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Musical "Peak Experience" today
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Advanced member
March 12, 2012 - 12:35 am
Member Since: January 23, 2012
Forum Posts: 69
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I just have to share this.  I don't know if I can truly convey the feeling.  But I'd like to hear others talk about these special personal moments:
We had our area Symphony practice today. (Medium sized midwest community.) Two weeks until our spring concert.  All classical music (program below.)  We have 8 first violins, 8 second violins, 3 or 4 violas, 3 cellos, 2 basses, and the rest of the usual brass, woodwinds and percussion.  I'm the new kid on the block here.  I'm in the first violin section, and I'm not particularly good.  I've only been playing this level of music for the past 6 months -- before that, it was back in high school... now I'm retired!  But I'm fortunate enough to sit way in the back row among 3 very good players.  I miss a lot of runs and fast fingerings at this point, but I manage to keep up with the music in most other ways, and my neighbors cover up for my shortcomings while I work at improving.
Here's the glitch:  the high school musical had it's final matinee this afternoon.  I knew our first chair violin and "a few more" of the orchestra would be absent, playing for that.  I didn't realize I was walking in there and would be the ONLY first violin.  Deer in the headlights!!!  And there were ONLY two second violins, a viola, 2 cellos, 1 bass.  As the reality sank in, I almost decided to go home rather than humiliate myself.  But there was legitimate way to leave, so I was stuck.  And I knew I was going to absolutely suck.
But this interesting thing happened.  Maybe it was because I could hear myself better, or maybe because I didn't want to look like a total loser, whatever it was, but I played different.  I just felt like I HAD to try to play with more authority, I felt kind of responsible to not be the focus of distraction and big holes in the music.  I'm not saying I suddenly developed amazing dexterity in the runs and fast parts with cross-string bowing and all that, but I played so much better than I had any idea I could! I kept up well enough to contribute a good enough first violin part for the rest of the group to play with. And the other 2 violins and the conductor congratulated me.  I think the conductor was a little surprised. But during those two hours, it became one of those rare peak experiences, a sense of being almost outside myself, that left me overjoyed and pumping adrenalin!  When I got into the car afterwards, I sat there and cried.  Good thing I was alone because I never could have explained it.
Now I feel like I deserve that new violin case, the Fiddlerman bow, and set of Zyex strings that are supposed to arrive tomorrow.  I've been putting more practice time into the boring technique stuff (that I found on here!), and I think it paid off today, so I'm also inspired to continue that. This experience left me feeling like I do belong in this orchestra, that I'm not an imposter expecting to be suddenly discovered and thrown out or something... (anyone else ever have that feeling?)
For what it's worth, here's concert program:
-- Tritsch Tratsch Polka
-- Great Gate of Kiev
-- Beethoven's Ninth Symphony Finale
-- 1812 Overture
-- To A Wild Rose
-- Hallelujah Chorus
-- Brandenburg Sinfonia
-- Eine Kleine Knachtsmusik  (this is a strings-only piece so I was especially feeling out there on the edge of nowhere today)
-- Little Rhapsody In Blue
OK, that's all.  I just was burning to write about this and share it with a friend or two.  I'd love to read other people sharing about these private wondrous awesome moments that there aren't really words for!<img class="spSmiley" title="cheerleader" onclick="spjEdInsertSmiley('cheerleader.gif', 'cheerleader', '', 'cheerleader');" src="/wp-content/forum-smileys/cheerleader.gif" alt="cheerleader" />


King for a Day, Peasant for many

March 12, 2012 - 3:59 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1813
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So, you have finally reached that moment I speak of often around here... you "felt" the music you played.

I bet you move up a row or two now...LOL

Too bad there isn't a video of those pieces for us all to hear... I bet they are really good.


I personally don't have a public moment like that to share but sometimes I'm just playing "in the groove" so to speak and it usually happens outside on the back porch where I play and just drift off into the music I hear and feel what I play... sometimes I close my eyes and I'm so surprised at what I hear, almost like it isn't even me that's playing! 

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

Fort Lauderdale
March 12, 2012 - 3:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13271

That is a very interesting phenomena with the intense and extra concentration that kicks in when it is necessary. Maybe if you could learn to channel that concentration to when it is not absolutely necessary you will have a completely different level of progress as well.

Congratulations, and I hope you're happy with your stuff tomorrow. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Coleshill, Warwickshire

March 12, 2012 - 4:37 pm
Member Since: December 15, 2011
Forum Posts: 1726
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What a great post and I'm glad you told it.
Most people just dream of an experience like that in their lifetime.
It's all about a lot of factors, adrenalin, comfort
Circle, being on the spot, the EXTRA element.
Only rarely do people experience something like that, so enjoy, REALLY enjoy the memory of that moment.
I'm near 50 and have seen it only once and been lucky enough to experience it once.
Once was watching a middle (non black belt) grade guy in Aikido, who you could see, for maybe five minutes in his life, was totally in the groove, working, throwing, moving and in the end 'demolishing' 5 black belts who we had put him up against, like he was in a dream.
He had accomplished what we always strive for in the martial arts world, a complete abscence of conscious thought.
So you are quite lucky, you can remember it, and I sincerely hope that you hit that experience again, coz as you now know, there isn't another feeling like it in the world. You've done it once.........

I am amazed at how old people of my age are.....

Michigan, USA

March 12, 2012 - 4:47 pm
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 2647
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Great story, Fiddlrgrrl.

Reminds me of the "Little Engine that Could"violin_girl

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