Category Archives: Strings

Margaret Miller pictured playing the viola

String Area Blog #1: First day of class

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the String Area blog from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University.These bi-monthly postings will focus on a variety of topics, from preparing for auditions, being in music school, to having a career as a musician. There will be postings from string faculty – Dr. Ron Francois, Dr. Forest Greenough, Prof. Barbara Thiem, Prof. Leslie Stewart, and Prof. Margaret Miller – and guest postings. Please feel free to contact me (Margaret Miller) if you have topics you’d like covered, or if you have any questions.

August 24, 2015: First day of classes….or how am I going to get everything done???
I’m sure that the first day of classes brings a variety of emotions to you: everything from excitement to anxiety, to nervousness, and everything in between. I feel that way, too! I always look forward to seeing the returning students, as well as new students. Orchestra seating auditions are completed, as the first concert is at the end of Sept., in the fifth week of the semester. Yes, you read correctly!

Life happens fast at the university level, and one of the issues that comes up quickly is how to manage time so it doesn’t manage you. We all have different, unique ways of working. You might be a planner, or you might wait until the last minute to practice/finish that theory assignment, etc. Or you might be a combination of those two models. What I have discovered is that if I have a plan for practicing/assignments for the week, then I can be much more efficient with that chunk of time. For practicing, try not to work more than an hour at a time, as your brain and your body need a break. You have a lot of music to learn- for your lessons, for orchestra, and for chamber music. Experiment with how you divide your practice time, and know that some days you might not get to everything on your list. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity.

Speaking of practicing, time for me to get to my recital program. We hope you enjoy reading this blog – let’s connect on Sept. 8.
~ Prof. Margaret Miller