Jenna Potts

A day in my life...

Published: Sep. 27, 2006 at 2:12 AM
Last modified: Sep. 29, 2006 at 12:13 AM about a busy semester! It's great so far. I'm taking 17 credits, amoung them: Suzuki Pedagogy I, 20th Century Music History, orchestra, quartet (we're playing Mozart "The Hunt"), Ancient Greek Civilization, lessons, recital class.... I'm trying to attend as many concerts as I can this year. Last year I was too far away from CIM that concerts were impractical, but this year, it's only a 7 minute walk! I'm also involved with the Case Right To Life meetings and radio show, TA for Rape Aggression Defense, Christians@Case Bible Study, and hopefully the Campus Bible Fellowship. I've never had the challenge before of balencing a relationship with school, practice, church, and campus clubs. It's been tricky, but worth it. The Suzuki class is great - probably my favorite class this semester. I wish I could spend more time reading all the recommended material etc. I want to spend my professional career as a Suzuki teacher, so I'm obviously spending a great deal of extra time observing lessons, taking the optional "Suzuki" theory training, and attending parent classes. I spend my Saturday mornings from 8:30-12:00 with the CIM Suzuki Prep department. Today I was busy from 7:00am-8:30pm. Luckily, I got in 1 1/2 hours of practice. I've been making it my goal to get between 2 and 3 hours in a day. I know it's not a lot compared to most of you, but it's what I can do, and I think it will take me to my goals. Any more practice time would mean getting Cs in my other classes. :-\

For you high-schoolers wondering what a college schedule is like:

8:00 Practice
9:00-10:15 Suzuki class
10:30-11:30 Suzuki theory class
11:30-12:05 Practice
12:15-1:05 Recital Class
1:15-2:30 Studio class
2:45-4:00 Music history
4:10-5:20 Study for music history
5:20-6:10 Make dinner for the four girls in the apartment
6:30-8:30 Orchestra
8:45-9:30 Social time

Well, I must be off to do the dishes...didn't have time after dinner. :-D

Comments (5) | Archive link

The breaking point

Published: Aug. 3, 2006 at 8:57 PM
Last modified: Aug. 3, 2006 at 8:58 PM

I have recently received a wonderful incentive to practice more! My bow, pictured below, has somehow tragically aquired three cracks in the tip. I dunno if they're visible in the photo, but I did my best. If you look really closely, you can see a crack perpendicular to the grain, going across the top of the shaft, and where that ends, about a third of the way through the shaft, you can see another crack about 1 cm long going with the grain. The is a similar fracture on the other side. So....the more I practice, the more likely the bow is to break, and the sooner I can collect insurance and buy a new bow! :-) What do I think will complete the job? Ahh....maybe some Paganini with aggressive and violent - I mean, brilliant and flashy - riccocet? :-D

Or, I could listen to my teacher and play with a big, full, gorgeous sound ALL the time, thereby increasing both the tension on the stick and the likelyhood of a soon demise for my faithful bow.... ;-D


Comments (6) | Archive link

Jul. 22, 2006 at 3:10 PM

Last modified: Jul. 22, 2006 at 3:11 PM

I'm teaching two students from my home, and things are going well. Still trying to figure out exactly how to treat "transfer" students - sorting out exactly what needs to be fixed vs. what can wait until later. Obviously, I can't immediately find fault with everything. It's been fun and a good learning experience. At least they seem to like me enough to want to continue lessons in the fall. :-)

Anyhow, one of the student's parents drops her daughter off for the lesson, and picks her up after half an hour. But the last two lessons, she's been about five minutes late, and I don't know what to do with the girl for that five minutes. Do I put her on the porch waiting her pick-up? Do I leave her in the lesson room to look out the window and wait for her mom? Or do I do what I did today, sit and talk for five minutes with her waiting for her parent? hmm....I don't really know the mom very well, so I'd feel odd calling to talk to her about such a "minor" thing. If I had a student following this one, or a "waiting room" then the problem wouldn't exist. Oh, well. :-) Ideas?

Comments (6) | Archive link

in love! (again....)

Published: Jun. 12, 2006 at 3:07 PM
Last modified: Jun. 12, 2006 at 3:08 PM

Why is it that this past semester, I was so musically burnt out that I wanted to drop it and switch majors? Nothing sounded right and everything was out of tune.

But now, after taking a month off of lessons and practicing about 5-7 hours a week "for fun" I love it again and think I sound great? I just had two performances this week which I was actually happy with...that hasn't happened in several years, things are more in tune than out, and phrasing is so much easier. This may have something to do with the "easier" pieces I'm learning: Meditation from Thais, Czardas, and church music. And I'm even beginning to look forward to lessons again....

If this is what playing the violin is all about...sign me up.

Archive link

Umm, Care to Try Something a Little Different?

