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Mendy Smith

Lesson Blog & School

January 23, 2009 at 5:25 AM

First, the lesson Blog.  Today's lesson started with something very interesting and unique, seeing a viola d'Amore and actually attempting to play it!  I've never seen one before, let alone play one.  This instrument has7 (yes, 7) strings that are played, plus a set of "sympathetic strings" underneath the ones you play, and the body of the instrument is very thick.  It was fun listening to Joel attempt to play one of the Bach Suites on it.  It sounded alot like me learning to play a new piece:  "Darn, Darn!!!  Oh Geeze!!!  What is that note again?  Where is that note?...."  It was a most unusual instrument with a very interesting sound.

After the fun was over, we got to work, back on the Bloch again.  I was able to play it through uninterrupted by my teacher, except for one section.  But instead of a correction, that interruption was to give me a compliment!!!  It was a section that I had a difficult time with before and spent much  time practicing it.  Then, onto the nose-bleed section...  He didn't stop me until I completed the piece this time, but we went back and worked that nose-bleed section several times.  It is to be played much faster than how I have been practicing it, however with a little work in tonight's lesson, I was keeping up with him (with a few wrong notes...).  What is it about F#'s anyway?

In other news, I've been in conctact with one of the local private universities about going for a Mus Ed degree.  The response and support I've recieved from both the Music Director and Admissions office has been amazing!  I don't ever recall getting this amount of personal attention when I was in college in the late '80's & early '90's.  I've nearly completed my online application, and will be sending off for my college transcripts this weekend.  We are going to try to make a world record in processing this in 2 weeks.  This will be very interesting...

Stay tuned...

From Tess Z
Posted on January 24, 2009 at 3:11 AM

Mendy, it is interesting to hear about your experience returning to college.  I have been met with the same open arms and enthusiasm as you.  I too was at first taken aback by it.  In my previous college days, I was a number and nothing more.  My advisor never remembered my first name without looking at my record.  I always had to call ahead and make an appointment to see him, same with professors.  Not the case where I am now.  My professors are always willing to talk after class no matter how many students have questions.  It truly is a learning environment.

My first education was received at a large state U.  This time I am at a small  liberal arts college.  The experience has been night vs day.   It is giving me reason to reconsider sending my kids to the same state U as we've always planned.

Enjoy the journey.

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