There are times when my students teach me lessons unwittingly. Several nights ago, my youngest violin student–a kindergartener–groaned about having to play the violin that day. Whenever she is overly tired or is having an off-day for various reasons, she becomes quite vocal about questioning why she chose the violin. “But it sounds baaad,” Carissa* … More Stepping Back to Move Forward
A recent blog post on The Artistic Brunette reminded me of how scattered my mind can be in the practice room. In spite of the fact that I was preparing for my junior recital this past February, I could not seem to resist irrelevant thoughts burrowing their way into my brain and popping up everywhere … More You’ve got to attack it from the root, Sakari.
There are certain dishes that bring to mind childhood memories of battles the dinner table: liver, Brussels sprouts, peas, spinach, broccoli. Honestly, I was never sure if they actually did make you grow taller, but for some odd reason I love them all. As musicians, we are encouraged to put up with other kinds of … More The “Brussels sprouts” of practicing music
This morning our quartet had a masterclass with the Aiana String Quartet. Since we are continuing to study Mozart’s String Quartet No. 4 in C Major, K. 157, we decided to receive coaching on the second movement since it has been quite a challenge. Fortunately we were a lot less nervous because of our previous … More Our Masterclass with the Aiana String Quartet
This much-belated post is about the masterclass and composition readings with the Hugo Wolf Quartet on October 19th. For related posts see “Just two more days” and “One more day…PSYCHE!“ The day of the masterclass was much like the coaching session the day before. We continued to work on the first movement of Mozart’s String … More “It’s like pushing big American cars!”
On the way out of class piano this morning, I checked my phone as I usually do when I get out of class. Jeanne had texted the four of us that she just found out that the coaching session was not with her, it was with the Hugo Wolf Quartet! We were in a little … More One more day…PSYCHE!!!
…until the masterclass and readings! It’s such a relief to have my composition ready for Wednesday. I finished writing and doing major editing to the quartet piece yesterday, and I made a few minor fixes today after meeting with Dr. Suter. Just thinking of the warm paper sliding out of the mouth of the printer … More Just two more days…
After reading a post from The Crossfit Musician, I decided to try the Pomodoro Technique in attempts to make practicing more efficient. The Pomodoro Technique is a form of time management using intervals consisting of 25 minutes worth of work and 5 minutes of rest. Yesterday I used this technique to section my practicing into … More Strategic Practicing: The Pomodoro Technique
As a composer, I’m not gonna lie–I’m somewhat partial to finding ways to support fellow new composers, and with that being said, I strongly want to perform new works. Of course, I love my regular dose of Bach (Cello Suite anyone?), but there are works that have been composed, even during my own lifetime, that … More So, I am totally NOT a virtuoso…..