Today our usually-dysfunctional octet had a few hours of clarity and effective rehearsal time. Our coach was so proud of our progress she declared, "I'm about to cry. You sound so much better." So that's something. Although I can't say I wouldn't have somewhat preferred a group without all the dysfunction to begin with. Chamber music is so difficult.
This afternoon we were all required to sit through a class on the Alexander Technique. I took a semester course on it during the past year in grad school, so as an introductory course this was a little redundant for me, but I did get to enjoy another real life viola joke from the experience:
Instructor: I need a volunteer.
Slightly awkward guy: raises hand, comes to the front of the room
Instructor: What instrument do you play?
Slightly awkward guy, in an awkwardly loud voice: "VIOLA!"
Entire room of NOI people: giggling
Instructor: Wow, all he had to say was the word "viola" and you all start laughing like it's a viola joke!