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Mendy Smith

Joining the Ranks

January 28, 2009 at 4:54 AM

After reading several discussion threads I realized that I've now entered the ranks of other music students preparing for a college audition.  What to play?   How to prepare? You mean that the audition is a month away?!?!?!

WOW!  I've been studying the Bloch for about a month.  It is the only piece that I've been studying recently that qualifies as a concerto piece, but I haven't played it with a pianist yet.  I have quite a bit of Bach under my belt so to speak as well, so it is a matter of choosing an appropriate movement.  (I've already put in a plea for help with my current teacher).

This evening I began filling out the scholarship application...

Current school?  Hehehe... none... I'm a working adult

Private study years - How to do this?  Ok, split it up...  4 years as a "child" (1970 what???) and 5 as an adult

Music I'm performing now in "school" orchestra - I crossed out school and wrote "amateur" above it.   There was barely enough space to write in all that I'm currently playing in orchestra.  Good thing I'm not in 2 orchestras like I was last season!

What ensembles I participated in and for how many years - this time there was NOT enough space, and listed them out on the back of the page.  It wasn't until I listed each orchestra/ensemble I've participated with, mostly in the past few years, did I realize exactly HOW much of my time is dedicated to music!!!

Solo / Ensemble Contests - Hey!!!  I can actually list a recent one here!!! 


This is becoming more exciting than I would have thought at first.  However that little bit about an audition has me shivering in my boots.  Well, I competed once before with only 2 months preparation, so what is one month with a piece I'm more comfortable with?  Oh yeah, I have to still learn the second movement, play it with a pianist at least once, and still have the Bach to perform....



From Paul G.
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 5:47 AM

I'm enjoying reading about this. Maybe at your expense? ;)

It's showing me a glimpse of what I'll be experiencing so soon... Interesting. As I've said earlier, best of luck.

From Mendy Smith
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 9:24 AM

I just found out that I will not have a job tomorrow, so this auditon for scholarship funds means more than it ever did before.  I am single and support myself.  If I am to "re-train" myself in a new career,  it is on my own dime with hopefully some support from the government. 

I have a bit of time before my "nest egg" dries up.  I can only hope that I will make it through this time until I switch careers.  Hopefully by that time I will have earned my 2nd degree and be able to support myself again.  I'm just thankful at this point that I have a skill playing viola that may earn me a scholarship.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Whoa, I'm floored here. When I saw, "Joining the ranks," I thought, pessimistically, that it was about your losing your job, like so many others in high tech, and then you went on to say that it was regarding those considering colleges. And that was a relief. But then I saw the line you later added below as a reply.  Oh, Mendy! : (  I'm so sorry. I don't know if you saw my blog, a few months back, that my husband lost his job. And, as you surely know, the semiconductor industry is just on the floor, in little pieces, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. So, oh, jeez. You have my sympathies. But you know what? If you can afford the equation, there's never been a BETTER time to invest (literally and figuratively) in advanced studies. Because it sure beats the futility of trying to seek out a high tech job (broad statement there - some ppl are hiring, I know, just not where my husband's looking) in this economic climate.

So. Here's sending you positive thoughts, and dang, hope you can get that scholarship, and focus on music - I just know something like that will prove to be your saving grace here, when you look back, ten years from now, on this time. And I know that a lot of times, there are good higher-learning options in conjunction with receiving unemployment benefits. The last time my husband was out of work, he was able to extend his benefits by 6 months by enrolling on a certificate program offered by UC Santa Cruz, I think it was. It was a good thing on many levels.

Hang in there! I'm thinking of you! : /

From Marianne Hansen
Posted on January 28, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Mendy, I'm really sorry you're having this tough time with the job.  I think you'll come out OK, too, but right now, I just want you to know I'm thinking about you!


From Tess Z
Posted on January 29, 2009 at 3:37 AM

So sorry about your job, Mendy.  I hope everything works out for you.   Besides unemployment, will you receive any severance pay or financial aid for displaced workers?  I am especially keen to know how you come out on the scholarship.   Hang in there. 

From Mendy Smith
Posted on January 29, 2009 at 5:39 AM

I did get a severance package, which is helpful.  Today I learned much about unemployment benefits.  You CANNOT go to school while on unemployment UNLESS you qualify for retraining programs.  Those programs are designed to "quickly" gain new skills, and not necesarily a degree.  However, you can (at least in the state of OR), complete a degree if you have 48 credits remaining. 

When talking with the unemployment office about the school thing, they said that the problem is in having a fixed class schedule, which means you would not be available for work, but with on-line classes this is NOT a problem.  So after a little research I discovered that Oregon State University has quite an extensive web-based/on-line degree program - which includes several degree program options from Education, Enironmental Sciences, to a Geographic Information Systems Certificate - all which sound quite interesting...

Now what to choose?????

From Terez Mertes
Posted on January 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM

>with on-line classes this is NOT a problem. 

Yup, this was what my husband went for last time. Good luck to you on this! 

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