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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.

 

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!

Catching up

So, I missed a few post that I normally do. Sorry about that. Things have been kind of crazy, and I’ve been a little down the past couple of days. So, quick catch up:

The Audition:

I played a pretty decent audition. My solo sounded great! The new violin projected so nicely in the hall I was auditioning in. It really filled the space. The first excerpt was great, and one of my favorites. The second excerpt was the scherzo from Medlesshon’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture. I got a bit nervous, but instead of imploding with super bouncey spiccatto I kept it together. I was totally bummed when they announced they were done listening to me. I really got the sense that they weren’t interested in hearing me. And then I heard later that not a single professional was offered a contract! Even the principle 2nd violin position went to a college student from the local university. I smell a plan to have only college kids in that orchestra. Why they advertised in the union newsletter is beyond me, but at least I got an audition experience to build off of for the next one.

Training:

Last week was another base building week. Nothing really big happened other than kick rear over 16 miles on a super hilly route! So far everything is going great, and I’m going to kill my marathon PR in December. Weekly totals: 35 miles of running and 17 miles of biking. This week is a recovery week!

Up Next:
1. Running – It’s back to building, and this time Jeff has added some more challenging runs. It’s 14 weeks till race day. Why does that sound really close already?

2. Tuesday I start the process of getting ready for braces again. Because everyone wants to get spacers four days before they turn 34. I haven’t been able to get dental floss between two of my back teeth for a week. I’m not so excited about this.

3. Auditions – I have two of them this week. I just need my spiccato to get on board, and I should be just fine. It’s nice having only 5 excerpts to get ready.
I’m a little overwhelmed, and a little nervous about this week, but I’m just going to take it a day at a time, and keeping checking things off of the to-do list.