In 30+ years of playing the violin, I don’t know if I have ever been as challenged as I have been this past semester, going back to school for a Masters of Music in Performance after a 20 year gap in my education. It is a love-hate relationship. I love the growth, the progress, the victories…but I hate the emotions, the pain, the struggle. And I confess, there have been a few times in the privacy of my practice room when I’ve had to work really hard to keep the tears at bay. *blush* I just imagine Tom Hanks in that baseball movie and repeat to myself "there's no crying in violin!" And press on...
On the plus side, I am slowly but surely finding my voice again. Almost every lesson, I hear my teacher say “More bow! More sound! Bigger! Louder!”, and I think I’m finally starting to get it. Not having played “soloisticly” (is that a word? If not, I just made it up!) in a couple of decades shows! I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone, but I’m proud of myself for at least taking the step.
However, in the midst of my glorious discomfort, I have discovered that embarking on this journey has also meant navigating a minefield of emotions that explode in my face at random moments: insecurities, self-doubt, fear, along with exhilaration and a sense of accomplishment …which I’m sure is coming through in my playing in the form of inconsistencies. Some days I’m right on, other days I’m floundering. I’m learning to embrace it as part of the journey and not despise it. One day, it will all even out.
For now, I am beginning to turn my attention to *gulp* actually performing the pieces I’ve been working on.
Well, I AM getting a performance degree, so I suppose I shouldn’t be all that bent out of shape about it. Still, the reality of having to get these pieces ready by mid-to-late April has been hitting me in such a way as to make me really want to ask my doctor to increase the dosage on my beta blockers.
Just kidding. (Maybe!)
But yes, now it is very real, and I have to get my rear in gear.
*Our quartet will perform the first movement of Brahms Quartet No. 1 in C minor in mid-April in master classes and a couple of other events. Chamber music is probably the hardest of all forms of classical music, and this is the one that really keeps me on my toes. I like the piece, but it is definitely not easy AT ALL.
*I just started learning the cadenza for the Khachaturian violin concerto. I’m still trying to believe my instructor’s assurances that it’s “easy” as far as cadenzas go, but I’m not quite convinced. It will be some time before this concerto is ready for the public, so for now I’ll just keep wood-shedding away in private. I’m not off the hook, however, because the Bartok “Romanian Dances” will have to eventually see the light of a concert hall when our violin studio does its end-of-semester recital. Right now I am at war with false harmonics and I’m not on the winning side. I still have time, though!
*I have two major projects coming due in my bibliography class, and a couple more ensemble performances to look forward to.
And Spring Break is still three weeks away!!!
Yes, I can do this. I’m doing it. I will survive!
And prayerfully at the end of April, any tears I shed will be happy ones!
More entries: February 2013
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