A Lesson, A Little Lost, A Lot of Practice

“Progression comes in many forms.” ~ Running Magazine, January 2015 Issue

– View from my practice room –
It’s a bullet point kind of day (aka my being a little lazy and needing to catch up on a lot!)
1. The Conservatory, Practicing, and the Cafeteria
–  All of the practice rooms have such beautiful views, and apart from me not understanding the booking system and getting kicked out of every practice room I tried to practice in on the first day, I’m really enjoying practicing at the conservatory. The only other thing? So many stairs. So many. Everyday, I wonder if this is the day that I’m going to pass out from all the stairs up from the metro station, up to the instrument locker rooms, up to the practice rooms…
– There’s a wonderful cafeteria at the conservatory. The food is affordable and delicious, so it wins in every category. I’ve been eating there pretty much every-day with a friend, and a plus? We get to observe all the Copenhagen Philharmonic members come in after rehearsal, all suave and stylish in all-black.
2. What a wonderful thing – library cafes by the harbor!
– Black Diamond library, connected to the old library close to the palace. Such a beautiful building, right by the harbor!
– Studying or getting distracted by the view: that is the question.
– Is there anything better than sunlight while exploring?

– A microbrewery with friends!, a cute courtyard, main square in the shopping street, view of the harbor from the library –
3. My First Lesson
– Finding my professor’s house was a real struggle. Google maps let me down by getting me to the right station (ok, so yes, it did get me to the right station, but wait till you hear what happens next), and then just telling me “Walk for 4 minutes, destination on right.” No direction of walking or street or anything. So first I went left, and then I went right. And then I stopped at a flower shop to ask for directions. Turns out, I had to turn right and then left and left. But, oh, my teacher lives in the cutest neighborhood, and I had such a good lesson. We worked for an hour and a half on Brahms, and he casually played not only Brahms, but also Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saens concertos to demonstrate techniques. He’d play an excerpt of Brahms and then say to me, “Now you try.” Which was really discouraging (a constant thought running through my head: “how about you just keep playing so I can listen…”) But I loved my lesson, and I’m excited to learn from him.

– The cutest street where my professor lives! –
4. A Symphony Kind of Night
– We went to see the Copenhagen Philharmonic perform again, and it was even more amazing than the first night. A different pianist played a Chopin concerto, and then followed it with an encore of the Chopin Nocturne. Time seemed suspended when she played, and as I looked around the room, there was such as sense of shared wonder and beauty and empathy. And in that moment, I was so thankful that I have had the opportunity to be a part of this. To have the chance to play my violin, to have joy through music, and I couldn’t help but think, cliché as this is, that when music like this exists, and moments like this exist, there just might be a chance for peace. Ok. Cliché moment over.
– Before the orchestra played Schumann Symphony No. 4, the conductor gave a small talk about the need to preserve music and to support orchestras in Denmark. Surprisingly, classical music in Denmark doesn’t seem to be as big a part of the arts culture as in London or Paris. The orchestras are suffering just as much as orchestras in the States. According to the conductor, the number of professional orchestras in Denmark has shrunk from 7 to 4 in the time that he has served as music director of the Copenhagen Philharmonic. In his talk, he touched on the terrorist attacks in Paris just this past January, saying that “We must fight to keep what we love and what we hold true our hearts – alive. We have to appreciate what we have, and we have to fight for it.”

– Sunny day, view from the canal! –
5. Just a Couple Questions
– What is happiness? How do you define it?
– What do we do to achieve our defined happiness?
– Do you agree with this quote?
– Another view from the conservatory practice room window –
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