Monday Big teaching day today, though much of it will be spent on London
First stop, the school in Brixton and my seven-piece orchestra. Noor’s left his violin at home – again. Two girls wonder why I sit with such a straight back. I explain that
posture is important for a
musician - they thought it was because I was posh! After tuning, which takes for ever, they all hit the first note more or less in
the right place. We struggle on to the end. Headmaster appears, tells them he
’s impressed. Big improvement from last time, he says. Huge grins all round. Now
we look forward to the end of term concert.
Next stop, Blackheath Conservatoire. Fifteen year old Stephen first. He never
practises. He also plays oboe and guitar but appears not to like the violin too
much. He plays as a gesture of loyalty to his grandfather who died last year.
Alex, aged five, who has a natural ability. Perfect bow-hold and I
’ve only shown him once.
Tuesday Nothing on this morning so I can concentrate on practising the viola for an
audition on Friday for a job with the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff. They
want to hear two contrasting pieces, so it
’s the Bartok and Hoffmeister viola concertos.
This afternoon we had a photo shoot for the quartet. The photographer we know
well as we played at the opening night of his exhibition
‘Retrospective Images’ held in the OXO Tower last month.
The quartet played at a reception on the Cutty Sark this evening where the Guest
of Honour was Prince Philip. It was freezing cold and guess how pleased we were
when Prince Philip came over asked;
“Are you cold?”!!!!
Wednesday More teaching. This time in north London at a centre for Performing Arts. Eight
pupils whose ages range between 6-15.
Several tube changes later and I’ve arrived to teach Marie-Ella aged six. She has practised well this week so I
let the lesson run on for an extra quarter of an hour.
Then there’s Jane who is the same age as me. I started her off on the violin a year or so
ago and she
’s just passed her grade 2 with merit. She’s delighted – and so am I.
Thursday Lots of practice. I’m almost defeated by the Richard Strauss excerpt. They’re sure to want to hear it, so press on. More practice and more practice – and it’s beginning to come together.
Friday Off to Cardiff for my Audition with WNO. This is the friendliest audition I’ve done. The receptionist, orchestral players and accompanist go out of their way to make me
feel welcome and relaxed. Even the Strauss goes quite well. There are two days
of auditions so I won
’t hear anything until next week.
Saturday Croydon this afternoon. I’m playing in a concert at The Fairfield Halls. Meet lots of friends in the
Orchestra and the evening goes well.
Sunday. Day off!!
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