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ConnieSunday's Achievements


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  1. I think someone suggested to me that there were something like 4,000 subscribers on this forum. So among those who read it, worldwide (assuming it is?), I wonder what the percentages are of those who are professional orchestra players, and what those people say about their careers in orchestras, what level(s) they've played in (given that orchestras are rated according to their budgets), and how they feel about the auditioning process. Auditioning - for scholarships, teaching jobs and orchestra positions - is a regular feature in professional musical life, I think it's fair to say. Students always say they're so busy, but that's nothing compared to the demands of professional life. I've had some of my teachers say they really cherish the time when they can spend time with the instrument - Fleigel said to me once during a lesson, for example, that he loved going on tours, because it gave him time to practice. Practicing wasn't a chore but a pleasure. I think that's the way it should be. I always take as many auditions as I can. Sometimes I win them and then don't take the job (or go to the school), sometimes I don't win them. But I always learn from them, meet people, improve my understanding of the process. I've heard stories of people who make auditioning their "job" until they get a job; of a violist, for example, who did 99 auditions without getting a job, and then won the NY Phil on audition #100. (True story). So what have your experiences been? Connie
  2. Quote: I watched it last night. Pretty impressive. I watched it last night, too, with Jodie Foster as MC. I was very disappointed that we only got a bit of Yo-Yo Ma's performance, but all of the lighter things at the end. Typical. And what stringed violin-like instrument was that?
  3. Quote: When my violin teachers went to Julliard in the 50s' and 60s'they were required to play viola to a certain level; ditto my Chinese friends from the Shanghai Conservatory, post culteral rev. Yeah; Davidovici insisted I study viola, too, which I refused at the time to do. Like a lot of his other advice (e.g., study composition), I have found him to be correct.
  4. Quote: I still think the second quote Connie referenced is "interesting" but with little merrit. Incidentally, there's no "second" quote: it's all one block of material (sorry I didn't make that clearer - I really wasn't sure how to). And the problems with quoting stuff like this in the way that I did is that it's taken out of context, yet people naturally will critique it on its face, which is not quite ever going to be accurate. I did, briefly, try to find the journal article, but gave up after only a little effort. I did locate the school where the author works (Florida State) and other articles by him. Taking academic materials out of context is always dangerous, and leads people to make comments and have reactions which, while genuine and valuable, do not always reflect the reality of the work in question. And then most people, however intelligent and well-read, are not academically trained in the strictest meaning of that, and apply general standards and definitions to words which are often "terms of art," i.e., specific to some academic discipline. So all of this makes for confusion and a lot of arguments, when it really shouldn't. What's valuable to musicians, I think, are the books by Leonard and Murphy, both of whom are associated with the Esalen Institute in California. Leonard is an Aikido master and author of _Education and Ecstasy_. But I think as I mentioned elsewhere, the book which really applies to the study of music is his _Mastery_ which speaks at length about learning plateaus and how people learn. Anyone can react to, and has a perfect right to react to, statements thrown out without much context like I did, but it's more interesting, to me, to read as much as I can about some particular subject area, and to really soak up all the information I can from one or more authors in an area focus, such as Leonard and Murphy. But of course, this all become too lengthy to discuss in email, and is just subjective, anyway. But I do recommend these books, which do have merit, at least I think so. Hugs, Connie
  5. The reason I quoted this paragraph was to draw attention to the book by George Leonard and Murphy, which has a lot of application to music study and practice. The whole book is devoted to practice! Also valuable in this regard is Leonard's book, Mastery. I highly recommend these books for musicians. There is a link to Mastery at the bottom of the page at http://www.geocities.com/conniesunday/
