The past 4 months have been a whirlwind of ups and downs. I seriously applied all of your comments, critiques, and technique suggestions into my practicing. I used all the instructional videos that were posted, and inclined my practice time to 3-5 quality hours per day (that is, until 2 weeks ago...I was forced to take a break from violin due to a shoulder injury my teacher explained was most likely from practicing so intently for so long. I am now healed and ready to work ;)
Soon after my thread (created in August) my teacher started me on the Bruch, and since I have polished all 3 movements enough to compete in a concerto competition with them (did not place - was, unfortunately, a terrible audition) and for him to give me the next piece (I think he wants me on to more concertos, which is why we left the Bruch so quickly). I will say that I honestly surprised myself with the amount of progress I made during the past few months - I made tons of audition tapes for various things (some good, some not so good). I was selected (based on a 2 round seating audition process for each cycle) as 3rd chair in my youth orch, then, for the next cycle, as concertmaster (squeal !). I was accepted into the top group (a chamber orchestra) at Western States (a slightly less competitive All State like festival for the western states - hence the name - that, unlike All State which does not allow homeschoolers, I was eligible for). Selected there as principle second, as well as 1 of 3 performers for a masterclass with part of the school’s faculty, which was surprising since I had only just started the Bruch a month prior, and basically sight read it for my audition tape. I played the 1st mov for the class, got great critique, and afterwards the teacher pulled me aside and told me he thought I had a real shot at winning the upcoming youth concerto competitions I am applying for. I was moved up to first violin in my quartet after ours unfortunately had to leave - a huge responsibility that is simultaneously daunting and exciting. I am extremely happy to say that I was accepted into the Honors Orchestra of America which I will be attending this spring. As for personal musical/technical improvement: my teacher moved me on to Kreutzer Etudes (which made me happier than it should have lol - a bittersweet victory) and my posture has improved drastically due to a new and loved shoulder rest (@Jeewon Kim ;)), my musicality is growing, and I have received compliments from judge’s comment forms regarding my tone and character. To add to all this fortune, I have been lucky enough to see Pinchas Zukerman perform the Bruch live with the Colorado Symphony, Yo Yo Ma play all the Bach Cello Suites at Red Rocks Ampitheater, Midori play the Sibelius VC, perform Mozart 3 in the orchestra for Jennifer Koh, accidentally come in personal contact with Augustin Hadelich (funny story), and am seeing Itzahk Perlman this week !
On the downside, by the end of the year I noticed myself slacking when it came to practicing technique, and this was reflected by a slew of auditions I lost/butchered. Practicing an hour of scales had a lot more weight on my successes than I thought it did. Break was nice, but it’s back to Kreutzer for me.
I thought I’d share all this because I read through my original post and realized that when I made it 4mo ago I never thought I’d be where I am now. And I can’t wait to see what the next 4mo has in store. I wrote this to encourage some, to thank others - those who gave me so much helpful advice and encouragement, and many resources and tools. It was much needed and pushed me to make a lot of the decisions which led me to the success I have been so lucky to see ... that which I never thought I would see. Although it was small to some, it was massive to me ;) -, and to hold myself accountable. I’d love to continue sharing my progress as I go to stay responsible. Any advice is always greatly appreciated !!
Now, off to practice ! ;)
Violinist.com is made possible by...