Padawan of the Double Bass, Part 3: Status

So, what am I doing right now?

In a perfect world, I would have been in the place that I am right now my senior year of high school: colleges picked out, applications sent it, auditions arranged, repertoire prepared, etc. Things didn’t work out that way, and I’m totally cool with that for a number of reasons.

First of all, I simply wasn’t ready to play a respectable audition at that time. My technique was steadily improving, but my facility with both hands wasn’t consistent.Second, for other personal reasons, I don’t think I was mature enough to go away to whatever school and make wise choices.

Third, if I would have been accepted at a music school, I probably wouldn’t have ever taken a lesson with my current teacher.

(Remember those blog tangents I said I might go on? Yeah. Here’s one…)

I sometimes wonder why I’ve been as fortunate as I’ve been to study with the teachers that I have. I’m not unusually talented, and I’ve certainly never been the star student of any of the studios I’ve been in. Anything that I can do on a Double Bass reasonably well probably took me hours upon hours of beating my head against an unflinching brick wall.

Is it luck? Providence? Coincidence? Whichever way, I guess it’s sort of irrelevant.Now, I’m definitely the type of person who tries to find the silver lining in everything, but I still know when I’ve struck gold. To come across a teacher like Andy is rare. The amount of time, and intense, focused mental attention I get from him is invaluable. Every week, we tackle whatever problem I’m dealing with, and he’ll give me as much of his time as he can to set me on the path to fix said problem. We usually cut it off at about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When have you ever heard of a lesson over an hour and one minute?? That’s right. Never.

Most music teachers, while still being performers, have to maintain a certain number of students to sustain themselves financially. This means that time is scheduled, lessons are back to back, student in, student out, and that’s just how it is. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this. In fact, I’ll probably be doing some variation of that exact thing when I finish my studies. I’m just simply very appreciative of the time Andy’s willing to invest in me. Once again, I’m extremely fortunate in finding a teacher who has taken a personal interest in me.

(End blog-tangent here)
So, back to the point of me writing this post…this is currently what’s on my plate:

-Scheduled to audition at Roosevelt University (Chicago College of Performing Arts), DePaul University, and University of Illinois

-Practicing my brains out on:

Koussevitzsky’s Concerto

Courante from Bach’s 1st cello suite

Bille’ etude
Beethoven 5, mvt. 3, Scherzo and Trio

Mozart 40, 1st mvt.

-Finishing up an Associates Degree in music from College of DuPage this spring.

-Working part time for ASI security

I figure auditioning at more than one school is prudent. Andy told me a while ago that getting money from a school is sort of like buying a used car–you’ve got to haggle.

“Well, this school offered me this much…can’t you guys do any better than that?”

And so on and so forth.

Aside from the fact that I’m really only interested in going to Roosevelt because Andy is there, I know for a fact that DePaul has a stellar music program. Rob Kassinger, who teaches at DePaul and plays in the Chicago Symphony, is a marvelous player. In fact, I heard him give a brilliant rendition of Bottesini’s Concerto No. 2 a few weeks ago.

So, that, in a Goliath-sized nutshell, is what my status as a Padawan of the Double Bass, is.


~ by benjamin86 on December 5, 2007.

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