Ready for another weekend

Just as I am about to embark upon another weekend, I am finally feeling up to it. 

I was mostly down for the count this week with the dregs of a nasty cold from last week. I rested, slept, ate, napped and am finally feeling better. 

Now to the work at hand. Tons of violin practice. I really haven’t gotten any since I returned from Bulgaria because last week, I was under the influence of cold medicine all week. Even the daytime stuff knocks me out.

It was such a treat to receive a gift of tickets to see SF Opera’s opening night of Attila by Verdi. I took my violin teacher and it was very educational.

I am still being tagged in photos on Facebook that manage to catch me with my bow in a different location than I intend and I am hearing things about my fiddling that I would really like to begin refining. I am also staring at wide swaths of time while I look for full time work. I have the month off from my violin lessons (a financial boon) while my teacher works on her audition for the SF Opera Orchestra. Getting my groove back with time to practice is pretty exciting. 

My students are realizing it’s summer and are either buckling down and working hard or canceling to enjoy their summer. It’s a wacky living.

I’m still available for weddings until mid-September. I don’t generally seek them out because they are stressful crazy affairs. But if one finds me, I’ll do it.

I am spending more time watching violinists now that I have finally shed my issue with child prodigies. We are all artists. I have been a violinist since I was a child. Lack of access to the elite teachers does not make me any less of an artist. My teacher says I have the artistic sensibilities of a mature violinist. I should. I’ve been at it for 32 years. As I prepare to turn 40 next week, I can finally own my grown-up-ness. I’ve taught thousands of students over the past 20 years and I have an accomplished amateur orchestral career that now includes 2 international tours with some of the oldest, respected professional orchestras in Europe. I am now preparing to apply to music conservatory within the next 2 years on classical violin. It will be a long journey to get the method chops that most kids assembled while I was off doing jazz improvisation and playing for folk dancers and theater. There is some cross application of skills, but I need to step up the discipline level. Once I have that Masters degree, I can pursue professional orchestra work and college teaching. There’s a reason people don’t generally take the road less traveled. It doesn’t pay, and if you like to eat and live in the big City like I do, the Bohemian life gets old and you eventually have to get some health insurance. They love me on BART, but I can’t play if I’m out sick like I was last week. I thank a number of my friends, fans and mentors who have been corralling me in the direction of developing my skills. The love is amazing. And I have to face the fact that classical music has a hold on me.

So I approach this weekend with excitement as I prepare to perform Saturday at the Loch Lomond Highland Games & Celtic Gathering at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. I’m not on the schedule. I was hoping to take a break after Southern, after Bulgaria, after Valhalla, but I got talked into strolling Saturday. https://www.facebook.com/LochLomondHighlandGamesCelticGathering 

Saturday night I will be playing Irish fiddle music at the Bloomsday reading at the Emerald Tablet at 80 Fresno St in San Francisco https://www.facebook.com/events/417292321624745/ Just because it would be so cool to have Irish music for James Joyce.

Sunday, I’ll be rehearsing with my jazz/blues band Social By Nature and Monday, I’ll be rehearsing with my Americana band Tell Yer Ma. 

Next weekend, I’ll be performing at a private party. Yes, I do those. 😉

Have a great weekend!

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About Shelly Crouse-Monarez

Violin Performer and Mentor
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