News Category: Arts & Poetry
- article by news team contributor, Margaret
Lucie is a sophomore at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California and one of our very own Ptown News Team writers. She is the president and founder of a successful organization about string music named Bow Buddies. Bow Buddies is dedicated to offering free workshops for string musicians and access to career advice and tips from string professionals. She also runs a blog as her way of giving back to the community during coronavirus. We sat down with Lucie and discussed her organizational goals. Read more about the interview down below.
Q: Why did you decide to start taking violin lessons?
A: I started learning violin in 5th grade as part of the school program. My parents offered me violin lessons in 8th grade because I think I was past the point where I could teach myself, and I needed guidance in order to improve and grow as a musician.
Q: What is the most important key to success as a violinist?
A: I think the most important key to success as a violinist is perseverance and dedication. The key to becoming a successful musician is daily practicing, and you must commit to practicing if you want to grow.
Q: How have your experiences in violin inspired you to start Bow Buddies?
A: I think that the strings music field is very competitive, and so I wanted to start Bow Buddies so that middle school string musicians could have a supportive environment to learn and grow. My unique perspective of starting violin as a 5th grader as opposed to a 6 year old, for example, felt like I was always playing catch-up against my peers. I wanted to help create a friendlier environment where students could be supported by their peers, rather than intimidated by them. At my first violin audition, I cried. Until that point, no one had prepared me for what to expect at an audition, and I was really nervous playing in front of others. At Bow Buddies, the objective is to make students more comfortable playing in front of others in a small group setting so they can be prepared later on.
Q: Is there anything special about running this organization in the middle of a pandemic?
A: I think that right now during the pandemic, kids are having a hard time interacting socially, and it can also be difficult to learn an instrument through school online, especially if the person isn’t taking private lessons. Through Bow Buddies, middle school string musicians can connect with others, often from different schools and make friends, all while learning and growing as musicians. I think this is a unique opportunity especially because it’s hard getting enough social interaction and it’s hard to meet new people these days, and I think it takes a particular toll on teens and kids especially. The pandemic is due to this whole idea of Bow Buddies starting. When school was still happening in person, my friends and I could go into the practice room together and help each other out on audition pieces. It’s harder to do that virtually, which is partly why I designed this program in the first place.
Q: Do you have any goals or milestones you want to achieve with Bow Buddies?
A: I’d love to get more participants in Bow Buddies. Right now, we’re a small group, and I’d love for more people to join and make new friends. I’m also trying to interview working professionals so they can share their perspectives and career stories with my blog readers and participants. My goal is to have a variety of different professionals so that middle school students can have a better understanding of what careers in music there are. It’s been fascinating to meet and interview all of these different professionals and learn the knowledge and tips that they can share.
Q: Who are violinists who are role models in your music career?
A: I think the most influential violinist so far in my music career would definitely be Julia Reddy , who is my violin teacher. I met her when I was at a summer camp going into 8th grade, and she was the instructor. She’s been my first and only violin teacher, and she’s helped me grow so much as a musician, and she’s a wonderful person in general and has been a mentor to me.
Q: What advice would you want to give to aspiring violinists?
A: What I’d say to aspiring violinists is that you should find a great teacher who believes in you and has a teaching style you work well with. It’s also really important to love your instrument and have the dedication to practice regularly in order to improve and become the best musician you can be. Avoid the temptation of being too hard on yourself. There will always be someone better than you, and you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on a unique point in their musical journey, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to compare yourself to someone else.
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