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Daisy's Achievements

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  1. Did she maybe simply mean that your instrument (due to heat, humidity, or who knows what else) had gone out of tune, rather than that you were playing out of tune? Or maybe you were playing in tune with yourself but certain notes are out of tune on the piano and that was bugging her. Lets face it- most pianos aren't tuned nearly often enough and I sometimes ignore the intonation when playing with certain awful pianos simply out of self-defence. We have a lot to think about- maybe you can listen more and you'll be able to figure out what's going on. I wouldn't take her too seriously- be curious but not offended about her comments. After all, she's only the accompanist.
  2. "Orchestral-auditions-making it professional??" Your friend is making things a LOT more professional, and it sounds like he's not getting much support. My hat is off to him. Regarding comments on an audition, I don't think there is a "silent majority" who "don't want" to give comments. Keep in mind it takes time, effort, and organization to make good comments. The shorthand notes that are sufficient for an auditioner to keep track of who did what are not nessecarily legible or would make sense to the student. Writing in a more detailed way takes some of the auditioner's concentration off the studen't's playing if it is being done at the same time, and would slow the auditions down if all comments were written afterward. Also, the administration involved in getting every player the correct comment sheet afterward would take extra time and probably a parent volunteer! Not that giving comments is so difficult, and I agree it should be done, but my guess is that it is just slightly too complicated for a lot of orchestras to bother with. An open-door "call me if you want to discuss how you did" policy is, in my mind, an acceptable alternative. Yes, you will get the odd mummy who is upset her darling didn't get in. But if you are using standarized excerpts you have the ammunition to say, "the tempo was marked 132 and Susie played about 100, and the exerpt was marked forte and she played mezzo piano" etc. Good luck to your friend's orchestra- I think it will be very good.
  3. ha... very amusing. Not suprised. She's probably the most obnoxious person I've seen and I've seen a few masterclasses... Saw her completely tear apart several cellists at a masterclass in the summer... Saw her in the NAC orchestra last week decked out in a black leather contraption that looked like it was right out of Playboy. Zukerman seemed to be enjoying himself.
  4. BC- sometimes otherwise very good teachers are clueless about rcm exams or even about when you need new repertoire and what to play when... my brother's teacher is like that. He's going to do a grade 8 exam and I'm the one figuring out what he should play. (And he does have a very good teacher.) Sometimes if a teacher doesn't have many students, or has mostly advanced (university level) students that aren't doing exams they can be really good at teaching you HOW to play but don't always know the repertoire. RCM JUST brought out a new syllabus so that could be part of the problem. A change of teachers might not be a bad idea, it depends. If you have the money for weekly 'coachings' with a good accompanist (maybe like the one you have?) that could help. Sometimes they know the exam stuff better than the teachers, having accompanied so many! At the least, if you do any more exams, buy the syllabus yourself or borrow it from your teacher and read it so YOU know exactly what you're supposed to be doing! At don't feel bad... sounds like you're a good player that just didn't know what to do for the exam. Playing well and playing a good exam are two different things!!! Exams are as much or more about organization as good playing. What about going back to some 'easier' stuff (and NOTHING is really 'easy' to play well) and learning the notes faster and really enjoying it? And even taking a lower grade of exam and going in there feeling really good about it all?
  5. so, just in case anyone is curious... things did improve a lot- I practiced the duo a lot, helped my international-student partner practice her English so we could discuss things a little at rehearsals, and had a very good performance of it. (I still don't like the piece, but hey if I'm going to be professional I'd better get used to pulling off performances of pieces I don't like...) I decided to take all the new ideas a little less seriously and go back to my old stubborn ways of practicing, which work very well for me actually. Am learning to strike a balance between trying everything everyone suggests and doing what I know works. And after about a week of persistent efforts to be friendly, people started breaking down and talking to me I'm probably known as the crazy smiley girl with the giant purse but that's alright with me. And you know, I might even go back next summer, who knows...
  6. Thanks for the advice poppiviola... it can be just overwhelming when I have so much new info and I feel like I`m supposed to use it all RIGHT NOW at the latest! I decided to ignore all the advice during my practicing yesterday and actually got something learned... go figure. A couple of people will now talk to me so things are looking up, that way. `Music camp`is a pretty broad term I guess... there`s everything from about 14 years old to 26-27ish. High levels. Very accomplished teachers. Three lessons a week plus masterclasses from various teachers every day that you can go to as you wish, and concerts at night. Its busy. And all I have to say about quitting and going home is that I came here intending to learn and I jolly well will learn what I can from whoever I can... and if all I learn is how to avoid jumping off a cliff when I`d really like to, that will still be a lesson learned.
  7. Things that drive me crazy about this place... In masterclasses, teachers seem to be more concerned with showing off their teaching skills than helping the students, who end up standing there trying to cooperate but looking dumb. The chamber music was devided out badly so I am stuck playing a duo I dislike instead of getting to be in a quartet. Everyone either doesn`t speak English, or is too snobbish to talk to me. We`re stuck on a mountain with absolutely nothing to do except practice and slowly go insane. I feel like I can`t play at all. I have a lot of notes to learn, am trying to figure out a lot of new, weird ideas, and get used to another teacher, whom I`m also going to be studying with in the fall. I`m stuck here for another 9 days. So how do I turn this into a good situation, or at least prevent myself from jumping off a cliff in frustration? At least there`s internet.
