Back to normal.

After the excitement of Monday, I just couldn't get myself to report on the daily happenings of yesterday. So here I am after a day's break in blogging, and while I don't have amazing experiences with world-famous artists to report, I think I had a pretty good day.

Wednesdays, in general, are an "easy" day, in that I only teach three lessons, have quartet rehearsal, and teach studio class. So I taught three productive lessons today, and actually had a very productive quartet rehearsal, even though one member was out of town.

Studio class was the highlight of my day. Almost all of my students played, and each of them is already progressing in their playing. What I was very proud to see was the especially-prone-to-performance-anxiety students get up in front of their peers, and PERFORM. It's not easy for a lot of people, so Studio is there for us to work out the kinks in a warm and supportive environment, and almost everyone embraced that opportunity.

To finish out the day, I finally I went back to the Rec Center! It had been days, and it was much needed. I ran just over two miles on the track again, and think I'll start trying to increase my length of time running, instead of counting laps around the track to tally distance. I also finally went back to the climbing wall. It feels like eons since I've been climbing, so it was good to get back to it. I am pretty weak in my forearms, but I was happy to see I still had some "moves" left. The guy I was climbing with complemented me on a specific move I did to get a high right foot. That was nice, and made me feel better about my otherwise total lack of climbing!

So, I think perhaps these next few weeks will be "regular," whatever that means in academia! It will be nice to have a week where nothing in my schedule changes-- we'll see if that actually works out!

Happy practicing!

Viola viola viola!

Wow, what a day. I am exhausted. It started off less than ideal, with me waking up at 4:30 AM and being unable to get back to sleep. I finally got up at about 5:30, answered a bunch of emails and took care of other "housekeeping" tasks before heading to work. I got a whopping half hour of practice in before my first student arrived, but it was really good to have even that little amount of  viola alone time.

In the afternoon, the faculty quartet met for the first time. My colleagues are such talented musicians! We read the entire Beethoven quartet, op 74 ("The Harp"), then played some of the Debussy before we decided it was too much to perform well, given everything else each of us has going on. After some discussion we read some of Tchaikovsky's Quartet No. 1, which I hadn't previously know, but it was beautiful! We will program the Tchaikovsky and Beethoven on our concert in March. Fun! I'm looking forward to really working on this amazing music-- it has been too long since I've played chamber music!

And finally studio class. Three brave souls performed in front of their peers, and they all did incredibly well incorporating the new ideas I've been giving them (in a nutshell-- NO TENSION when playing viola!) while "on the spot." We played some group scales, and finally pizzas arrived! We decided last week to have a "viola hang" to get to know each other a little better. We sat around chatting for about another hour while everyone ate pizzas and drank soda. It was really nice.

I'm going to start editing a student's DMA document now, then head to bed. I am exhausted!

...In a very fulfilled and happy way. By the end of tomorrow, I will have met with all of my students, so that is exciting. So far I am extremely happy with their attitudes and willingness to accept ideas with which they are unfamiliar. Teaching viola is such a rewarding task!

Happy practicing!