I am currently preparing for conservatoire auditions, applying to Royal Northern, Royal Scottish, Royal Academy, Royal College and Guildhall. For this I need to play Haydn C major (no surprises there) and Prokofiev sonata 1st mvt. At the moment my life consists of a lot of sleep, procrastination and cookery and very little meticulous Haydn work.
I suppose this blog is an attempt for me to express my ‘lack’ of motivation guilt but I can’t find any guilt to express. For some reason I want to hate myself, criticise and push harder but at last my body is resisting and knows better. If I practice 4 hours a day in my holiday, who knows what fatigue I’ll encounter when auditions come.
I thoroughly learnt both pieces in the summer. The next few weeks are for me to let them shine. How do the composers want these pieces to sound? Am i stylish, fluent and composed? This work is fun, simple and just requires some planning, then a lot of imagination and fun. I’m going to prepare for these auditions by playing a game of ‘how much better can I possibly make it’ as well as sleeping lots, eating lots and catching up on Downton. If I practice and do other fun stuff along side, surely the practice will come easier, go quicker and create a fresher sound.
We can all get through the ‘hell’ by doing everything we love. You have always got enough time and you are always well prepared. These final weeks are for fun emotions only!
If I fail miserably, I apologise, but at least I’ll be happy and I’d give anything to stay in a happy place forever.
Was it only the embrace to break the silence
Was it only the laughter, only the talk
Was it merely the care of the humans
Was it only to me the happiness and the gratitude
Was it only the date, the time, the togetherness
Was it only the sweet sound of the piano
Could it be nothing more than the smell
The smell of the autumn and the apple trees
Could it be the touch of the warm blankets
Could it be my freedom or my faith
I think it must be the gifts
The hand bag
It is only the holiday
The trip to Lapland
The towering gifts
The showering gifts
I think it was the greed, the expense
The fear, the power
The fast cars and the lunches
Fine cashmere scarves protecting a neck on the line
The workaholic, stress pot
Work a lot.
It was what the money didn’t give us.
Saved by poverty
The love of family
The moments like these
Through the love of God.
I am writing this blog today because today is a ‘fuck tonne of shit to do’ type day.
I think the majority of us had it hammered into us at an early age that it is impossible to please everyone. No matter how hard you try, there will be someone in your life that you may have to let down or upset or offend without even realising. For some reason, this acceptable trait of human nature is far from acceptable in an institutional context.
Boarding school. Not only that but a MUSIC boarding school. The hell of A levels combined with the pressures of performance, improvement and success. Letting someone down simply isn’t an option so you find yourself busting a gut in order to please, only to find that in the end your efforts aren’t usually rewarded. You’re pushed harder, simply to see an ‘A’ for a piece of prep or ‘distinction’ in an assessment. The institution leads you to believe that you’re working for them and very rarely for yourself.
This emotion is one I am all too aware of but one I am also trying to manage. Is it so bad simply to prioritise? I want to be a cellist. I have a performance tomorrow but also have a music essay and a German vocabulary test. My German teacher may be hell on earth but the consequences of failing my vocab really aren’t going to kill me. Ok, so I’ll practice for an hour this evening, go to the gym for half an hour, maybe do some silent practice then if I feel up to it I might make a colourful poster of the vocab words.
It’s amazing to think what you can put your mind to when you don’t have enough time. It’s simply a question of knowing your priorities, having a plan and making everything as fun as possible- for me this usually involves making a poster or writing a poem.
Realise that there is more time than you think and that so long as you’re balanced and relaxed, the tough days will get easier.