Now, I share a small flat with Maureen, who recently celebrated her 70 birthday. It really surprised me in a lovely way that the age gap really doesn’t matter, and on the contrary, I get on very well with her, just as I would someone my own age. It really makes a huge difference when you are happy in the place you live in and you can focus solely on your studies.
My first year on my Master´s programme has been very inspiring and enriching, and thanks to the big competition between students I am constantly driven to be better. We have wonderful opportunities here thanks to the collaborations with genuinely outstanding conductors. An amazing experience for me was the orchestral concert under the baton of Christian Thielemann who previously has collaborated with Vienna Philharmonic among many others. The rehearsals are such a high level, already on the first sectional rehearsal without the conductor, which is led every time by someone external, usually a highly experienced player from some local prestigious orchestra, so everyone is very well prepared. Because of this, everyone realises that they study at a conservatoire with a great reputation and they continuously get chances to collaborate with real masters in their fields and so the appreciation and dedication from everyone is clear during rehearsals. Nobody dares to speak to the player next to them, everyone is listening carefully to the instructions of the conductor and they give 110% to the rehearsal. Generally, I have noticed that local students are very good at sight-reading, because they had been doing it since they were children. Even the lowest Associated Board exams incorporate sight-reading, which almost all British musicians start with. We do not have this system in the Czech Republic and I feel this is an area in which I could improve.
Study of an art programme brings something new every day. I do not have a fixed timetable apart from a few lessons. I try to use all the opportunities available at the Academy and also observe what is going on in other musical scenes for example at the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican etc. or I take part in some concerts. I have recently started to teach the violin which I am really enjoying it. I teach two children, a brother and a sister, who are both very gifted and musical, which makes my job that much easier. I’ve found that this experience also gives me an opportunity to think about playing the violin from a different point of perspective.
In my spare time I baby sit, get involved in the Christian Union and work as a steward at the Royal Academy during concerts, lectures and master classes. I am constantly meeting new faces and I love being in the centre of all the action! I have started to play in a piano trio with new friends this term, because the rehearsals with my previous trio didn’t go anywhere because each of us had totally different musical ideas. With this new piano trio we’d like to play in concerts and take part in competitions. I believe that we are on the right track…
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