Last week I volunteered to perform on 1 December so I have been busy. I felt I needed to time this performance now to enable me to put it behind me so that I could then turn my attention to the various exams coming up soon. First there was the choice of tunes. My fiddle lessons so far have been mainly spent on technique and scales. I have been playing scales in third position and the tune I am working on involves third and second position but its not ready.
So I decided to play a jig, Sheep on the Moor and also a seven/eight tune, the Prophecy. They are both in A but quite different. The Prophecy is challenging both in timing but also to play. First mistake.
Looking at the specification we are supposed to aim at quite a high level and choose a range of different music. different tempos etc. So these tunes fitted the bill. But after the performance there was discussion (for those performing next week) that performing something easier and to concentrating on dynamics might be better. Wish I had known that before.
I had been working hard on tunes. I had my fiddle lesson on Tuesday and discussed them with my teacher. She also gave me some different bowing to try. To prepare for this performance I had been advised to slow down the tune and then speed it up again. This was a learning curve for me. So I had the metronome on constantly. I knew the tunes well by the performance and felt fairly secure.
So how did it go? Hmmm. The jig went OK but the seven eight tune was difficult to play with an accompaniment and we weren't quite together. I was given feedback on timing and that my violin bow was too long (?!). Very odd as its a standard bow….. I found it all quite disheartening, as I had worked hard.
But what I also took from all this, is that choice of what you play is important. And whereas, I stretched (because I want to be challenged and get better) I probably should have played something. Tricky balance given the outcomes.
Also, solo performance needs a formal and disciplined approach to practice with attention to detail and accurate timing. As I do not come from a classical background, I will find out more about practice techniques.
Ah well - onward and upwards.