Magazine article Strings

Burst the BUBBLE

Magazine article Strings

Burst the BUBBLE

Article excerpt

My name is Axel Strauss. I am a concert violinist and professor of violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It had always been my dream to combine a performing career with a teaching position. From this point of view, the following paragraph reads like the perfect plan, though I had no way of knowing as a student that one day my dream would come to fruition or what lay in store for me along the way:

I will receive my training for the most part in my native country, Germany, where I am going to study with Petru Munteanu at the music academies of Lubeck and Rostock. After a two-year period of teaching at the music academy of Rostock, I will continue my studies with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York. Then I am going to win the Naumburg Violin Award and subsequently become one of Dorothy DeLay's teaching fellows. Two years (and many concerts) later, Robert Mann of the Juilliard String Quartet will recommend me for the teaching position at the San Francisco Conservatory. (Thank you, Bobby!)

Yeah, right! If someone had told me that this would be my future bio, I would have laughed really hard. I purposefully left out the many failures, mishaps, and uncertainties because otherwise I could have easily filled this magazine all by myself.

But seriously, many music students seem to regard school life as a bubble that provides safety and a sense of belonging, seemingly forever. At graduation, when this bubble finally bursts, many students find themselves at a scary end point, rather than at the beginning of something new and exciting.

While you cannot plan out your life in detail, you can, during your studies, lay the groundwork for later success. Good luck can be made. Here are some ideas:

* Get to know yourself: Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses, inventory your talents and interests, and assess your progress on a regular basis. …

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