August 4, 2013 ARIA 2013 Session IV: Day 5

Woo!  Today has been busy!  It was, sadly, Dr. Keeble’s last day with us today, so we started with him doing the master class this morning!  We talked about general questions for him, double tonguing in general, and double and triple tonguing exercises tied to orchestral excerpts!  It was a fantastic class, I can’t say enough how brilliant it was!  I wish I could pour all the bits of knowledge he gave us into this blog post, but than it would probably turn in a doctoral thesis and that would be silly!  I’ll just hit some of the highlights, shall I?

The number one thing I came away with from today’s class?  Every single one of us questions whether this is supposed to be our career at some point, especially during our studies and that’s okay!  Sometimes it’s not meant to be, but sometimes, you just go through periods where you’re scared or struggling and it gets tough, but you pick up the instrument and you keep going and if it’s meant to be, that period will pass!  It’s such a wonderful thing to hear because we do go through those times and knowing that someone who has become as well respected and fantastic of a musician as Dr. Keeble went through those issues is comforting to know.  We also talked about entrepreneurship, a handy thing for this girl, who is trying to figure out where her life is going after grad school.  Dr. Keeble’s #1 advice for that?  Diversify!  Be good at more than one thing, if you are, if you love what you do, if you’re happy, you’ll find a place in the music world doing exactly what makes you smile every day!

For the actual double/triple tonguing portion of the class we discussed specific exercises to try that will help improve double tonguing…tomorrow’s project?  I think yes!  We also went through exercises that will help make some of those nasty orchestral excerpts be a little less painful.  (Think: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carnival of the Animals, William Tell etc.)  If any one knows how to go and be missed, it’s Dr. Keeble!

After class I skipped lunch (don’t worry I did eat, eventually) and I practiced for my lesson with Dr. Keeble, which was at 1:00pm.  For those of you wondering why I was running around looking for a printer yesterday, this lesson was why!  I got my grad school audition list on Friday at 3:00pm, every printer in a 20 mile radius is closed by Saturday at 1:00pm, which is, of course, after I started looking for one, so I never did manage to get those excerpts printed.  But it’s okay, I punted and I got to work on them with Dr. Keeble anyway!  (And I’ll go find a printer tomorrow ASAP!)  It was a crazy hard lesson full of working on tone, playing louder without “shrieking,” articulation, and keeping the line going through phrases.  I guess that comes with Brahms territory!  Yup, we have three excerpts from Brahms Symphony #2 (insert breathless panting here).  So I’m training for a running half-marathon, and now I’m training for a playing marathon!  Ready…GO!  😉

This afternoon Professor Mendenhall did the master class and it was on convincing interpretation.  It was also really interesting.  It was a lot about tone and phrasing, too, but she has a distinctly different teaching style from Dr. Keeble, so it’s really interesting to hear what she has to say about all these different concepts.  Since I have a lesson with her now, on Friday, I’m really excited to hear what she’ll have to say about my playing!

This evening I rehearsed a duet for a masterclass with a friend here (we both study with the same teacher back home!)  It went pretty well.  We each have things to work on, but we’ll sort them out.  We’re going to practice again tomorrow afternoon, which we’ll help even more.  After our rehearsal we spent half an hour talking, which was a lot of fun, which was nice!

We’ll, I still have several things to do, so I’d better be off to do them and get to bed.  Tomorrow we get a new professor, John Thorne from Northwestern.  This should be interesting and I’ll let you know how it goes.  Tomorrow morning: 6 mile run, speed work. 🙂

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