The hour-long lesson with my teacher tonight was spent on learning the first two lines of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. That’s it.

Applying the techniques I’ve been working on the past month or so, all of fifty-seven notes – how to play each individual one to make it sound beautiful. Each note uses a different technique in right and left hand, as well as learning how to allow energy to flow through my body into the music.

Super advanced and detailed. There is so much to learn, things I never even conceived of. Up till recently I thought I played better than I actually do. Feeling rather deflated right now.

Regarding the video, what I worked on tonight is only up to 2:34. My goal is to make it sound like this! Two weeks to my next lesson. I can do this!

I Always Wanted To…….

It seems that nearly everyone I meet, when the inevitable question comes up, what do you do? and I say, violin, follows with a variation of, I always wanted to play violin, or I used to play violin (or other instrument).

My adult students, to a person, tell me some version of, I’ve always wanted to learn to play violin and am excited to be finally making time for it. 

That word – always – pops up whenever someone tells me about their unmanifested passions. Passion is what VB is all about, so I’m your girl.

I don’t know of one person with a burning passion to do something – straight from the bucket list – who hasn’t had that desire their entire life, or for as long as they remember. For sure, there are things we all want to do that came up today, last week, last year. But those lifetime dreams just never go away. We shove their inconvenient asses into a closet, but damn them, they find ways to open the door.

And harass us in creative ways until they become proverbial 600-pound gorillas that everyone but ourselves can see.

My first burning passion? I remember telling my parents around age 5 that I wanted to be a poet. And I did. It’s not the main thing I do, but it has its place. It’s lead me to so many interesting people and places.

So what am I getting at? Ignoring your passions is a total, complete waste. They will never go away. The world needs what you do. And in the doing you will have the biggest blast of your life.

Out on a Limb

Didn’t write last night, as I updated my About page.

It has taken a lot of nerve accepting the position of principal 2nd violin, and returning to rehearsal every week.  I am the supposed section leader, yet I make so many mistakes during rehearsals, and feel very inadequate.

My main thing is to avoid making an ass of myself; after that, to play the damn music so well that the others wish they could play like me. A touch of a narcissist, I am. There are so many people I admire for many different things; being one of those to others feels kinda good.

Secondary to that, I need the conductor to have confidence in my ability, enough that he can depend on me to play extraordinarily well.

Third, I want to create a strong section; to do that I have to play pretty damned well. Which I work on every single day (practice, practice, and more practice, as well as having my own teacher).

Yet I show up there every week knowing all too well what I can’t yet do.

And it is frightening. Luckily, the universe often has more faith in us than we do.


Believing in stating your intentions, telling trusted people your dreams and passions, putting it out there. I had an unexpected opportunity to spend a night in the city with some fellow musicians, go to a musical, even met one of the pit musicians, a friend of one of the people I was with.

As you might imagine, I was giddy, with appropriate decorum, of course.

The point – say what you want, and expect to be led (pushed, dragged) to it.

None of those I was with can actually help me in a practical way, but indirectly. Show me what’s out there, what it looks/feels like.

But….what an experience that shot me with determination to get there, wherever there is.

And I can use more of that, as practice is almost always drudgery!

Get It Over With

Continued with my commitment to practice at least an hour every day; today was the violin concerto, since we will be rehearsing that on Monday night………

Hasn’t been going so great. I’m not nuts about playing for concertos usually, as the orchestra is just backup, and I get SO distracted by the soloist, looking all gaga at them and forgetting to play. (Note: this is common, not just me!)

But back to practice. Slogged through the first two movements with Hillary Hahn on YouTube. My heart not into it today. Was like normal sex: just want it to be over.

But beneficial as I understand those entrances better.

Where Do I Go Next?

Ok, my mind is never far from three of the things I consider necessities – one, to play in a kick ass orchestra. What do I consider kick ass? They have national attention = famous. I do not seek fame, but I do seek the heady level where fame is found. Competition is stiff, am studying with the right teacher for me at the moment. She knows my goals. If she says jump, I ask where’s the cliff. My intent is to prepare to audition for increasingly higher level orchestras. Am already Principal Second violin in one orchestra as a start.

Two, to play in a recording studio orchestra. The idea of playing in a techie environment for, say, a movie track, seems so…I don’t know……important. Then when the movie comes out, knowing I played for the soundtrack……would make me so full of myself. Trying to temper my enthusiasm and gloating, maintaining a humble exterior. How to get there? Practice…..and make use of connections I have yet to meet or know of.

Three, play in pit orchestras. Things have changed over the past 10 or so years. Used to be a lot easier to get a seat on Broadway when orchestras had deeper pockets, and there were more of them. As the economy tanked, so did funding for orchestras. Broadway (and Off-Broadway, as well as in other cities around the country) became very attractive to musicians left out in the cold. It used to be considered a grunt gig, playing the same damn thing night after night after night. I would give anything to know what being jaded feels like. I know the process…..join the local musician’s union, then get on a sub list. Again, I need insider connections. Which will cross my path.

Am publishing my intentions here to make them known. Ya hear that, Universe?!

Get a Grip, Girl!

Stop complaining about not having time to practice more. Do something about it.

You don’t schedule practice, do you? No.

So you allow your days to be filled with work and your to-do list. What do you expect? Uh-huh. Practice after I clear out my to-do list. 

And when was the last time you cleared out your to-dos? Once in 2013 I think.

Your plan isn’t realistic, is it? Apparently not. Then there are lessons and rehearsals almost every week night.

And how much do you feel like playing after all THAT shit is done at, say, 9pm? Don’t 

So you need to schedule practice before anything else every day, get it done. Yup.

Don’t give me bullshit! SAY IT if you mean it! Practice every morning 9:30 to 10:30


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