I have always loved baroque music however I have never had the opportunity to focus on this performance practice. As an experiment I recently put gut strings on my viola to see what it would sound like. I am amazed by the resonance and added overtones when I play on my lower two strings. My A and D strings are raw gut so they are a bit more difficult and I am discovering how to make a sweet sound. It is really teaching me to remember to have patience and to listen as I am always re tuning the strings and in some ways re learning and discovering how to make sound with my bow.
It was with a very heavy heart that I handed in my red Youth Orchestra shirt in for the final time. I have played in the Youth Orchestra for the past 7 years and I finally reached the age limit. Coming off stage after the final performance I wondered - had I made the most of that final performance? I played well but did I savor it enough? Looking back I know that I grew up in the orchestra, made life long friends and kept aiming higher with my music. I am also grateful to have reached the age limit because sometimes we need to be pushed out of the nest to keep growing and developing. It is time for me to learn how to fly on my own.
A thought for my students getting into study mode:
If you are feeling stressed and anxious why not use all of your experience as a musician and find the same calm that you try to find before a performance.
When one is under pressure one often forgets to breathe and then there is no oxygen for your brain so everything feels harder than it is.
- Take deep breaths and visualise yourself getting the assignment done
- Think of a mantra for yourself. Eg: 'Today I will do my very best and that is more than enough'
- Try this AMAZING podcast - I could not have got through my masters without it!!
Meditation Oasis http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/
- #6 is just music and perfect to have on low when you are doing an assignment
- #31 for stress and pressure is also really good
- also #36 for a mini break