Hindemith Excerpts at 96?

October 21, 2017, 8:30 PM · For this year's two Hindemith Excerpts, play at 96 will cause music lack detail. But if play at 80-85, will fail state audition? Hope Mary Ellen Goree can see this question. Thanks in advance

Replies (6)

October 21, 2017, 8:49 PM · Which state? Can you please be more specific?
October 21, 2017, 8:49 PM · I did see this question. :-)

96 to the half note in the Hindemith is insanity. I have never in my life played that movement that fast. Here's what I'm telling my students: get it up to 80, clean. Then get it as much past 80 as you can, clean. Play it at that tempo. If I were playing this myself, I'd be aiming for 88. Anything past that sounds frantic.

I don't think you should be thinking in terms of "failing" the all-state audition. There are three factors that affect the result of an audition: How you play (you control this). How the other students play (you don't control this). What the judges are actually thinking (you don't control this). I suggest that you set your goal NOT to "win" but to be walking out of the taping room thinking, "That is the best I could have played those excerpts at this point in my life." That's all you can control anyway.

Another way to think about it: you will lose some points if you don't play at the specified tempo. You will also lose points if you don't play cleanly. Choosing a successful tempo is like maximizing an equation with two variables, where X is intonation and Y is tempo. You might have to sacrifice a bit of tempo in order to maximize intonation, and you might have to sacrifice a bit of intonation to maximize tempo.

The results of the audition are a ranking. You are seeking to be in the top 112 violinists in Texas. I can pretty much promise you that there aren't 112 student violinists in Texas capable of playing the Hindemith cleanly at 96.

One final thought: it's very likely that many if not most of the judges are not able to play as well as the All-State level kids auditioning. So take the rankings with a grain of salt and remember, one audition on one day does not define you as a violinist.

October 21, 2017, 8:50 PM · Ella, he's in Texas. I'm teaching the exact same excerpts.
October 21, 2017, 9:19 PM · Got it. Thanks Mary
October 21, 2017, 9:35 PM · You're welcome! Break a leg next Saturday. :-)
October 25, 2017, 8:16 PM · Jason, I tried to message you but the contact button on your profile doesn't seem to work. Just got this information:

"The Maximum Playback Time for all of the Hindemith excerpts was calculated with Half Note = 90. Playback Operators will also be instructed to not stop any Hindemith excerpts. Please reassure your students that it is better perform the Hindemith excerpts at a tempo that allows them to perform at their best. They do not need to stress over their recording being stopped on the Hindemith excerpts. The Maximum Playback Time will still apply to all of the other Recorded tracks."

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