1. My son did stop his repertoire (was about to start the Wieniawski #2) and invested long hours in technique for a few months.
2. By the spring of that year (about 2 months after the discussion here) we decided to invest in visits to a few of the music schools. He had the chance to take lessons with two teachers at Boston University and one in NYU. He basically had no piece to show them because the Bruch was full of technical problems that were carried with him, and in the former months, he only worked on technique. In NYU he was told that he has good chances to be accepted and in BU he heard two different opinions. One said that there is no chance he can put the work needed in the time he had until auditions but the other said that he can see the potential and if my son worked really hard, he could make it.
Your input from the discussion actually prepared him to those reviews, that were very important for the next step.
3. He was accepted that year to the Interlochen Summer program, with the Bruch that you heard on those videos. Not into the prestigious chamber program but to the general orchestra. This was a life-changer for him. Both socially and musically. He loved every moment and advanced in one summer more than the whole year before. He learned how to practice efficiently, joined a chamber group in the camp and advanced to the front chairs during the summer.
4. When he came back home he found a chamber group, continued with his youth orchestra and practiced endlessly.
5. After all those discussions and thanks to your wise remarks, he decided to apply for a major in engineering. We tried to find schools with good violin teachers and decent orchestras. After being accepted early to the UCBerkeley engineering school as a regent finalist (big deal!) we went to visit, we listened to the orchestra and he decided he will make it happen as there are MANY good violin teachers in the bay area. When the acceptance to BU as a music major (with some merit scholarship!) arrived, we decided it was too far and too expensive, and the engineering part not strong enough.
6. In the summer of his HS senior year, he was accepted to BUTI, and this was another big stepping stone in his playing. Huge adventure, good placement in the front of the second violin section (1st and 2nd chairs switched during the concert) and great friends, many of which continued into music schools.
7. Today, at the end of his second year in Berkeley, double-majoring in engineering (Industrial and Computer) while taking all the music theory and harmony classes available, he plays in the auditioned orchestra and does some chamber music. He makes sure to practice two hours every day, and in order to receive violin lessons through the music department, he had to sign an intention to major, although not declared yet but does all the work toward a BA (not BM) in music. So he basically - triple majors, advances his skills and happy as can be. Before the school was closed due to the pandemic, he received access to play on one of the school's antique instruments (a quarter of a Milion $ worth).
8. Accepted to Aspen this year. (already shortened from 8 to 6 week, we wait to hear if it will happen, keeping all fingers crossed.)
What will happen next? No idea. He is a hard worker. Looking into conducting now, as well as playing, and enjoys the engineering stuff too. He will have many options to choose from when the time comes.
And here comes again my big thank you note. You were so kind and careful with your harsh critique and gave us so many important notes and ideas to consider. I might ask my son for some links to his recordings so that you can enjoy the fruits of your work here.
I just saw that a student from Sweden asked a very similar question to the one I asked 3 years ago and received over 100 responses. The way you have the patience to respond to each of us and share your experience over and over again is remarkable.
I know the time now is hard for those of you who make a living from the arts. I pray with you that this situation will be resolved soon and that the music will be back on stages in front of packed halls really soon. Hang in there and stay safe.
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