  6. Not to be difficult, but I think he says "because I'm cold."
  7. I have a nice 17" gorgeous viola..I had the full set of Suzuki books for viola, and ordered the Kreutzer, Kayser and Mazas. Also the scale studies from Dr. Kimber at http://members.tripod.com/~m_kimber/mk.html
  8. Stokowski was famous for his "free bowing" directive, but this is quite unusual, in my experience. Stokowski was also associated with Hollywood productions, using the studio environment, so perhaps the use of free bowing is related to that, which is a different environment than the concert hall? RE your problem with the rebellious players; you've done your job, now it is the responsibility of the music director to enforce it. I feel empathy for your position. So much politics in orchestra! Given that it's a widespread rebellion, perhaps a sense of humor (rather than anger) will serve you here. I would speak at length to the director about the conflict, and then follow her/his directive. Perhaps even go over to *their* side, with good humor. Smile a lot. They're being pains, but if you let them get to you, you won't benefit. Believe me, I know the feeling! Psyhological book to arm you in situations like this: David Lieberman, _Get Anyone to Do Anything_. Lieberman's books are really helpful. If you *really* want Machiavellian power, study Robert Greene's _The 48 Laws of Power_. Bon chance, Connie
  9. I got this film yesterday and watched it. I know it's an old film, and most people have probably seen it..and it's not string related--but it's certainly musician-related. One of the scenes which I found really moving, to me, as a musician (all of it was, but this in particular), was when the Pianist finally was able to sit down and play (for the German officer). The Pianist had endured so much suffering (his crying after being separated from his family was beyond heart breaking), and yet, when he sat down to play, he could play. It returned to him. No, I haven't practiced, I don't feel well - he just played. I thought it was so moving and life-affirming that he could play, despite everything he'd gone through. Not myself personally or anyone I know personally, has suffered that much, but we all suffer, and most of us who have long careers in music, we sometimes get separated from our practice, for long or short periods, but we return, and we play again, and it's like something you never forget. I felt that what kept him alive was the music; he lived because he wanted to play. There was something within him that allowed him to survive those horrific ordeals, and it was his talent, the music singing within him. I really loved this movie, though it's not light entertainment, to be sure. Connie
  10. Thanks Steve. Yeah I ordered the Kayser, the Mazas and the Kreutzer. Wonder what the best scale books are. Is a full set of Sevcik available for viola? Is the Flesch? I really didn't realize how much I loved the viola until I started playing it. Thanks! Connie
  11. I recently purchased a nice viola (and a BAM double violin/viola case) in order to gig and teach with the viola. I'm a violinist by profession, but studied viola in college and want to add this skill in a reliable fashion to my repertoire. I want to say violin and viola on my AFM listing, maybe next year. So I'm practicing viola now, too. I got a full set of Suzuki books, to begin with, and am working through those. Of course, I'm a Suzuki teacher and the tunes are all so familiar that I'm not sure I'm not just playing by ear at least part of the time. The viola sounds wonderful, deep, and rich and I love it, but if I get any gigs, I'm not going to be playing Suzuki tunes! I need a reliable technique. Any tips on how a violinist can handle the viola clef? How is that managed? I would assume that I can make the C clef context reliable, with practice, over time, but it really needs to be secure before I try to market myself as a violist. Clearly, thinking of each note is out, of course, transposing. That's too insecure and time consuming. Thinking of the 1st position viola notes as if they were in violin 3rd position, isn't right either. Please advise--and thanks! Connie
  12. That's fascinating, Steve. I have the "Priska" model, and didn't know it, placed on there at a shop where I had the instrument restored. Recently I purchased the Violin & Viola Tipbook, the Violin Owner's Manual, and Commonsense Instrument Care, and am finding out a lot of details about things which I did not know. Interesting. The Tipbook has an associated webpage which is kind of interesting: http://www.tipbook.com/usa/index2.asp I found out, for example, the distinction between a French or Hill tailpiece, the four different styles of pegs, and the three different sorts of fine tuners. Great stuff. Connie
  13. Hi: At one point I purchased a little black tubular sponge-material like thing, which you can put on your grip if you need extra padding, the grip is a bit worn, or you just play a lot and want to have less of a bump there on your finger. They come two to a little clear plastic case. I can't think of the name of them, and am not seeing anything like that on SW Strings or SHAR. My two, on 2 of my extra bows are worn through and I need to replace them. I'm sure someone on here knows that I'm referrig to?? Thanks, Connie
  14. As everyone probably knows, the Kreutzer Sonata is Beethoven's passionate Op. 47 sonata, a masterwork that violinists enjoy. So when I saw the title of a book, "The Kreutzer Sonata" I assumed, as a child, that the book was about the sonata. I checked it out but when I got home, found that it was, instead, Tolstoy's book about sexual mores in Russia. Central to the story is the murder of two musicians; a man hears his wife playing the work with a violinist friend of hers and assumes, erroneously, because of the passionate nature of the work, that they're having an affair. He shoots them both. Tolstoy was something of a prig, who was incredibly abusive to his wife, despite all his religious preoccupations. I don't think much of him personally. [Let's not get into long, tedious arguements about whether lack of character in a artist, e.g., god forbid, Wagner, should influence an evaluation of an artist's work.] See: http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/boo...nata/chap1.html
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