Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mr. P-isms

As the school year comes to a close, I have been reflecting quite a bit on my first year of my Master's program at Juilliard. I have had so many incredible experiences, many of which occurred every week in my lessons with Mr. Perlman. Below are some of my favorite "Mr. P-isms" that I've collected throughout the last few months:

  • "Let's not associate tragedy with tempo" (on Shostakovich Violin Concerto no. 1 in A minor)
  • "Play from the gut, not from the brain"
  • "I hate air in the sound. It's like fizzy water instead of chocolate milk"
  • "I love first position. It's so safe. I probably use first position more than any other violinist I know. It's there, and it's in tune"
  • "You never want the sound to be the by-product of something. If you want the sound to be piano, create a piano sound. Don't lift the bow up and have the by-product be your piano sound"
  • "The vibrato should be like the sauce. I don't want to just taste sauce, I want it to be an integrated part of the dish"
  • "So many people practice carefully and not musically, and then wonder why it felt like they were playing the piece for the first time when they perform. Well, they did play the piece for the first time, in that way. When you try to do something [musically], it changes everything you're doing technically. So when you practice, as soon as you can play the notes, play the music!"

I'm also incredibly honored to announce that, starting in the Fall, I will serve as Mr. Perlman's teaching assistant as a Starling Fellow. I'm so thrilled to work with the amazing kids in the studio and learn even more from Mr. P. What a way to look forward to next school year!

Until next time,

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