So much has happened! Italy was a great trip for musical growth. My playing has changed a lot since coming back. I'm not the only one who has made this observation...my teacher as well as friends around me has commented on how much better I am playing.
I'm still trying to figure out what it is about the trip that changed me. I think it was being in the company of student musicians and working with them for a week towards a concert that made me realized that everyone has their struggles (with intonation, with rhythm, etc). As an adult amateur, we rarely get that group environment. Being in this environment gave me so much inspiration to really practice. My goals didn't seem so lofty anymore...almost attainable.
Since then, the way I practiced changed. I learned to do a lot of the things that I've been reading about..slowing down to really learn the notes, practicing with a metronome, patient repetition. If you throw these three things into anything you want to learn, it's impossible not to reach your goal one day.
Yesterday - I got to perform the first movement of the brahms e minor with a pianist. I was pretty relaxed on stage (a first for me!) and it turned out to be one of my best performances. After studying this piece for what seems like forever...I finally see some improvements.
Anyway- these are some thoughts that I wanted to write in my neglected blog before they get too far away from the present.