Last night I had my first violin recital. I started taking lessons in September of 2009 and have been playing for a bit more than three years. I have kept track of my practice time and have now played for 1940 hours.
The recital was pretty informal. Half of the students were beginners and four of the six were adults. We started by playing music from Suzuki book 1 as a group. Then each student played one piece. Most of the students acted like they played worse than they expected, or at least worse than they do normally. I felt the same way; I was nervous and made more mistakes than usual. I had a particularly hard time with the timing. It could have gone much worse though. The accompanist was extremely good and I never had to stop and re-start.
Overall it was a positive experience. It forced me to put a lot of time into a single piece. I wasn’t patient enough to do that without the pressure of a performance. And it was fun to meet the other students.
The piece that I played was the third movement of Bach’s violin concerto #1 in A minor. This piece is in Suzuki book 7 and was the piece that I was learning when the recital was planned. I have been working on the whole concerto since March and I have spent the last month just working on the third movement. The piece is supposed to be played almost twice as fast as I played it for the recital and it would take me months to get it up to that speed.
I made a video of myself practicing the piece. I am wearing headphones to listen to a pre-recorded piano accompaniment that I tried to add to the video. It doesn’t line up perfectly, but it is close.