Sunday, August 4, 2013

A little motivation

Bianca was working really hard. She practiced her viola most days while we were in Europe. She knew she needed to have several pieces performance-ready. Because of the audition. It's been looming over us all summer. Some days she would put in two or three practice sessions, without me encouraging her to do it. And the kind of practice was different--instead of running through her pieces straight through, she was stopping at mistakes, picking those sections apart, practicing them slower, then gradually faster up to tempo. It's like her practicing was become more mature right before my eyes (well, my ears anyway, as she practices upstairs in her room).

I knew she was putting a lot of pressure on herself. One particular week after a lot of extra practice sessions, Bianca's teacher was doing as she always does--finding parts that needed help and correcting her. Near the end of the lesson, something just broke. Roberta stopped and asked what was wrong. Bianca was in tears. I knew what it was--that her many extra hours hadn't really been acknowledged and that lessons were going on as usual and that corrections were continuing to be made. My eyes started welling up too, I'm a sympathetic cryer. And no one wants to see their child hurting. Larry, Bianca's teacher's husband, went out to feed the fish after the lesson and asked if Bianca and Portia wanted to come watch. Of course they did. I was glad for I had time to explain to Roberta what happened in the studio back there. She was full of praise for Bianca and worried that she's putting too much pressure on herself. Maybe she was. Bianca can be intense at times, and I think she felt she had something to prove.

Up until the audition yesterday, Roberta stressed that I needed to downplay the importance of the audition and that no matter the outcome, it doesn't change the improvements Bianca's made. But I was worried. If she didn't get the outcome she wanted--the coveted place in the prestigious orchestra--how could I explain to her that hard work really gets results?

Thankfully, it all worked out. Bianca was ready. She was confident, poised, and she played beautifully at the audition. She had the first two movements of the Telemann Viola Concerto prepared, as well as the courante from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1, which she had learned in three weeks. When the director said she had a place in the orchestra, she couldn't stop smiling. This orchestra is a huge commitment--every Saturday for over five hours. But it's a full-scholarship orchestra so once you get in, you're immersed in it. Saturday sessions include music theory and ear training classes and music history. I told Bianca that yes, she worked hard to get in, but it's just the beginning. This orchestra will be a lot of work. And a lot of early Saturday mornings.

1 comment:

satoko said...

Way to go, Bianca, for working so hard. I'm certain she will do great. Congratulations!