Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The summer she asked for

Last summer, after the last of the music school weeks was over, Erin sighed wistfully and said "I wish I could do that all year long." Of course she recognized that intensive music programs are really only possible during the summers, when kids are out of school and teachers and coaches are free of their regular teaching schedules. "Well, all summer long, at least," she said.

This year we've managed to get her 5 1/2 weeks which is the majority of the summer. It's a lot, it turns out, because each program assumes that students will have time to prepare music in advance. She's discovering that week by week that adds up to a lot. She's currently preparing music for five different intensive weeks of music.

For the first week-and-a-bit, in Edmonton: A solo performance (Bach, already learned, but needing re-polishing). Two suites of string orchestra music (Bartok and Tchaikowsky). A Schubert string quartet movement. A new Kreisler violin piece for group class (La Gitane).

For the next week-and-a-bit, in Montreal: A solo performance (Bach, a re-run). A lengthy suite of string orchestra music (Frank Bridge). Ongoing work on the Schubert string quartet.

For the SVI week: A Haydn string quartet movement. Michael McLean's "Csardas." A Richard Meyer orchestra piece. The Bloch Nigun for solo performance (has never performed this with piano).

For the VSSM week: A piano solo to polish. Two relatively new working pieces to have at the ready for piano master classes. A fairly weighty Schumann piano quintet movement to learn.

For the VIP Program: Some sort of major string chamber work to learn -- this has yet to arrive.

It's a good thing she learns new music quickly. The piano work in particular will be a challenge because she won't have access to a piano for much of the month prior. She's cramming as much of the Schumann as she can this week.

That VSSM piano week will represent a bit of an opportunity for Erin, in that she'll get the chance to work with a couple from Winnipeg (pianist and violinist husband and wife) who are "people to know" in music education in Canada, the sort of people about whom it is said "___ is an expert in the development of young talent in Canada." Since Erin's aunt lives in Winnipeg, ultimately she might be interested in spending some significant time living and studying away from home there. I don't think she has any clear aspirations towards a career in music, but if she does develop such inclinations, these would be the sort of contacts she'd need to make that happen. If she wants, she can rise to the opportunity, turn on her responsive hard-working musician smarts, be sweet and charming in her shy way, and maybe open some doors for herself. People definitely seem to like her when she acts like the brilliant eager musician she is. But who knows what she really wants. There's a world of possibilities out there for her future -- musically and otherwise.

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