Monday, February 24, 2014

In The Center

I really love orchestral music. It's so empowering and encompassing. I love sitting in the orchestra, in the middle of the sounds. I love taking a deep breath before I begin a phrase, and breathing with the music throughout it. I love moving my body in rhythm and to the movement and emotion of the music and my bow. I love living inside the chords, the color of each pitch combining with the ones before, creating a painting of sound. I love adding my sound to the canvas, making my mark on the ones who came to see this sound. It's music for them. It's music for me. It belongs to us all.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cerebral Dialogue

Brain: "You've practiced for three hours total already today. You need to put away the viola until tomorrow."
Me: "I need to practice more."
Brain: "You're still recovering from injury. Your arms are beginning to hurt."
Me: "I need more practice."
Brain: "You're in a practice-thirsty, crazed state of mind. It's like an addiction."
Me: "I don't care. Must practice more."
Brain: "You're sounding great for your audition tomorrow, plus, you can still practice tomorrow."
Me: "More practice now."
Brain: "Okay, fine. I guess fifteen more minutes won't be so bad."

One hour later.


This is my life.

Monday, January 20, 2014

How I Feel When I Practice

I really love practicing. I used to hate it. But I kind of forced myself to like it. I'm not really sure when that happened. At some point I realized that in order to make it as a musician, practice is essential. And lots of it. I didn't want to have to do lots of something I didn't like, so I decided to genuinely enjoy practicing. I truly don't understand how any good musician might not like practicing. I don't understand subjecting oneself to something one doesn't thoroughly enjoy, or something one merely tolerates for hours on end. But, of course, that's just me. I may never understand them, and they may never understand me. Good thing we can respect each other. I just love loving practice.

When I begin to practice, I have to forget about other things in life. I inhale, and exhale, letting my overactive thoughts exit my being with the carbon dioxide. My goal becomes to play the notes as expressively as I can, so thereby I might create music. This is how I give myself over to the music. It has always been a part of me, but when I practice, I can, for a time, be a part of it, the music. I continue breathing deeply, out with the bad, in with the music. Soon I feel as though I am immersed in music, submerged in music, as though I'm swimming in music. But how does that feel? Like longing. But not in the awful, unobtainable sense. Longing to be able to better communicate the music. Longing to feel the music more fully, as though I can only ever feel a fraction of what is possible to feel. But the wistfulness doesn't make me sad, because I know deep down, somehow that someday I will feel it all the way. And it will feel perfect.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Healing Comes... and with it MORE MUSIC!

I haven't posted here in a very long time, but I want to start it up again. I don't know if many people read this blog, but if for no one else, I want to keep it up for me.

So, in a nutshell, I had some really bad arm injuries from too much viola-playing. (I was at about five hours a day right before I became injured... yeah). It took months of visiting different doctors, failed attempts at rehabilitative exercises, and varying physical therapists before I found a doctor and PT who knew exactly how to take care of me. After that, I started healing! I couldn't play very much at all all of last semester. I didn't play in orchestra class at school. I had to stop private lessons. I only practiced with my quartet ocassionally.

However, I am so grateful and thrilled to say that I am up to about two or three blocks of 45-60 minutes a day. I am so blessed and I know it's a blessing from God.

I hadn't forgotten how much I loved viola, but I'd forgotten how wonderful it felt to actually progress in skill. To be unable to play something, and then to play it beautifully a month later is such an amazing thing. Lately I've been able to play in concerts and weddings, play in nursing homes, and teach private lessons. I feel so marvelous being able to play for people and share my love with others.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Played My First Wedding

My quartet played at our first wedding! It went so well! We got lots of compliments afterwards, and were able to hand out some business cards! It was a little stressful trying to catch cues and such, but everything worked out!

After the wedding rehearsal. It went well, so we did cheers.

The quartet with the lovely bride!

Check us out!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Rant on Practicality and Disbelief

Why do so many extremely talented musicians place higher importance on other things besides music in their lives? It's more "practical" they say. They're afraid of the future and are running their lives by the horror stories of unsuccessful musicians that they've heard. What do I say to them? That there are enough practical people in this world to build an elephant bridge to the moon and back! Don't fall for normality. When fear rules your life, you don't live. I have heard the same tales of woeful musicians, and have had the same "career advice" bestowed upon me by well-meaning family and friends. But it doesn't matter. I know what I want, and I'm going to get it. Do I know for sure that I can make it in the music industry? Heavens, no! Do I understand how I stack up against my competitors? Not entirely. Do I care? Not particularly. I have a lot to offer the world and am going to break the limits of practical. I will never achieve my goals if I allow people's doubts and the fear of potential failure to rule my life. I will not know my capacity for greatness until I pour my entire soul into my passion and work as hard as I can and then some. I have total faith in myself and my future accomplishments. Am I foolish? Some may believe so. But I disagree. I think they are the fools for disbelieving the power of true, deep desire.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Road Doesn't Stay Smooth

When everything is going right, something inevitably decides to go wrong. It always does. This doesn't mean I'm thinking pessimistically, but its just a way of life. We don't learn unless we overcome tribulation. Unfortunately for me, this trial is in the form of a musically-induced injury in my right arm. It's quite annoying actually. I have only practiced (personally) for three hours this week, when normally that's how much I practice a day. I've only been playing viola for four years, and this is my second musically-induced injury. The last one was an excruciating and debilitating back injury (scheuerman's kyphosis) which caused me to not play fir eight months. Not only was it painful physically, difficult emotionally. My music career was flashing before my eyes during that time of my life. Now I'm buckling down, creating fabulous practice habits, progressing rapidly. I guess I needed some opposition. I'll conquer it, though. I've been reading up on musician injuries so I can fight this one, and prevent future ones.