesson and discussion period to make sure our "fit" is right. I am so happy and excited! I've been looking for a teacher up here for about 2 months!
Tomorrow I go house hunting, and Sunday is viola hunting at a local handcrafted musical instrument show at the University. Hopefully by the time the weekend is over, I will have a new home (pending close of escrow), a new instrument chosen (if not actually purchased), and a new teacher. Woohooo!
I got a call this evening from my real estate agent - I got on offer on the house!!! WIPPEEE! Escrow is scheduled to close on the 25th of May. So, shopping starts again...
Firstly - for a new home with a good practice/music room (yes - I take my viola house hunting with me). I test the stairway, kitchen, office area, living room and entry way for good acoustics, lighting and ambiance. Oh, and a decent sized back yard so I can practice outside in the summer and hopefully not annoy the neighbors too much (great way to overcome stage fright btw).
Secondly - viola shopping starts again. I got the names of a few places from fellow violists in my orchestra and also found out about a convention of sorts for musical instrument makers in the next few weeks. Gotta check it out! I think I'll get a 15 1/2" or 16". I did try out a 16 1/2" but that was WAY to big.
Oh yeah - also need to find a teacher in the area now as well.
Just got finished with orchestra practice tonight. The fingerings I worked out work sooooo much better at concert tempo. I can now keep up with the principle violist. Sorta proud of myself on that one! The tuba moved back a bit, but now I'm sitting next to the basoons. It's still a bit hard to hear myself to tell if I'm in-tune or not. Maybe if I tilted my head a bit more - but I'm afraid of getting twisted out of shape. We'll see.
Well, I finally did it. I went to my first orchestra rehearsal tonight, and played - sort of. Since I'm new I'm all the way in the back (viola section) by myself wedged between the bassist and tuba player. I have no idea if I played in tune or not since I couldn't hear myself at all. I got lost a few times. It seems like everyone else managed to find more time to practice than I did. Most of the pieces I played for the first time tonight.
I asked the principal violist if I could move up a row to sit with the other two in front of me for awhile so I can get back into the groove of playing with others again. I was a bit suprised that everything was played at tempo the first time around. Some of the pieces are difficult in sections - odd rhythms and higher positions (6th on up - rare for the viola part).
But, I'm not giving up! I did expect I would be a bit lost at first. We'll see if I change my tune (pun intended) over the next few weeks.
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