Apparently, next week on April 4th, pet and owner teams will be coming to UBC as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing stress for students. Students will be able to spend 30 minutes with a cat or dog and their owner to reduce stress and anxiety. Did I mention it’s free? I really want to go, but all the sessions are already full! I wish I’d known about it sooner, but maybe if the project is a success I’ll be able to do it next year! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
This is the adorable one-eyed kitty my family fostered over reading week. I love cats! :D
For those of you interested, I’ll be playing with the UBC Symphony Orchestra this Saturday, March 31st at 8 pm in the Chan Centre. Tickets are free but get there early, because they usually sell out!
Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio
Jennifer Higdon: Percussion Concerto
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Raffi Armenian, guest conductor
I’ll be playing in the percussion concerto featuring Jeremy Lawi.
I hope you can come out and see it!
Last Tuesday the school of music brought in a speaker to give an introductory session on preventing and managing musicians’ injuries over the lunch hour. About thirty people came to listen, and almost all of them were injured or in pain in some way. In a faculty the size of music, that’s a lot of people, and I know for a fact that there are others with injuries that didn’t come. With so many people with injuries hampering their schooling and career, it’s great that the school brought someone in, but it’s also not nearly enough. Continue reading
Last Friday, some of my harp friends and I all played for one another. We were playing some of our jury pieces which we’ll have to perform for marks some time in April (juries are what we call solo performance exams). While I was listening to my two friends play, I couldn’t help but think, Holy smokes! These guys are waaaaaay better than me! It discouraged me to see such a gap in skill between me and my friends, even though one is in the same year as me and the other is only a year ahead. It was hard not to get depressed and think that I’ll never be a great player.
The thing that I realized though, is that our performances can’t really be compared as to who is the better harpist, and it isn’t a marker of how much either of us has learned this year. I’ve been struggling with tendinitis since November (I still am), and that has seriously limited the time I can practice, whereas the others can practice for four hours a day. So even though I want to practice my guts out so I can improve and play harder music and sound better and all that, I can’t – talk about frustrating! The other thing is that the other harpists have both been playing at least twice as long as I have. That’s a big head start.
When I look back at September, I can see how far I’ve come over the last seven months or so. I’ve come a really long way, especially when I consider the fact that I’ve be injured, too. I am doing remarkably well, at least I think so, and I’m excited to see what I can do next year, when I’m not injured. And the fact is, there will always be someone in the world who is better than I am. If the only way I’ll be satisfied is to be the absolute best in the world, I’ll never be happy! But I can be happy knowing that I’ve improved a lot and I’m giving the best performance I possibly can. That is something to be proud of.
Today was my third rehearsal with the symphony orchestra, and I can tell you now, it’s way better than before.
I felt a bit lost at the first rehearsal (all right, entirely lost), but at this point I can come in when I’m supposed to, hit the notes I’m supposed to and play out without fear (well, mostly anyway). At the first rehearsal I was literally shaking with nervousness and thought my heart was going to burst out of my ears. But I had way more fun today and feel a lot better about myself. I feel that I am a valuable contributing member of the ensemble. My first rehearsal was – well, it was my first rehearsal. I had never done it before, so of COURSE it didn’t go perfectly. At the time I was very upset, but I have a tendency to be very hard on myself, and now I can see that everything is working out just fine.
I suppose that I’ve learned from this experience that a “failure” is not a permanent failure, it is merely an obstacle to overcome, a challenge to keep working away at. With time and more experience, it will get better and you will improve.
This Friday (March 9th), the harp quartet I am part of will be performing along with the UBC Chamber Strings at 8 pm in Roy Barnett Recital Hall in the Music Building. It’s totally free and promises to be a great concert. Please come out and support us if you can!
Okay, a final edit. Kony 2012, the campaign by Invisible Children posted a video a few days ago and it went viral. Here’s the original video:
As a reaction, this tumblr post was created in an attempt to educate people further about the situation in Uganda and regarding Joseph Kony and the Invisible Children organization: visiblechildren.tumblr.com.
So yes, just by watching the video you can tell there are some serious issues with bias and propaganda, but I still say that the campaign has raised awareness. Maybe not full awareness from the video, but many people are looking into the issue past the KONY video, and awareness is a good thing.