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Spring term is into its second half and I am primarily preparing for my concerto exam, at the end of March, and final recital which is due to be in June. It seems like it is a long way off, but being ready in advance and allowing yourself plenty of time to prepare is crucial and it gives one the well needed security and confidence for the day itself.

A postgraduate course at the Royal Academy involves big responsibility as part of your own professional development. You have to be self-disciplined, organized and able to prioritize and distinguish what is important in the moment and what you can postpone it. When I came to the Academy last year, I was surprised that we had to find our own piano accompanists. From my experience, in some institutions a professional staff of piano accompanists is usually provided and available at any time for students.  At times, I found it tricky to collaborate at high levels with my peers and still to be good friends, but it gave me a perfect chance for even deeper musical development and understanding. Basically, you are entirely responsible for what will come out of it and you have to convince your pianist sometimes with your own musical ideas and be able to defend your opinion. This is a great preparation for professional life of musician actually.

Since September last year I have been attending LRAM classes, Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, which is a professional diploma in teaching. When I finish the course, I will acquire internationally recognized teaching qualification in music. Last term we had very engaging and inspiration lectures given by an extremely experienced teacher who shared with us his research on how to become a good teacher and how to teach better. I have taken a lot out of these classes and try to apply it in my own teaching. How to become a really good teacher is a life long journey. In this term, we have classes focused more specifically on teaching the violin.

I am also part of the Open Academy, which aims to bring music to people who might not have had very much contact with music; we go to schools and other communities. I am very excited about upcoming project which is going to be outside of London, at the Farnborough College. Several of us will give a masterclass and provide support and inspiration to talented young musicians. Some of them will audition for the Academy this year.

I have also been lucky to have the chance to attend one to one Alexander Technique lessons this year. I had never come across to this concept before, but I found it very helpful in my practice routine and while performing. I recommend it for anyone. It is worth googling if you have never heard about it.

Studying and living in London is always stimulating, inspiring, exciting. I feel that London has so much to offer and I can keep learning and improving all the time – whether it is something in my playing, professional development, in communication with others (I still cannot believe how immense the English vocabulary is) or just in practical means, such as planning and organizing, cooking, or arriving in ever better time. London is absolutely massive and it has proved me many times what someone once had told me: “Allow yourself plenty of time for travel around the city. When you think you set out for journey very early, it is actually the right time.” I am always amazed at how many people travel by tube to work every single day. There is no room to move or to find your way out. Travelling at rush hours at 8am is really not the best. London is a busy and vibrant place. It always keeps me occupied. I am overwhelmed with so many options and opportunities that I do not know where to start first. This means I do not have time for my others hobbies, which are unrelated to music.  I am sure all of the other grantees studying in London would agree with me.

Apart from teaching music, I have started to give lessons in the Czech language to one lovely, very knowledgeable British gentleman, lecturer and research fellow at King’s College. It is a great change for me to escape from a highly competitive musical environment for some time, and to develop myself in a different area. He can already speak several languages, so Czech is not a big challenge for him. We have been enjoying our collaboration and I personally learn a lot from doing it. I have never realized before how difficult and confusing Czech might be.

Here in London you just never know what will come into your way. That is what makes life here so intense and exciting...


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