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This week has been a good practice week. In between giving wedding quotes to brides, planning some Halloween fun for my studio, and waiting for people to get back to me I’ve gotten a lot of good practicing done. Besides working to lay a musical base for all of the audition excerpts I’ve been making sure that the details like bow strokes, dynamics, where I need to be in the bow, and intonation are in place as well. It’s like making sure my running form is right at a slow speed before moving to speed workouts. Foundation first, and then the speed work comes.

It’s already starting to pay off too! Check out this new recording of my work with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto’s first movement. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the progress.

 

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Base building – not just for running

It’s a big thing to say I’m enjoying my practice time again. As someone very wise reminded me I can’t race through excerpts all of the time. Even they need a good foundation built slowly to get to the end product. Train slow to play fast. Hmm, that sounds awfully familiar. I’m pretty sure my running coach has said many times that I need to run slow to run fast. You don’t see professional runners racing every week do you? I was pushed so much to play fast that I never had time to set a good foundation for what I was playing.

So, this week has been about going through music, and figuring out what I need to do to play things consistently correct. That’s mundane things like working out shifts, stroke quality, intonation, and rhythm. It’s not the most exciting practicing, and it’s easy to overlook things, but I can already hear a difference after two days. Everything needs to be right at the slower tempo, and at the faster tempos as well. Consistent! The more I consistently get things the better I feel about the audition.

Every day is different, and I’m going to try to approach what’s happened each day with a level head, and solve the problem at hand. Today I’m a little tired, and not really motivated to practice, but I know it’s a good day to go through things slowly and work on the foundation. Today’s run was the same way. Was it the most wonderful run ever? No, me legs were a little heavy from my strength workout, and getting up at 4:30 for to get this in before an early morning appointment was rough. But I accomplished the goal of getting 9.5 base miles done. My coach reminded me that it’s important for my legs to know how to work when they’re tired too. Everything isn’t going to smell like a bed a roses all of the time, but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting somewhere. It’s know what I need to accomplish, and setting small attainable goals that will help get me where I want to go!

Random

1. My arms were so tired of playing the violin on Thursday they just stopped. Seriously, I couldn’t hold them up anymore!

2. Friday is my favorite day, but not because it’s the end of the “work” week (honestly there isn’t a day I don’t work), but because I get to go to Pilates with my friend Laura. There might be a lot of giggling since another awesome friend has the spot before me. We are trouble.

3. I signed up for two more auditions (cue freak out). One of them is on my birthday. The last time I had an audition on my birthday I was in grad school, and I won the assistant principal 2nd violin chair. This might not be a bad thing.

4. I don’t understand why companies put stevia in protein powders. I had to stop using my favorite when I discovered issues with whey protein. Two brands that I’ve tried had buckets of stevia. The third didn’t, but it was really gritty. All that stevia makes me wonder what they’re hiding in there…

5. I’ve been having fun playing with instagram this week:

6. For the first time in 3 years I am not working on my birthday. I’m a mixed bag of emotions on this one. Sad because I didn’t get a contract from one of my favorite groups, confused because I don’t know what to do, and happy I get to actually get to celebrate my birthday. Good thing I found an audition.