It was a great opportunity for my students to play some music in an intimate setting for a live audience. Performing is a crucial part of learning and has an indispensable way of solidifying progress and building confidence! I must say I am VERY proud of their performances. With the exception of one student, all the pieces were tailored specifically to address challenges each student was facing in order to give them incentive to overcome those challenges. The crowd that showed up to support the students was also pretty impressive. We probably had around 20 people to see five students perform. It was a good day for all. It also provided an opportunity for my amazing collaborator Wenci Fan and I to air out some of our Meg Quigley repertoire, an opportunity I would not have otherwise had since I am no longer in school.
That leads to another interesting thought, competition preparation. I feel no one ever talks about this but it's quite the mind game. I have discovered from making the tape for the semi-final round it requires a lot of careful preparation. However preparing for the next round is even harder. You have to out-do your last performance.. which of course means practicing the same repertoire for an even longerrrrr span of time. No sweat right? Except when you play the same thing for MONTHS it starts to become very wearing. I must say that there are days when I have woken up, set up the bassoon and then stared at it... almost all day.
Now I know my situation is a little different from the other girls preparing for this competition, simply because I am the only one who is not currently in school. That means I am not getting any sort of regular check up from my teacher.. because I don't have one. I have to be my own teacher, and though I think I'm doing ok, another set of ears is indispensable. Especially a set that is older and wiser. I know I could probably be doing a lot better with more regular help, but I kinda dig my independence too. I really hope I get to go to graduate school for bassoon someday. I really love doing the bassoon thing and don't think I couldn't live without it.
Composing has also been an interesting challenge. To have inspiration you really have to do more than sit in front of a piano. So I'm trying to stay active with things I love, like spending time with people, dancing, and learning other repertoire. It's great.
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