  8. "I won't be any good before my arthritis makes me quit all together, why do I bother?" For that matter, what keeps ANY of us going? After all, the only advantage of having a few extra years is that if you work your butt off for said years, you might be... what? A "bit better"? "Any good"? What does that extra amount of skill actually do for us? Are our goals what keep us going, or is it the pure pleasure of playing, both, or something else? Its worth thinking about... otherwise what keeps us going on the bad days?
  9. "1. How much do you practice - versus how much do you think you *should* practice or wish you *did* practice." Average 3 hours... wish I did 4 or 5. (I'm a university student.) "2. Do you have a specific practice routine [for example, 20 minutes at a time, with a break, or separate hours set aside for your main instrument, or a secondary instrument, or for specific repertoire]" I always try to practice for at least half an hour first thing in the morning (before class) and then just stuff practicing in between classes and rehearsals. I usually do technique first in the day, then various pieces/sections for roughly half an hour each. 3. How consistent are you? Very. Time varys, but I play every day. 4. When do you take off? [for example, summers, holidays, child-rearing, illness] Holidays! And if I'm really sick. 5. If you're a teacher, how do you present this topic to your students; how do you monitor it; how do you promote better practice habits. Ugh... I don't know, they never seem to practice. 6. Do you write down practice plans, or otherwise keep track of your practice & goals in practicing? I draw a little smily-face (or part thereof) in my planner for each hour or part that I practice, and count up the number of hours at the end of each week. 7. Do you look for new repertoire, both for yourself and/or your students, and make plans to listen, study and practice new materials on a consistent basis? No, its forced upon me. I'm at school. 8. Since you began studying the instruments, what is the longest time you've gone without practicing? Probably a month last summer. (Trip overseas) 9. In the long term, what have your practice habits been, and how have they been shaped by your personal & professional life? Just practice every day... 10. Can you recommend any books or webpage dealing with this topic?
  10. The funny thing is, I feel that I'm set up fine- so does my teacher. After watching my audition tapes over the last week, I can honestly say that I don't look tense when I play, and I also feel basically fine. (After a long day (5+ hours of playing) I do get a bit sore but not in one spot. My chiropracter (who is very qualified to work with musicians) says that a little bit of soreness is normal and that my set up looks fine. What the Alexander teacher seems to be saying is that if you play with "alexander" methods your body will never have any stress on it and you will never get sore. That just seems weird to me- after all, we're using our bodies to play, not just sitting there. I don't know...
  11. I saw this mentioned on another thread and I've recently had a few lessons myself. Has anyone taken lessons for a long period of time and found it helps? It seems like the technique is obsessed with keeping everything- especially neck/shoulders- in a seemingly neutral back-and-down position that actually makes me more sore after playing like that (and adding a hard shoulder rest or more sponges to accomodate that). I guess I question the whole philosophy of putting your body in a neutral position and leaving it there whenever possible. I've always thought of bodies more as machines- they're made to move, (although obviously not in constantly awkward or inhibited ways.) At $40 an hour, its too expensive to argue with my teacher- so any comments from people here? At the moment I feel like the alexander lessons are messing me up more than helping, but if I thought they would eventually help I'd keep on.
  12. I think the looking at the clock, sighing thing is pretty typical 10 year old behavior. (Certainly is annoying though.) When my precious 10 yr old violin student brat does her melodramatic "Whaat tiiiime is iiiit" I usually say something like "It's 4:20, and it makes me feel bad when you whine like that. Now after we finish playing this line in tune, would you like to do flashcards or a new piece (etc) next?" Of course if the student is CONSTANTLY whining and moaning (and never practices) maybe its time to call it quits, but on the other hand some of that is typical childish behavior. You don't have to like it or cooperate with it, but you may need to accept it.
  13. Yes, what IS it that allows some people to learn things in a fraction of the time of others? Certainly if you have good technique it will allow you to learn repertoire faster... but how do you acquire this good technique? You have to practice it. When I look at the students at my university, it seems that some people's bodies seem to automatically gravitate to the right way of doing something, whereas others (like me!) have muscles that want to do just about anything other than the simple, easy motions that you need to play efficiently. Same with memorizing things- some people seem to just remember their pieces, whereas I have to pick everything apart... singing each voice, analysing the harmony, writing it out, etc etc... and the notes still fall out of my head almost as fast as I put them in! I don't think its an issue of not paying attention... I think I'm more aware of what I'm doing when I practice than a lot of the talented students are. I DON'T CARE that it takes me a long time to learn things... I'm still learning and this is what I want to do. I just would like to know how people can get the same amount learned in half the time. WHAT is the secret?
  14. I need a new violin case and some of the ebay ones look like good deals... but I'm not sure about the structural strength or the quality (depth) of the suspension. I'm assuming they are cheap Chinese cases as no one lists the brands... is it worth the savings to buy a case on ebay? Anyone know anywhere else to get a good, cheap, case? Thanks!
  15. Walking with a cello could be tragic... for posture if nothing else (and having just a scarf between an instrument and the pavement scares me). Could you put the cellos and basses on a float, or have them stay in the middle and let the others move around them if you're not in a parade?
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