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.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Dreamed Of

There is something so thrilling, so liberating and satisfying about finally playing music you've only dreamed of playing your whole life. This has been happening more and more in my life lately as I've progressed in skill. And it's beautiful. It fills my soul with wonder and amazement. And I'm truly content.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

And Then You Get Better

This past week I didn't practice at all because I didn't have time. Literally. Zero time. (Except I got the chance yesterday and snatched it). Basically I had four-hour rehearsals and performances every night at the high school which led to little sleep and no personal practice time for Whitney. It reeeeeally stressed me out. It surprised me how nervous and literally afraid I was because I wasn't practicing. Usually I practice 2-3 hours a day. I have to. Or else I won't get in, or be the top at Jacobs or Julliard.  I plan to up my practicing soon, as well.
Yesterday when I practiced I was taken aback at how good I was. I feel like I got better in the time I wasn't practicing. It was so weird. Or maybe I just didn't remember how good I was. But I felt like my tone quality was much better, a bit more in tune, maybe. It's hard to describe. Maybe it just sounded surer. In any case, it was wonderful to practice again!

Friday, April 26, 2013

And I'm Alive

There's something about performances and concerts that I just love. It can't be explained completely accurately. I think it's derived from being able to share with others the thing which I love most. Expressing emotions, present and past, through the music. Music is truly a wonder. A paradox of simplicity and complexity.
Today I had my first concert with a symphony I just joined. It was incredible! Sometimes in rehearsals or during performances, my brain takes a step back and I listen to the music with my heart. And I feel at home. I'm enveloped in the music- physically, mentally, and emotionally. That is when my soul soars and my spirit rejoices. All of my senses revel in the substance which energizes my being. And I'm alive.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

AP Music Theory

I haven't had much instruction in music theory in my young life. Not much at all. I took piano when I was young, and I know enough to sight read and do well in my music pursuits. But I don't know as much as I would like. So, I'm taking AP Music Theory next year.
The teacher is letting me skip the prereq, Music Theory, because I'm in Symphony and I've had a lot of musical experience. However, if I were to go into that class now, I would not be prepared. So, I'm creating a music theory curriculum for myself this spring and summer to prepare for AP Theory.
It's quite exciting, and rather daunting at the same time. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know.
It is so important for me to be on top of my stuff because I am one of only three incoming sophomores the teacher is letting into his class. It's quite the privilege.
I just can't wait until I start learning lots and lots about the way music works. It's going to be so cool!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to Feel Better Fast

For one reason or another (or possibly ten) I have had a rather terrible week. Those who know me know that this is not a usual occurrence because I try really hard to be happy and optimistic as much as possible. But as much as I tried, I could not shake the feeling of bleh.
So I did everything to try to feel better. The cell towers might have combusted for all the texts I was dumping on my friends. I slept more. Did completely nothing. Tried to chill. Tried it out. There were many more attempts I set in motion to try to feel better, but I shall spare you the details. Let it suffice to say that I worked really hard to try to feel better, to no avail.
I felt so miserable, that I stopped doing everything. Including practicing. I hadn't practiced since Sunday. But today I just sucked it up and practiced even though I felt lousy and had no motivation to do so. Guess what happened when I practiced, though? I felt 100%, completely, genuinely, all-the-way better.
Maybe I was just having a viola withdrawal and didn't know it.But that, my friends, is how to feel better fast.

Monday, April 15, 2013

When You Can No Longer Claim Proficiency at Something You Were Once Proficient

Music, while the bliss of my existence, sometimes pains me. It's always better than me. No matter how far I get or what I accomplish, there's always something I cannot do. For example, I've been putting my soul into viola work. But on the flip side, I've been ignoring my voice and vocal work, another talent at which I enjoy claiming proficiency. But there's something really heart-wrenching about the day you realize you probably should no long consider yourself proficient at something. And that day is today for me with singing.
I've been a great singer for as long as I can remember. As an older child I took lessons and even joined an acclaimed children's choir. Off and on during my pre-teen years I also took lessons. But alas, the more serious I became about viola, the less time I had to practice voice and to go to voice lessons, which lessons eventually dwindled into nonexistence. And so, I haven't had lessons for several years.
I still sing, though. Whenever I sing, my soul is lighter than it was starting out. Singing makes me so happy. So, it's no wonder how upsetting it is that I can no longer hit the notes I used to reach and do not have the same fluidity and grace in my voice. It makes me want to cry.
Fortunately for me, however, I've carved out time this summer for more voice lessons! I'm soooo excited! It's going to be great! Maybe after another few months of lessons I'll feel confident singing solos again. What a joy that will be!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Attempting to Describe Music's Power Over Feeling

I have decided that music from the romantic period is my favorite to play. The method I'm using to learn involves almost all baroque style pieces, and while I don't hate them, they are definitely not as enjoyable as the romantic pieces I've started playing lately.
Right now I'm playing my favorite piece ever- Meditation on Thais. It makes me feel so alive when I play it. My soul breathes along with the melody of the music. When I play music like that, I feel like I can bring out the beauty in humanity, and that's an empowering feeling.
People don't comprehend what I feel when I play, and I don't think even I understand just how much I love it, sometimes. Music takes me somewhere I can't go any other way. The music envelopes me and lifts me out of the monotony of daily life and into a reality somewhere between real life and the faraway place where the untouched aspirations of man lie.
That. That is one reason why I love music.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

This Is A Post Title. Cute, huh?

This is my new post to add something to my blog. Isn't it grand? I think so.