January 2006

January 29, 2006 14:52

I finally realized that there does not have to be a definitive line between teaching and playing as a profession.

I can do both. All of my teacher (except for the music teachers in the public school system) do both. My current teacher teaches at a university and is the concertmaster of a community orchestra, and also is a member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra. he does recitals, teaches italian, and many other things.

And here, I have (in my mind) limited myself to either performing or teaching... when I can really do both and satisfy all my other interests. Maybe I have limited myself too much in my own mind.

I've always wanted to be a soloist. However, I realize that it may or may not work out, and that it is more likely not to work out. But, why don't I play chamber music with my friends? We used to, but we haven't gotten together in awhile.

I have Georgia All-State Orchestra coming up at the end of February. I read through the entire romeo and Juliet. It looks like a night mare. It will take quite a few hours to learn. Bukaroo Holiday from Rodeo doesn't look too bad. and then there is Pavane... which might be the most difficult of the three pieces to play.

I worked on kreuzter some more today. I have all the technique down, and now I am just working on the phrasings in No. 14.

Schradieck... didn't start out too well. But, then I practiced scales and came back to Schradieck and it was much more in-tune.

And intonation is a big factor in Haydn's Concerto No. 1.

So, I worked on intonation. I practiced fifths, octave, fourths, sixths, and thirds.

Lol, I felt like a newb. But, I guess it is the basics that you have to go back over every once and a while. My old teacher always said intonation is a problem violinists of all levels face.

I finally realized what my franco-belgium hold does for me today (versus my old russian bow hold). I no longer crunch chords. Well, not as much, at least.

And looking at Romeo and Juliet, because I am 12th chair, on the div. sections, I would play the lower voice, correct? given that our condutor would split the notes doing the good old "inside-outside" method.

He could do it by stands... which might suck.

So, should I learn both the top and bottom parts?

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January 28, 2006 12:13

It just dawned on me that this time next weekend I have an audition. I'm still not quite certain what I will play, but I am leaning towards Haydn. Haydn Concerto No. 1, that is... in C.

Although, I do still have Mozart 3 under my fingers. God, it is amazing what memorization does. I learned the first movement of Mozart 3 many months ago and yet I can still play it. Not as well as I once could, but give me about an hour or two to clean it up and i would have it were I would be comfortable playing it for others.

In fact, I played a few things for a friend I had not seen in a while yesterday... some bach and Mozart, from memory of course. It is amazing how much I feel freed up not relying on music.

However, as I played for my friend, cold, I realized just how great scales are for a warm-up... and for practicing intonation.

In fact, I'm not quite sure why, but when I start out with scales in my practice, everything else seems to be more in-tune afterwards, but when I start with, say kreutzer or a concerto, I have quite a few out of tune notes. Can anyone comment on this?

I am a little worried about the interview part about music theory for GHP. I'm sure I'll do fine. Although, I'm not quite sure what I should know... lol. I think there is a music history portion as well. My friend who auditioned last year was asked the question: "What was the favorite past-time of many 19th century composers?"

playing piano? Going on long walks? I mean how are you supposed to answer that question?

Maybe I will make it, maybe I won't. I'll probably be one of the better people there. I mean this girl from my school made it to the second round of GHP, and she didn't even make the district orchestra and is in the back of the orchestra at my school.

But it is easy to criticize other players.

I am confident in my playing abilities. I'll do okay on the playing part of the interview.... it is just the other parts I am worried about.

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January 23, 2006 17:06

I looked at the audition requirements for CIM, and I was wondering what level a concerto from the standard repertoire for a school such as CIM would be? I don't plan on audiitoning for CIM, because I know I would have very little chance of making it, but I was just curious as to the difficulty of the concerto.

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January 22, 2006 19:03

I practiced scales for an hour yesterday, which wnet fine, and an hour today.

I got really frustrated today with scales. It wasn't scales. It was doing scales, schradieck, more scales, more schradieck, etc.

And my brain jsut kind of shut down, as if I had done too much technique. Lol, I'm not sure what exactly happened, but my left hand stopped working, I lost all co-ordination and my bow arm just fell apart.

So, I put away the violin and took a few hours, practiced Bach and Kreutzer for about half an hour, and then tonight, I practiced just Haydn for 45-60 minutes.

I love Haydn Concerto No. 1. There is something I liek about ti that i can't quite place my finger on. My teacher told me he has always preferred Haydn to mozart, not only in concertos but also in symphonies. I know that isn't a popular statement, but I must agree with him on concertos. I like Mozart because his concertos are singable, like an aria, and the phrasings can be determined through singing, as long as you have some general concept as to the phrasings in Mozart's music.

haydn's concerto in C is not singable. Well, it is, but not as easily as, say, one of Mozart's concertos.

