I went up to Austin today to play for the viola professor at UT. I'm thinking about doing a Doctorate, so I thought I'd go up there and meet the viola guy to see if he has valuable knowledge to impart. It's been years since I've had a real lesson at a school with a teacher and it felt so weird. While I was waiting outside the teacher's studio, I felt like I was about a million years old, but then this kid started talking to me like I was a student so I just went with it and chatted with him until my lesson time. My lesson was really good and I liked the viola guy a lot.
I've spent the better part of the last ten years either playing in an orchestra or preparing for an audition for a job in a better orchestra (or an orchestra closer to Bob). Orchestra auditions have very little to do with music and a lot to do with being perfect. They tend suck the life and the music right out of a person and after taking close to 30 auditions, my playing has become tight and expressionless. I play all of the notes and I'm capable of being very precise, but the notes don't really mean anything. When the viola guy asked me what I don't like about my playing, this is basically what I told him. He agreed and we spent an hour breathing (literally) the life back into my Bartok Concerto. Viola guy gave me a lot to think about and I'm sure I'll go back for more lessons even if I decided not to pursue a DMA.
One of the UT bookstores is quite close to the music building, so I stopped in there before heading home. I've always loved college bookstores. I love the pens and notebooks and backpacks and most of all, the gear. I bought a tiny t-shirt for a friend's baby and this shirt for myself. I think that the UT-Austin logo is one of the very best college logos. I love longhorn orange and logo itself is simple and cute, and if you put holiday lights on it, it's even cuter. I managed to avoid both Hill Country Weavers and The Knitting Nest on this trip, but I had to buy this shirt.