June 24, 2011 at 11:02 PM
This week the solstice marked the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere, and summer can hold various possibilities. What does it mean for you?
You may be using the summer for a "violin vacation." Perhaps you are finishing a grueling season of performing or studying. You may be looking to the summer for break, in order to rest yourself physically and mentally, to explore other aspects of your life. You may be seeking to rejuvenate, so that you can resume your activities in the fall.
Or, perhaps you opted for quite the opposite: "violin boot camp." Summer can be the perfect time to get intense about musical projects and progress. You may be using the longer hours of daytime to practice more, to take on a new project, to teach more hours. You may have signed yourself up for an intensive festival or camp, for extra lessons or other performing opportunities.
Then again, it's quite possible that summer marches along much like the rest of the year. The regular season ends, but the summer season continues. You keep about the same amount of musical activities going as always.
What will you be doing this summer?
Since I don't have music as a major topic in my university studies (I'm actually graduating in Electrical Enginerig), vacations are a very good oportunity, and unfortunately a rare one, to dive into new repertoire. By the way, this week we just started living our rainy winter here in the southern hemisphere. Rain, Bruch, Kreutzer and a new sonata yet to choose, what a delight!
Good to hear from the southern hemisphere!
Orchestra is off for the Summer, but I'm getting a head-start on the music we'll be doing in the Fall. I'm also maintaining my usual lesson schedule -- unless my teacher decides to take a vacation.
Here in Australia, we are entering out winter holidays- we kick the holidays off with music camp (in which i am conducting!!!!! and then head up the coast 4 hrs to Maryborough, for a music educators conference - Bob Phillips will be taking orchestra here- rumours are that we have a week of celtic playing ahead of us!!!!
Summer things slack off at work and there is more time to play - and I'm going to my first serious summer camp (Interlochen) in August. So for me its as much time as I can find! Sobering to think, however, that for some its quite the opposite.
I've never been to a violin boot camp, but what I like to do is to go on music workshops two or three times a year. Hitherto the ones I've been to are English, Irish, or Scottish folk music, but this September I expect to go on a weekend workshop devoted entirely to one work, Mahler's 1st Symphony, giving advanced students and amateur orchestral players the opportunity to work alongside professional players. The workshop will conclude with a public performance of the symphony. The tutors will be The Auriga Strings, a professional ensemble (www.theaurigastrings.co.uk)
I've downloaded the 16 pages of the second violin part from IMSLP, and this should keep me well-occupied throughout July and August!
I'll be meeting up with fellow v.commers Elise and Amy at Interlochen this summer. This will mark my 4th year.
Until then, I'm trying to decide what piece to work on with my new teacher in the fall when she returns from her summer festivals. This translates to playing through just about everything I have in my library. I've short-listed a "B" and "C" so far ;)
I can't imagine taking an entire summer off!!! I think even getting into a routine of minimal practice is better than a whole vacation. Anything to keep it under you fingers.
I went to two music camps this summer.
One said "intense training" but actually I got a two hour break in the morning and an hour in the afternoon (not including lunch). The camp is from 9am-5pm. There were the master classes and improvisation class. Overall I do not think the camp is "intense", but I did get to practice and learn the entire first and second movement of the Bruch violin concerto and moved on tho third movement the next week ^_^. If I did not go to this camp, I would of wasted all my time watching movies.
Also there is a girl in the orchestra who I don't think plays very well sitting concert master. Her mother is one of the teachers, so i am guessing that is why she sat there. She can't even play in tune!! She did really bad on the solos so the conductor had to move her back.
I think camps are fun, but not really worth the money if paying the full price ($500) for a week.
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