I’ve given myself one year to master the violin.

As an adult beginner, I should be playing Twinkle Twinkle; instead, I'm playing Paganini's 24th caprice.

My first tour – the culmination of a year and a quarter

At least it seemed like a tour anyway. I already told you about my performance on Monday in Danielle’s studio class playing in front if her students. I had three glorious days off until I performed again, this time in front of junior high school students at Danielle’s old middle school.

Do you think that these students made me nervous? You better believe it!  In some ways kids are the toughest audience, and I knew they’d be the toughest on my most feared mistake: the memory slip.  Oh, and they weren’t just any old students, they were two orchestra classes combined into a giant sea of attentive 13 year old musicians.

Of course, Danielle played also, and she warmed up the crowd with some playing of her own.  She played the first movement of the Corigliano violin sonata, which she’ll play this summer at both her camp and Luzerne Music Center, where she’s going again this July and August.  She then gave a mini masterclass to one of the students.  While this was going on, I warmed up in the other room.  Before I played, Danielle introduced my project (thank goodness) so they didn’t think they were getting some kind of professional.  All-in-all, it was a great crowd to play in front of because most of them only started a year or two before also.  We were like kindred spirits.

Danielle and I played in two separate classes and in neither did I play great.  Imagine watching two figure skating performances.  One skater might eek through it, barely landing all of her jumps and sloppily getting through everything else.  But she doesn’t all out fall onto the ice.  A second skater, on the contrary, might perform everything perfectly, nailing every jump, spin, whatever, but one time all out falls down.  My second performance was like the second skater and my first performance was like, well, a third skater I didn’t talk about:  one that eeks through AND all out falls onto the ice.

My second performance was going so well!  Up to the stumble, it was the best I’ve ever performed it.  By far.  Oh, and what I mean when I say stumble is a memory slip that causes me to get lost for a second or two and play randomness until I get myself back on.  This happened in both performances:  three times in the first and once in the second.  I didn’t stop and start crying though, which is good.

The unfortunate thing, though, is that we forgot to film it.  It did happen though!  As promised, since I don’t have the middle school performance, here’s me playing in front of Danielle’s studio class.  The video doesn’t really show the students watching, so I took a picture of the motley crew that formed my audience:

And for the performance:

Watching this, a few thoughts.  1) I always play those first few notes really sloppily.  2)  It’s actually way better than I remember and also much better than my performances yesterday.  I really only messed up the part right at the end before Danielle’s second solo.  Not too bad (if I do say so myself 🙂  I rush a little bit here and there, but overall I have to say that I’m happy.

Well, the Bach Double has been fun, and I’ll probably dabble around with it some more (and I’m sure I’ll perform it again in the future) but Danielle and I have made the decision to put it down for a while and start a new piece!  More to come on this later…

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8 Comments on “My first tour – the culmination of a year and a quarter”

  1. B.Rajkumar says:

    Very good.

  2. JRV says:

    Bravo! But there are still at least two more performances, right? 🙂

  3. I am impressed by your rythmn and intonation.

  4. Brenda Anna says:

    What you have accomplished in in fifteen months is nothing short of remarkable! Keep on working as you have, and eventually you’ll get around to that Paganini Caprice. In the meantime, maybe you’d enjoy getting together with other adult beginners to play chamber music. Check out this website: http://www.acmp.net/index.php

    Kudos to your wife and your most excellent accompanist, too!


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