Really the worst viola lesson in a long, long time. I didn't have as much time this week to practice what I was supposed to for the lesson, but I thought that maybe I'd improved enough over the past year that my new skills (ha!) could carry me somehow. No way, didn't happen. I didn't play well; my brain deserted me, probably because I forgot to eat; I was unable to read music or even follow spoken sentences; I got more and more frustrated at not being able to do stuff, and finally just quit trying and shut down. I don't think I've ever been closer to breaking down and losing my composure during a lesson, ever. I'm sure my teacher was thinking god, what have I done, agreeing to teach this head case.
To make matters just a bit worse: at the end of the lesson, my teacher (who is also conductor of the string orchestra) mentioned that my absent-for-the-last-2-rehearsals-including-dress stand partner would probably return for the last 2 rehearsals and the performance. The teacher said he realized that StandPartner running rampant over everything would likely throw me off, and truth be told I would probably be better off alone, but I was just going to have to make the best of it. Poor StandPartner, he went on to say, poor Standpartner who's feeling a little lost in university, so returns to our little group as a sort of validation, so he can feel he's so much more talented than the rest of us. He can waltz in as 2nd viola in a 2-viola section, read the parts cold, and save the day. Well, seeing as he doesn't practice outside of rehearsal, doesn't even mark his own music,and makes no effort to play as a section (maybe more a function of my playing than his, but whatever), the day he saves will be a different day that the one the rest of the viola section is saving. The Purcell he can have. The Mozart I have worked hard on, but would be willing to sacrifice. But the Ives, my beloved Ives, the piece I love most in the whole world - I hate to see it trashed, and it will be. Charles Ives, I am so sorry. I love your music and we are going to trash it, and I'm so sorry.