I think I'm going to do these type of posts once a day, if possible. These will be little breaks from violin stuff. But it may include at least a little...
Sorry. I have to start out with the violin stuff.
So Wednesday last week I took my very first private lessons. Ever. I know, it's sad that I never took them before but I never really thought I needed them until I found out that I'd be a first violinist this year. And until I took a look at the music for district orchestra tryouts. I mean really. Romeo and Juliet Overture- Fantasy? I'm only 16!! I'm not a professional violinist... District orchestra tryouts are really going to be interesting. But I'll have time to get some practice in since tryouts are in November, I think.
But anyways... back to the private lessons.
I had called a private teacher this summer who my friend told me about, but she never called me back, even though I left a message. So I asked my orchestra teacher the other day if he knew any private teachers that he'd recommend and he wrote down the names of a few teachers, along with their numbers, and handed it to me. I called the first one, but he didn't answer his phone. I left him a message and decided to call the next name on the list. She answered her phone (Yay! Finally someone answered!) and we got lessons set up and everything. She told me to bring a notebook and a piece that I've played before. She also informed me that she has her Doctorate, taught in Europe, and she's the private teacher of a girl in my orchestra class who played violin in Carnegie Hall! I got really excited when I heard all that. Maybe it was a miracle that the first two private teachers I called didn't answer their phones. :)
Wednesday was the big day for my first private violin lesson. My private teacher told me to go around the back and ring the bell to the back door, so that's what I did. She opened the door and I immediately saw a girl that I know. We're sort of acquaintances, I guess. I'm not sure. But she's really sweet. I smiled and waved. At first I thought, Wait... am I going to be playing with her? I thought this was a private lesson... but then my private teacher said, "Okay, let's try playing the first line slowly and then we'll wrap it up here in a few seconds" and I knew that the girl was just finishing up a lesson of her own.
Eventually she finished her lesson and I unpacked and got ready for mine. My teacher asked me if I had a notebook and I handed her a notebook which she told me to bring. She then told me to play a piece that I've played before so that she can observe my technique. I had brought in a Chuck Mangione piece since I played it exactly one year ago, and it's easy. Once I finished playing a little bit of it, she immediately started taking notes in my notebook (I thought I was going to have to do that but she did it for me!) and telling me some things that I need to focus on, as well as things I'm doing correctly.
She said that I was holding my bow incorrectly. How odd. I never knew that I was, and nobody had ever said anything, so that was a shock. She also said that I need to play with my bow closer to my bridge. I thought you were supposed to play in the middle of where your fingerboard ends and your bridge begins! The things that I didn't think I needed to be corrected on needed to be corrected...
She did, however, say that my vibrato was spot-on. She even immediately said when i stopped playing, "... You've never taken any private lessons before?" And when I said no, she said, "Your vibrato is amazing for someone who has never taken private lessons. Usually people shake their instruments or they do it incorrectly, but yours is fantastic. It really gives you a great sound." I was so flattered! And glad that my vibrato wasn't another thing to be changed. That was about as much change, for the time being, that I could handle.
We worked on my district orchestra tryout music and then she told me the titles of three books she wanted me to buy, preferably by next week, and our 30-minute lesson was soon over. Long story short: I now have to practice correct bow holds 20 times a day, I have to go out and buy three books that are in a music store that isn't very close-by, and 30-minute private lessons are way too short! But these are the types of things I have to do in order to get a whole lot better.
Hey, now we can move on to the other stuff!
I went to my first NAHS (National Art Honor Society) meeting a couple Thursdays ago. NAHS is this club at my high school and you basically do a bunch of fun art projects for different fundraisers and things just because you love making art so much. :) I found out in the meeting that we're going to be making these awesome masks for a Halloween ball, face painting (I forgot what for), and creating a float for NAHS that will be in the Homecoming parade! I'm so excited!
My dance classes are going to be starting back up again this Tuesday. I've missed them so. I've taken jazz for a year now, and this year I'm taking up ballet as well. For months I've been obsessing over ballet photos and videos. I even saw the ballet Romeo and Juliet this past February! It was amazing. I got my ballet shoes last Monday and I have leotards and tights and everything I need for class. The funny thing is, I had a dream last night that it was Tuesday night and I was late for dance! It was more like a nightmare, actually. I'm glad that wasn't real. And I sure hope that won't happen. I seriously doubt it will, considering that I'm so ecstatic about classes starting up again.
Sorry this post is so long! It's finished, I promise! You can go on with your busy lives now. :)