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Katie
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OK. here this is, and I know it sounds stupid, but here goes: Ever since I started playing violin when I was 10, I've wanted to make a career out of it. It's my dream to go to Julliard and hopefully becoe concertmistress of the New York Philharmonic. I know it probably won't happen and I won't get rich that way, but IF it did, I would be thrilled (naturally). Yeah, this is probably the stupid fantasy of a 14 year old average violinist, but my teachers say I have lots of potential. My question is, if I really concentrated HARD on my violin study, is there any chance I could at least be concertmistress of a professional orchestra? (maybe not the Philharmonic). Please comment, thank you.

Katie

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Of course, the competition will be very fierced for positions like concertmaster/concertmistress in a professional orchestra. Nevertheless your "silly fantasy" is hardly silly at all. I mean, we're not even talking about like you're starting at 16 or something. 10 is still a relatively "young" age to start on the violin, so it's not like you're behind from starting late or anything. And I'm sure the current concertmasters/concertmistresses in whatever professional orchestra you can think of probably thought and felt the same way you do now back when they were at your age!

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Why not? Concertmistress is not like Center for the Celtics. You don't have to be tall. You don't have to be thin, or fat or short or blond. You just have to be good, dedicated, hard-working, and lucky. Yes, different people will need different measures of those ingredients; and you will have to find the mix that produces results for you. Ultimately though, that job will always be held by someone who wanted nothing more than to play the violin when he or she was 14. Good luck.

Elaine Dowling

Norman, OK

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: Of course, the competition will be very fierced for positions like concertmaster/concertmistress in a professional orchestra. Nevertheless your "silly fantasy" is hardly silly at all. I mean, we're not even talking about like you're starting at 16 or something. 10 is still a relatively "young" age to start on the violin, so it's not like you're behind from starting late or anything. And I'm sure the current concertmasters/concertmistresses in whatever professional orchestra you can think of probably thought and felt the same way you do now back when they were at your age!

Alright, I started 1 week shy of 15 and I want to become a proffesional too, any encouragement for me? *grin*

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If you put your mind to it and are willing to do the work, you'll get far. Just make sure if you're really thinking of going to Juillard to let your teacher know that and that by the time you do music school auditions as a senior in high school you have the repertoire ready (Juillard has quite a rep. list, and it isn't something you can afford to be surprised by once you get the catalog!). Best of luck to you, and practice hard.

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Hi.

Work, that's all I can say. I'm working harder than I ever have now, practicing like 2-3 hours a day. I'm going to audition next summer and go into junior year as a music ed major, with more than half of the general ed stuff over with this year. Maybe that's not a good idea, it'll probably take me 4 and a half or 5 years but that's ok. This is my life.

Good Luck

Ben

BK19462@wcu.edu

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Doesn't sound silly to me. I believe my violin teacher started playing when she was around 9 and she is already the assistant concert master for a professional orchestra and she's only 29. I have no reason to believe that she won't someday be the concertmaster if she wishes to be. She works VERY hard and believes that you can do anything you put your mind to. Keep working hard and it will pay off.

Good luck.

Mike

: OK. here this is, and I know it sounds stupid, but here goes: Ever since I started playing violin when I was 10, I've wanted to make a career out of it. It's my dream to go to Julliard and hopefully becoe concertmistress of the New York Philharmonic. I know it probably won't happen and I won't get rich that way, but IF it did, I would be thrilled (naturally). Yeah, this is probably the stupid fantasy of a 14 year old average violinist, but my teachers say I have lots of potential. My question is, if I really concentrated HARD on my violin study, is there any chance I could at least be concertmistress of a professional orchestra? (maybe not the Philharmonic). Please comment, thank you.

: Katie

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My title pretty much says it all but I would just encourage you to aim as high as you dare. You've got a dream and a goal....that gives you an edge over most people. With a goal like yours even if you fall short you could still find yourself with a pretty great violin career. Dont give up and don't let popular opinion stop you.

