Friday, July 25, 2003
Today I had my first lesson with the teacher I've come here to study with. (The first three weeks of camp he wasn't here yet, and I was studying with another teacher here.) I'll be brief, since I need to practice - so let's just say I got my butt kicked. Completely. How someone can figure me out so well and know my strengths and weaknesses in just one lesson is utterly amazing, but he did it. I've had other teachers who haven't figured me out in years. Oh, it isn't all hopeless - he spent over an hour talking to me last night, and I learned a lot at my lesson today, and he thinks I have a terrific talent and adequate current ability; he just thinks I'm not working at all. Which... is pretty much true. I mean, it depends on your definition of working, but if I really want to be a violinist, then right now I'm not working hard enough to get there. I'm not disciplining myself to do it even when it's not fun. I'm letting myself say, "I've only been playing for six years... I started late... I don't have a great teacher at school right now..." and get by on excuses instead of taking the initiative to practice things until they're the best I can possibly get them. And I CAN do it. And some days I do. It's just that some days I don't, and he could tell. And he knows that I love literature and classics and ideas and philosophy and theology, and he knows that I'm wavering between pursuing music or pursuing something else, and he knows that I really need to commit to one thing now and go for it and pursue it wholeheartedly and whole-minded-ly too. Not to say that I have to choose one thing for forever, but if I'm going to pursue music I need to decide to do it now and really throw myself into it and work at it and not let my fear of failure keep me holding something back. I need to work at it for a few years, and then re-evaluate... instead of re-evaluating my life every day. He's totally right. How can he be so right when he barely knows me?