I am listening to Dvorak's Symphony No. 7 right now. I really like it. The orchestra is the NY Phil. The concert also has the Flying Dutchman overture and the Walton Violin Concerto (James Ehnes). A link to it can be found in the dicussion.

I like the Walton violin concerto. I have a recording of Heifetz playing it in the 1940s from Naxos. Also on the CD is the Elgar VC. I was able to hear a lot of things in the orchestra that I cannot hear in my recording because of the sound quality.

I'm going to visit my middle school orchestra director this friday. He was the one who made violin fun and influenced me a lot and persuaded me to persue violin even more than I was at the time. He was the person who taught me how to hold the violin and bow. I owe him a lot, I suppose.

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January 19, 2006 16:54

Today felt like the first time in a long time that I have made an improvement on Haydn Concerto No. 1. It is this triplet passage where I can't get the right bow stroke on the "piano" phrases. But, I fixed it today because I could not stand it anymore. I started the cadenza. It is a lot of fun. I have some spots that I need to watch my intonation in, such as near the ending: the diminished seven arpeggios, double stopped sevenths, and that really high g major arpeggio that goes to the edge of the fingerboard.

Schradieck and kreutzer are coming along nicely. bach is as well.

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January 18, 2006 15:44

I was hoping to have lessons today, but it didn't work out. My mom was able to schedule lessons for Feb 1st, but that seems so long away. I want a new Kreutzer and Schradieck etude. They both seem so easy this past week. I'm still working on Haydn Concerto No. 1 in C, first movement. I haven't played it yet for my teacher. I was hoping to today, so he could give me his wise insight and help me play it 10x better, but I'll have to settle with what I have right now and use to the tools he has already given me.

The only good thing about my lesson being on Feb 1st is that it is before my GHP audition. GHP stands for Governor Honor Program. In georgia, it is a program where qualified high school students get to spend six weeks (for free, I might add) at Valdosta State Univiersity studying their "field of interest." So, by having my lesson before that interview, I will know if I can play Haydn for the audition or not. If I can't, then I can always fall back on Mozart 3 or Bach. Of course, Mozart will need a little work since I haven't played it in a month or so. I have it memorized, and I play through it every once and awhile, such as today, when I played through a few passages from memory just for a warm-up.

But, if I am going to play it for an audition, then I definitely want to nit-pick through it.

I could most likely play one of the dances I have learned from Partita No. 3 for the audition. I really like the Minuet I/II. My teacher told me that if I were to play it, then I should play Minuet I with all the repeats, then Minuet II with all the repeats, and then play through Minuet I with no repeats. My teacher also said that the Minuet II was similar to the trio section?

hey... I am just trying to get some confirmation on this idea.

There is also a part of me that doesn't want to do the second round of GHP. My teacher has given me a lot of info on stuff I could do this summer. None of it is free, like GHP, but it would be more interesting.

I could do the University of Georgia at Athens (UGA)'s high school music camp. In addition to that, I could participate in Franklin Pond's chamber music program. I haven't had enough experience playing quartets, so I think it would be a lot of fun. It's like solo music, but with four soloists, right?

I don't know what I am going to do this summer, but once I do the second round interview of GHP, and if I make it into the program, then I HAVE to do it. There are kids from around the state wanting to do it, and only so many positions.

There are also kids for many other subjects that get into GHP, ranging from Social Studies to physics. I wish I could be one of the science kids. But, I guess I am not good enough. I am in a math and science program at my high school (called a "magnet" program), but it seems to get in the way of music most of the time.

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January 17, 2006 17:07

I found out the results of my all-state audition saturday, which was three days ago. I was worried about if I was going to make it or not. I butchered some syncopation in the technical sight-reading, I'm not sure if I used enough vibrato (if there is such a thing) in the love theme from Romeo and Juliet. I did well on the other prepared excerpt and on the lyrical sight reading.

Evidently, an "okay" audition got me 12th chair. Not to bad. It is my first year making all-state, so first violin, 12th chair isn't too bad. Mrs. Morrell, my high school orchestra director, was very happy and proud of my accomplishment. My high school isn't know for having a good violin section, and I don't think but a few violinists in the past have made all-state. It is usually very difficult to get into. But, I guess I prepared well enough.

However, I wasn't really happy. I have too many "what-ifs" going on in my head. What if I had done better? Of course I would have gotten a better chair then. But, I did the best under the circumstances.

12th chair in an entire state isn't too bad... :)

I can at least be happy that I didn't play any out of tune notes at my audition.

