It’s about midday on Day 5, and I realized I haven’t updated the past couple days, so here’s what’s been going on:
Today began as it normally does here at GMCMF, wake up, practice for 4 hours, lunch time, then a break before my chamber rehearsal at 2:30. Today we had a chamber coaching though, instead of our normal rehearsal session, with Renee Skerik, viola professor at Texas Tech. Since our piece is very challenging to put together rhythmically, we spent a lot of time trying out different techniques to work on our crazy syncopations. She had a lot of great insight and really helped us figure out what our next step was in rehearsing this first movement. Our next coaching is Monday, so I’m hoping we get a lot done in these next couple of rehearsals.
There was also a Faculty concert that night, and it was great! It was an all-Classical period program, at it was really great to see different ensembles: cello and piano sonata, piano quartet (string trio + piano), and cello quintet (string quartet + extra cello). We have some really great faculty here, and I’m excited to hear more from our professionals!
Nothing too different happened this day: the usual practice for 4 hours between breakfast and lunch, then a break before chamber rehearsal. Our quartet rehearsal went really well, and I think we figured out a lot of different techniques to try practicing music that has difficult rhythms. We spent A LOT of time on just a couple measures, so hopefully we’ve all internalized it and practiced it individually like we did in rehearsal, I know I did. Also on this night was a student concert, with an amazing solo viola playing a movement of a Bach suite, and a fantastic violinist playing the Wieniawski violin concerto. Both students did great! It was awesome to see such great talent perform.
Today not as much practicing was completed, only about 2 hours, because we had masterclass. The performers in masterclass were great, and the things Dr. Susan Dubois had to say were even better! I took lots of notes to help me with my practicing, and I met a lot of new violists, many of whom have switched from violin to viola just like me. The masterclass was just as good as practicing, because so many ideas were presented to me via other people’s playing, so I’m looking forward to incorporating these concepts into my own playing.
I’m still having some trouble with how my left hand should be shaped when it comes to playing on the lower strings and double stops, octaves, etc, and my right hand thumb has been squeezing a lot in efforts to draw more sound out of my instrument (trying to feel the weight of my hand as being the pressure to get a core sound, rather than pressing and forcing it), but luckily I have a lesson tomorrow at 9 am, so I will have lots of questions for Dr. Dubois.
Still to go later today is my chamber rehearsal and another faculty concert. I think I’ll try to fit in some extra practicing tonight, and I’m looking forward to my lesson tomorrow!