When you do make it as Consertmistress of the NY Philharmonic I do hope you'll still find the time to drop us a note here!!!!! :)

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A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

: OK. here this is, and I know it sounds stupid, but here goes: Ever since I started playing violin when I was 10, I've wanted to make a career out of it. It's my dream to go to Julliard and hopefully becoe concertmistress of the New York Philharmonic. I know it probably won't happen and I won't get rich that way, but IF it did, I would be thrilled (naturally). Yeah, this is probably the stupid fantasy of a 14 year old average violinist, but my teachers say I have lots of potential. My question is, if I really concentrated HARD on my violin study, is there any chance I could at least be concertmistress of a professional orchestra? (maybe not the Philharmonic). Please comment, thank you.

: Katie

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: Hi.

: Work, that's all I can say. I'm working harder than I ever have now, practicing like 2-3 hours a day. I'm going to audition next summer and go into junior year as a music ed major, with more than half of the general ed stuff over with this year. Maybe that's not a good idea, it'll probably take me 4 and a half or 5 years but that's ok. This is my life.

: Good Luck

: Ben

: BK19462@wcu.edu

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: : Hi.

: : Work, that's all I can say. I'm working harder than I ever have now, practicing like 2-3 hours a day. I'm going to audition next summer and go into junior year as a music ed major, with more than half of the general ed stuff over with this year. Maybe that's not a good idea, it'll probably take me 4 and a half or 5 years but that's ok. This is my life.

: : Good Luck

: : Ben

: : BK19462@wcu.edu

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I probably will get flack for this - but after living for ("N") years, I would like to offer some practical advice: First, I do not believe in the philosophy that "Anyone can do anything they want - if they jut want it hard enough and work hard enough." Tell that to a paraplegic who wants to win the Marathon, or someone else with a physical or mental handicap. It is just plain cruelty. As for you young lady, I assume God has given you good health and strength. To achieve your goal, you WILL have to work hard - full time - at music. And you will also have to earn a living. If you can get a sponsor - someone who will pay the way for you - wonderful. And if you do devote all your time and energy to the achievment of your goal - you will have little time to think about some other way to earn money. I am not trying to be a bummer. This is just the way the world is. I, nor you, can change it. Dreams are wonderful. Dreamers have given great gifts to the world. But this also is a practical world. Have I discouraged you? I trust not. I just encourage you to think realistically - so you will not be hurt. And nothing would make me happier than to be present at your first concert.

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I probably will get flack for this - but after living for ("N") years, I would like to offer some practical advice: First, I do not believe in the philosophy that "Anyone can do anything they want - if they jut want it hard enough and work hard enough." Tell that to a paraplegic who wants to win the Marathon, or someone else with a physical or mental handicap. It is just plain cruelty. As for you young lady, I assume God has given you good health and strength. To achieve your goal, you WILL have to work hard - full time - at music. And you will also have to earn a living. If you can get a sponsor - someone who will pay the way for you - wonderful. And if you do devote all your time and energy to the achievment of your goal - you will have little time to think about some other way to earn money. I am not trying to be a bummer. This is just the way the world is. I, nor you, can change it. Dreams are wonderful. Dreamers have given great gifts to the world. But this also is a practical world. Have I discouraged you? I trust not. I just encourage you to think realistically - so you will not be hurt. And nothing would make me happier than to be present at your first concert.

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: A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

:

: : OK. here this is, and I know it sounds stupid, but here goes: Ever since I started playing violin when I was 10, I've wanted to make a career out of it. It's my dream to go to Julliard and hopefully becoe concertmistress of the New York Philharmonic. I know it probably won't happen and I won't get rich that way, but IF it did, I would be thrilled (naturally). Yeah, this is probably the stupid fantasy of a 14 year old average violinist, but my teachers say I have lots of potential. My question is, if I really concentrated HARD on my violin study, is there any chance I could at least be concertmistress of a professional orchestra? (maybe not the Philharmonic). Please comment, thank you.

