I am a 17-year-old student violinist living in a small town in upstate NY. When I was thirteen I developed pain in my left wrist while playing the violin -- particularly in the higher positions and on the G string -- that doctors had called chronic tendonitis and/or a repetitive motion injury. My playing ability was severely curtailed due to the fact that I could not practice more than a half hour of relatively intermediate material without severe pain.
However, although nothing about my activities seems to have changed, my wrist is now not hurting at all when I play. I am not sure why this is but I am very grateful for it. Unfortunately, I am at a loss as to what to do now. I want to be a violinist -- major in violin performance, go to a reputable school, study with a teacher that can help me to be the kind of musician I've hoped to be, etc. but I fear I'm very far behind where I should be for these kinds of aspirations. Although I feel that I am not lacking in musicality, my technical ability is much lacking. Before I quit taking lessons altogether two years ago, I was working on Mozart's Concerto 4, and this is about the technical level I feel comfortable with, although even my rendition of this is somewhat messy. My sightreading ability is poor, and living where I do, I have never been able to associate with other serious student musicians.
I have an advantage in that I am ahead in school -- I will be graduating with a general studies degree from a local community college. At the end of May I will be finished with my studies there. I am not planning on attending college in the Fall of 2006 because I wasn't prepared to audition anywhere. I feel like I need to spend some time catching up, as much as I can, in order to be competitive for auditions in the Winter of 2007.
But I don't know where to begin. I know that I need to find a teacher who can evaluate and adjust the way that I play and help me not to re-injure myself if at all possible. I also need a teacher with the patience to accept a student that seems to be "behind schedule" in some ways. At the end of May I am free to go where I choose -- my parents understand that I need to go outside of where I live to find help and they will support me wherever I decide to go. I would also like to be in a place where I can experience music, particularly classical music, at a professional level, which is something of a rarity where I currently reside.
So my question then is this: Where should I go? Whom should I contact? What steps should I take to find people who can help me? Specific names of teachers would be useful as well. I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed and am wondering what to do. I've read posts on this website for several years now, and I trust many people here could give me some good advice. It would certainly be much appreciated!
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