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Mendy Smith

An Afternoon with Jose

January 27, 2008 at 4:38 AM

I had an absolutely amazing experience this afternoon. Jose, my former stand-partner at HSO (she is in my bio pic - the shorter of the two) came over for an afternoon coaching session. She graduated from Julliard many many years ago and has a life-time of experiences that most of us can only dream of. She wanted to share with me what she has learned over the years to help me prepare for my next concerto competition, and just be a better musician overall.

We shared an afternoon that really opened my eyes on so many different levels. I got her "secret trick" to overcoming performance anxiety - really simple when you start thinking about it. She helped me learn HOW to practice all over again, almost like a "Study Hall" in High School. My teacher has taught me new techniques, given me homework assignments and recommendations on how to practice, Jose helped me how to take those new techniques, homework assignments and practice recommendations and apply them at home on my own practice time by myself - an extension-course of sorts. I also have one more tool in my toolbox to help me practice vibrato and those dreaded 32nd note runs, and more hope that my 1st finger vibrato in 1st position will finally come out of the box that its in.

Best of all, I got to spend a wonderful afternoon with an amazing woman and musician that was willing to share her time and experience with me this Saturday afternoon.

Thanks Jose!!!!!

From Terez Mertes
Posted on January 27, 2008 at 4:57 PM
I always wondered who that was in the bio pic with you!
From Mendy Smith
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 6:00 AM
http://www.juilliard.edu/alumni/spotlight_jose.html

And to think, she's now playing in my little community orchestra in her "retirement" years. I feel so lucky to have crossed paths with her!

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