: : Katie

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Against most of the people on the board, I say you cant be anything if you try it hard, but frustrated. Explore your abilities and never think that revard of hard work is success in carrier. However, life can give even better chances than be the first violinist somewhere in a good orchestra.

Learning music you can earn much more than carrier. And that is the ONLY important. Do you think that people choose to be a priest because they want to be the Pope? And are they disappointed because they can't make miracles and will not be saints? I wish I could play the Ciaconna at least in a closed room where nobody can hear me. That would be enough for me for my life.

Although it is still ten years until I can do it - if I ever can, practicing hard.

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Your question brings to mind a quote made many years

ago in a master class by Janos Starker

(the famous cellist who teaches at IU). He was

teaching how to shift to higher positions

when he advised the student to

"Enjoy the travel not the arrival" and

added "in fact, that's probably good

advice in more than just cello-playing!"

by which he meant it's more important to

enjoy the process of constantly improving

your playing and personal development rather tying

all your happiness to the achievement of a particular goal (which may or may not be all that its cracked

up to be once you get there anyways!)

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I know a guy who started when he was 14, went on to play in the Manhattan string quartet. A guy on the Cello Society page started when he was 14, won a Chicago Symphony audition in his 20's. How's that for encouragement? The guy I know got there on talent. I'm not sure how much work has to do with it.

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You're also very young and should take the opportunity to explore the world. While it is important that you focus on music if you know it is something you want to do and want to get better at, do not limit your horizons by having tunnel vision and think only "violin violin violin" all the time (although 4 hours a day of thinking that ain't such a bad thing!). Some of the best musicians are those who can draw on their life experience outside of music and relate it to music making. And commiting oneself to a life of music is not such a light decision; I was told that only those who cannot stand a life in another field should go into music. It takes that kind of desire and confidence in one's own ability to make it in the tough world of a professional musician. You have plenty of time to make that decision. Use your dream as a motivating factor but make sure it does not come at the exclusion of growing in other parts of your life, intellectually and emotionally.

I have a quesiton for you: have you gone to any intense summer music camps like Encore or Meadowmount? Going to places like that will really give you a sense of what people your age who are preparing to go to conservatory are like. Best of luck!

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: You're also very young and should take the opportunity to explore the world. While it is important that you focus on music if you know it is something you want to do and want to get better at, do not limit your horizons by having tunnel vision and think only "violin violin violin" all the time (although 4 hours a day of thinking that ain't such a bad thing!). Some of the best musicians are those who can draw on their life experience outside of music and relate it to music making. And commiting oneself to a life of music is not such a light decision; I was told that only those who cannot stand a life in another field should go into music. It takes that kind of desire and confidence in one's own ability to make it in the tough world of a professional musician. You have plenty of time to make that decision. Use your dream as a motivating factor but make sure it does not come at the exclusion of growing in other parts of your life, intellectually and emotionally.

: I have a quesiton for you: have you gone to any intense summer music camps like Encore or Meadowmount? Going to places like that will really give you a sense of what people your age who are preparing to go to conservatory are like. Best of luck!

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I've provided a link to the ENCORE site below. You can check out the Meadowmount site at:

www.meadowmount.com

I highly suggest you try and attend one of these camps if you're serious about going into music. It will give you a taste of what life in a conservatory can be like. I personally recommend Encore as I never have attended Meadowmount, but the two camps share the philosophy of being "practice camps", i.e. you are required to practice at least 4-6 hours a day.

Also check out orchestra camps like Interlochen, Blue Lake, Eastern Music Festival or Chautauqua. Both Strings Magazine and The Strad Magazine publish directories for summer music festivals in January-March (somewhere in there) and that will give you a better picture of what is out there in terms of festivals. Do try and get to a camp that has people from all over the country attending, like the ones I have listed here. They can be expensive, but if you are serious about going into music they are invaluable experiences.

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