Published: Jun. 3, 2006 at 5:15 AM
Last modified: Jun. 3, 2006 at 5:24 AM

I was one of those really weird kids who was raised in a subculture. I never listed to anything with a rock beat, jazz Just didn't do it, if you can believe. Only classical. I barely know what the beatles are and can only really identify one of their pieces. I learned a month and a half ago what U2 was, via this wonderful website....

I decided this past semester, however, that as a music major I really should at least be able to distinguish between 50's music and 90's music. So my friends gave me a bunch of CDs and I started listening. I tell you, I honestly tried to like that stuff. I tried my very, very best. But alas, I can't! It's simply...hopeless. When I turn on the radio and try to surf the stations I inevitably end up wondering how in the world anyone could enjoy that stuff. The stuff just dosen't make sense! Now, I have discovered that I like a little bit of country - that's fun, and I heard a Josh Groban CD one time about a year ago and liked that. :-) But otherwise, I have to say, I just don't like it. So, after my intensive, emotionally charged search, I turned on the classical station. And...WHAT!!! I couldn't believe it....this music was actually pretty!!!! Gosh, at least now I know what I like. :-) And after all that racket I sifted through, I am much less critical of performances/compositions which may be slightly less than perfect. After all, some would argue, it's the soul of the music that makes the difference.

Disclaimer: to all those of you who happen to enjoy music other than classical and country, please understand that I mean absolutely no offense whatsoever. I'm so glad that you enjoy it. And frankly, you're probably better off being able to find musical pleasure in a whole lot more places than I can. If, however, you believe that I may have unfortunately encountered only that music (so called) which falls short of what could be labeled as "worthy pop music," feel free to leave suggestions. I am still game to give pretty much anything a whirl. :-)

Until that time, I...uh...apparently LOVE CLASSICAL MUSIC!!!!

Comments (5) | Archive link


Published: Apr. 4, 2006 at 10:05 PM
Has anybody heard back about acceptance to the Encore Summer School yet?

Comments (3) | Archive link

Clam Chowder

Published: Mar. 19, 2006 at 4:01 AM
How do you all treat "spur of the moment" performances? I always have a horrible time when I'm hanging out with friends or something and somebody just asks me to play. Can you just whip the instrument out and play what you've been working on or just completed? Today, a friend asked me to play and my fingers felt like total clams. I didn't even have the muscle memory for shifting to third or fourth position. Sixteenth notes were out of the question, coordination none existent...I was afraid to touch a very simple student concerto I studied four and a half years ago (I have kept it up - I'm about to record it for a SAA teacher scholarship audition). It's not like I don't know how to play - the Conus Concerto and Wieniawski D min Concertos are not exactly beginners pieces, but this happens whenever people ask me to play...any help? After playing most of my life, these things shouldn't happen. I played Amazing Grace, Brethren We Have Met To Worship (another Christian hymn), one line of Meditation from Thias, and half of the second "mvt" to the Conus concerto (couldn't even get through it!).

Comments (2) | Archive link

Homework, please

Published: Mar. 10, 2006 at 5:44 PM
Last modified: Mar. 12, 2006 at 2:30 AM

Ok. Midterms are done, spring break is here. :-D I have nothing to do over spring break except learn the Conus cadenza and study a couple of chess strategy books a friend lent me...but the weird thing is, I don't know how to operate without imminent deadlines etc. hanging over my head. Something seems so wrong. hmm. A life without stress and frantically running around seems so...empty. Maybe a nap would help things...

Here are some more quotes...the third one dosen't describe me, but I thought you might get a kick out of it. I hope it dosen't describe you.

“Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea.”

“A women under stress is not immediately concerned with finding solutions to her problems but rather seeks relief by expressing herself and being understood.”

“Stress: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it”

“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”

Comments (1) | Archive link

Mar. 8, 2006 at 2:38 AM

Do you all like quotes and poetry? I have found a few that I really like. I know they are not related to the violin, but if you like them, I may post some more.

“To bear defeat with dignity, to accept criticism with poise, to receive honors with humility -- these are marks of maturity and graciousness.”
William Arthur Ward

“True love doesn't come to you it has to be inside you.”
Julia Roberts

"A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.”
Kong Fu Zi

All the best to all of you!


Comments (1) | Archive link


Published: Jan. 1, 2006 at 9:09 PM
Last modified: Jan. 2, 2006 at 7:22 PM

Well, I will be spending the next two week in what some may call the land of paradise - Hawai'i. You all will be pleased to know that I did bring my violin and plan on practicing at least a little bit. I have a performance coming up in late January, so I have to be practicing for it. Do any of you have hints on practicing for a performance when you really don't like the pice you are playing and frankly are quite tired of practicing it? The piece itself is great - Mozart 3, but I have been playing it for eight or nine months along with various other material, of course.

All the best to all of you!


Comments (12) | Archive link