I guess I have to attribute that to my great teacher, Dr. Eanes, who has greatly improved my technique since I started taking lessons from him, or at least Schradieck has... haha.

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January 15, 2006 16:03

I had my All-State Audiiton yesterday. I'm not sure how exactly it went. There weren't any noticably out of tune notes under my ear, and I was slightly nervous. I only had to play two of the five prepared excerpts. Both were from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. One was a quick run (at qn=144). The second excerpt was the love theme from romeo and juliet. I know the first one went well. I had spent many hours cleaning it up (coordination and pitch). In the middle of the love theme, my nerves got the best of me, and I tensed up in my bow hand and my bow bounced slightly for a note.

The sight reading was okay. The technical sightreading didn't go as well as I had hoped. I messed up on this one syncopated section. I don't think I played too many out of tune notes. It was in the key of D, afterall. However, my bow hand technique failed me, and I ended up playing like a fiddler. I'm still not quite sure what happened. All I know is that I had the most difficult time playing with flat bow hair.

The lyrical sightreading went well. It was almost perfect. The only thing I could think of that I could have done better on was making a bigger contrast between the only two dynamics in the sight reading: mezzopiano and piano. Something ackward about it was that it was in the time signature 7/4. Good thing I had practiced sight reading in those odd times before yesterday (such as 5/4, 11/12, 7/2, etc).

I practiced today. I started off with schradieck. I practiced it slowly at 60 bpm, made sure I got all the notes, and then bumped it up to 80, found my problem spots, and played the problem spots at 60, working on them to get them good for 80. I found many intonation problems. Many of them where in sections that contained extentions.

I also worked on Kreutzer 14. I worked on getting all the right notes at a rather slow tempo, but it isn't really a fast etude, anyways, right? After that, I sang a little bit of it, not for fun, but to try to find phrasings? Well, it's not as easy as it would be with Mozart, but it helped.

Then, I worked on the first movement of Haydn's Concerto No. 1 in C. It is nice. I have it memorized, and I am almost finished working on pitch. I need to work on my bow, though. that stroke that you use on piano sixteenths is not working out well because I am not at the balance point of the bow.

I concluded with Bach. This week, I am learning Minuet II from Partita No. 3. I worked on pitch, fixed everything, and then tried putting it together with Minuet I.

That raps up this weekend. I have tomorrow off (thankfully).

Enjoy the Paganini (the violinist is Szeryng)!

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January 7, 2006 15:02

I'm considering participating in a youth music competition. It has a large prize for the winner. It is in Montgomery, Alabama, so it wouldn't be a really long distance from where I live (Georgia). The name of the competition is the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition. I am curious if anyone knows about this competition or has participated in it or knows someone who has?

My main concern is the difficulty of the piece I should play. I would like to play Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3, since I learned it a few months ago and have used it for auditions before, and have it memorized.

However, I don't want to play Mozart against someone that could be potentially playing a Paganini Concerto (since I don't know the skills of the other competitors)

In that case, I am wondering if I should play Bruch No. 1 or Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole? I learned those concertos nearly a year ago, so I would need to re-learn them.

but, I think that if I play Mozart well, then that would be better than if I played Bruch well.

Mozart is much more difficult musically to play, am I right? Although, technically, the chords/double stops in the third movement of Bruch are difficult to play in-tune.

Also, for the competition, I would only play one movement of a concerto. This one movement does not have to be from memory, so would that make it an easy competition?

My private teacher gave me a pamphlet on this competition and said it might interest me, but he didn't really say much other than that. I think I should probably call him.

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January 2, 2006 17:19

I have lessons Wednesday, and I am more than ready for them, except for two things: All-State excerpt No. 2 and Kreutzer No. 7.

The string crossings that skip a string or two in kreutzer 7 are not clean when I play at the tip. What ends up happening is when I cross from the e string to g string, I haven't stopped my bow all the way, and I get sound from the a and d strings.

So, when I play this exercise at a slow to moderate tempo, everything is fine, but when I go to play it "allegro assai," well, things don't work out well. I should practice speeding up the tempo instead of jumping from moderato to allegro. I don't know what is wrong with me. The good new is that my other etude, Schradieck No. IV, has very little work still needed to be done with it.

I'll "start" Haydn Concerto No. 1 when I go to lessons Wednesday. The editor's fingerings and bowings don't make sense at times, so hopefully my teacher will give me new ones.

I feel strange playing stuff like Mozart 3, and Haydn 1, after I've played Bruch and Lalo (with my old teacher). I'm sure it is for a good reason. I just don't know the reason. I am beginning to like classical concertos, almost as much as romantic concertos.

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