12th September 2020
Hello my lovely readers!
Welcome back to a new series of Vanessa the Violinist (who promises to be a lot more regular with posting as of now!).
Well what can I say, it has been one unforgettable year for us all with the pandemic. We’ve experienced what we’ve never thought we’d have to experience.. Being isolated from our friends and family which is tough. I really hope you’re all keeping healthy and safe during this very difficult time and I’m sending all my love to you all.
Lockdown has been hard. For me this has meant no live concerts, travel restrictions, online auditions and most recently working out the necessary technology to deliver concerts on YouTube. Just like every musician I really miss performing to a live audience and can’t wait when we can go back to some sort of normality. However, this time has brought on a lot of positives. I’ve had more time to practice what I want to. I've learnt lots of new repertoire and developed my playing through study books. I’ve also had time to enjoy new things such as running, walking, cycling and learning how to appreciate where I am. I have been so lucky to stay with my parents during lockdown where I’ve enjoyed a lovely garden, room, practice room as well as the company of my two dogs Carlotta and Mimi.
It's been over a year since I finished my degree at the RNCM and what a year its been. I’ve learnt so much about myself and developed a lot more interests than I could ever have imagined. After having spent the winter in Brussels and travelled every weekend, I then went to Germany over two months to play to potential contacts and did some auditions. I arrived back in the UK just in time for the start of lockdown. Learning new repertoire, meeting new friends, discovering things I can do I never imagined were possible when I left college. It’s been such an interesting year that was much needed after four intense years at the RNCM!
Three skills I’ve developed in my year that I thought were impossible:
1. Running: I got into running!! I started after investing in an Apple Watch and wanting close my exercise rings everyday. Running seemed like the perfect exercise to reach my goals quickly in a day. I used the Nike Run Club app and went through the start up collection. Within three weeks I ran my first 5km which I never thought I’d achieve, I signed up for the Great North Run in aid of Diabetes UK which sadly had to be postponed until next year. I can’t wait to take on this challenge next September!
2. Reading: As someone who struggles with a learning disability and has the reading comprehension speed of a child, I never thought I’d be able to finish a book and actually enjoy the experience. Yet I did it! I read not just one but three books this lockdown and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of reading!
3. Gardening: Who would’ve thought that making a garden look nice can increase positivity during practice breaks? But it totally does! There’s something about greenery that just makes you feel great!
I’m so proud of how I’ve grown as a violinist, I remember in May listening for the first time to my final recital on the one year anniversary followed by the most recent recordings that I did on the same week and being so impressed with how much I have improved. As I’ve said before, being in the right mindset really does make such a difference and I’m back to show you more of what I’ve discovered on my mission to promote positivity!
Anyway, it’s the start of a new academic year and I’m really pleased to announce that I will be working as a graduate music assistant at Rugby School over the next year. Helping out with chamber music coaching, supervising practice, playing in ensembles and helping to organise events. I’m super excited about what I will learn over the next year and can’t wait to share my experiences.
Stay tuned for more updates! Go follow my Facebook and Instagram pages on 'vanessatheviolinist' and don't forget to tell me what you think of today's post in the comments section below.
Stay positive and keep washing those hands! 👍
P.S. I hope you like the new logo designed by the wonderful Debbie Cortese ❤