Thanks to Virtuosi of Houston for recognizing me (+ Kids Aren’t Lazy!) in the program at their Kennedy Center performance last week in Washington, DC ! It was a huge honor. A little background — before we moved to London, I was so fortunate to be Virtuosi Concertmaster here in Houston. Nathaniel (my cellist brother) and I were two founding members of the Virtuosi Quartet and loved performing with our Virtuosi mates in Jones Hall before Houston Symphony concerts. Performing in orchestras and chamber ensembles has always been such a huge part of me, and it’s so fun to see my own students fall in love with these pursuits too!
Thanks so much to Dr. Garrett Peel for hosting our trip! Jake and I found each event more spectacular than the last.
This week we’re speaking with Molly H. on what it took for her to make the top HS Region Orchestra (Symphony) just one year (!) after starting viola. Molly began playing the violin at age 6 and often leads The Sugar Strings in their performances around Sugar Land. In addition to playing violin and viola, Molly runs her own piano studio for young musicians.
You study three instruments in addition to your academic subjects! What’s your best piece of advice for other young musicians who want to pursue multiple areas of expertise?
Enjoy it! Don’t let your music just become a grade or a requirement. I feel the most accomplished when I can share my skills and bring joy to others!
How do you balance nerves and confidence in auditions and performances?
Before the region audition, I put positive affirmation statements on notecards, to tell myself I was prepared and would do well! At the audition, tried to block out all the other players and focus on being mentally prepared. At performances, I try to enjoy the music as much as I can and trust my muscle memory and all the hard work I put in!
Leading up to your audition, what was your practice schedule like?
When the music first came out, I made goals to have much of the music memorized fairly quickly. About a month from the audition, I increased my practicing to at least two hours a day. It was definitely challenging, but I found a drive within me. I had worked so hard, I couldn’t just give up! I knew that every minute I worked could be the difference of getting in or not.
Does your viola have a special story behind it? Tell us your favorite things about your instrument and why you chose it.
I really like my viola’s rich tone and, since it is only 14 inches I can switch between violin and viola. It’s an antique made in 1893 and I enjoy thinking of all the people who have heard it played!
What new pieces are you looking forward to adding to your repertoire this year?
I am looking forward to adding both viola and violin peices this year! I am currently preparing Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata on my viola.
We’re proud to announce that LHS violinists and violists will be performing tomorrow in ALL FOUR Region groups! (Mobile users, click through to website to view concert details.)
Special shout-out to Lizzie (6th grade, Dulles MS) for winning the Concertmaster spot (and solo!) in the MS Philharmonic. Musical leadership runs in the family — Lizzie’s twin sister, Catherine, will perform as Principal 2nd Violin in the MS Symphony!
Sugar Land Moms is a new go-to site for families and is a chapter of The Local Moms Network, https://thelocalmomsnetwork.com. It’s a great resource for everything from local event calendars, arts and activity resources, and parent interviews to deals from nearby businesses.
In LHS news this week, we’re extra proud of Anika, who as principal viola in her Dulles orchestra will perform a solo in tomorrow’s orchestra concert. We’re also absolutely thrilled for Jordan, who (in the top group at Travis) has started coaching viola sectionals for a lower ensemble and has her own principal viola solo coming up!
Welcome back, Sugar Strings! After their fabulous summer performances, the Sugar Strings are ready to begin rehearsals for their Fall/Winter 2018 Season and we’re excited to see what they have in store for us!
From left to right: Molly, Kathryn, Daelyn, Anna, Kyle, Lauren
Molly and Daelyn speaking with their audience
Kathryn greets an audience member
Daelyn introduces herself to residents at Clayton Oaks
We’re absolutely thrilled to post that on its second day of sales, Kids Aren’t Lazy: Developing Motivation & Talent Through Music (PDP, 2018) became a #1 Best Seller (see below) and reached the #1 New Release spot in TEN Amazon categories, including Music Instruction & Study, Psychology Education & Training, Gifted Students Education, Parent Participation in Education, Education Research, String Instruments, Baby & Toddler Parenting, Musical Instruments, Violins, and Music Techniques.
If you haven’t ordered your own copy yet, here’s a link! Kids Aren’t Lazy on Amazon.com: http://a.co/0braSwH