Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Who's at the door?

So I just got back from the practice room. This is the practice room that I've rented out from the school on Wednesdays from 3-5 PM. The main purpose is to have a place for my teacher and me to meet at. But I figured I may as well use it on non-lesson Wednesdays as a practice room (what a novel idea!).

There is only one problen. I tend to get embarassed. When my teacher is there I feel like I have moral support. Besides every once in a while she plays on her oboe and it's always something nice. I am afraid of what others think when they hear me as they walk by. It's not a heavily transited hallway, but it IS located in Dodge Hall where the MUSIC department is at. That means that real musicians might be walking around. And these folks may not realize that there is an adult beginner in that practice room. Thay may think "Geez that person sucks". Or "What the hell is that anyway?" Silly me, right?

Then I figured: who cares what they think. It's not as though they can see me anyway. And even the best musician was a beginner at some point (though probably while they were still in grammar school not college). Oh well, I have to get over all that. Nothing I can do about it now and the only thing that will get me where I want to be is practicing. Besides, I do have a lot of fun practicing (even if I still can't play the Saint-Saens sonata).

I've been struggling with a lot of emotional issues lately, with the whole music thing being part of the mix. This tends to happen when I have to spend inordinate amounts of time on non-musical things (like textbooks). Back when I was in college and a newly minted Music major I did seriously consider picking up an orchestral instrument. But, then I realized that I had no discipline for anything. I didn't think it possible for me to spend hours upon hours doing any one thing. Fast forward 10 years. Now I am studying Organic Chemistry for 8 hours at a time. Suddenly practicing for 4 hours doesn't seem like such an impossible feat. If my mouth could hold out that long, I think I could totally do it. Today I ended up practicing for about 75 minutes. If my lifestyle permitted it, I could have several of those sessions every day. If only I had believed in myself back then!

I am willing to work very hard at the things that mean a lot to me now. Only problem is that it is music that means the most to me. Yet it is the one thing that I can no longer aspire to careerwise. So sometimes when I have been studying my science textbooks for hours and hours I feel a bit sad. It's kind of unfair that I have this passion that I can't live for (unless I win the lotto). It's painful to spend a lot of energy on something else instead, even though I do like the other thing too. I keep telling myself that as long as I have some time to develop my talent I will be fine. But sometimes I find myself really wishing that I could do something crazy like enroll in this program and never work again!

Anyway, I am actually feeling pretty good right now. I had a nice practice session and have rehearsal for that rock band tonight. My interest in the latter has waned because I've been spending a lot of mental energy daydreaming about me playing chamber music and symphonies. But hey it should be a fun outlet for me during these stressful times so for now I will stay in the band. However, come summertime I may have to leave it for greener pastures. Our quartet should start rehearsing again by then. I can't wait!! I am pretty sure they will see some kind of improvement in my playing since the last time we met.

I can only hope that my teacher will hear improvement at our lesson next week! *gulp*


oceanskies79 said...

Would you like to read: The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green. It can be difficult to read at first, but I found it helpful to improve my level of self-awareness and reduce the self-consciousness in one.

Hilda said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I have it at home, but I struggled with the first few chapters and gave up. I think I will try it again.

dulciana said...

I like that book, too. And, boy, do I know all about practice room anxiety. At one of my colleges, the big concert hall organ was pretty much the only practice instrument available, and it was right over my teacher's office. I hated that.

soundtrk said...

Wow, I can really relate to a lot of the things you said here: practice rooms, non-music things like textbooks ... It's so tough to find the balance, but some people seem to manage. I'm always interested to know another person who loves music but has other career aspirations and can only do music in his/her spare time. Thanks for the link!

Hilda said...

Hey there Shannon! Glad to see you here. I was so happy to find your blog (I think I got it from another blog that was linked to Terminal Degree's). You're the only other person I've seen online who's doing something in the sciences but also has a love of music. I'll definitely be reading up on your adventures. Maybe we can share some tips!