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CMPI fellows are spending their first 100 days of 2023 recording a snippet of regular practice to share their musical growth. Day in and day out, CMPI is there to support students on their journeys, but the program’s funding future is in jeopardy. Support our musical development by supporting CMPI’s Practice-a-Thon 2023!

The mission of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative is to identify and develop gifted and motivated orchestral students from underrepresented backgrounds for acceptance into top-tier conservatory, college or university classical music programs in preparation for careers as professional musicians.

Beatrice, Violin

What is your musical goal that you’re working on for Practice-a-Thon? Why did you choose this?

BeatriceMy main goal was to go “back to the basics.” Basic skills such as maintaining a loose bow hand, improving my vibrato, and using the metronome to keep my rhythm consistent. I want to make sure that I spent some time with these building blocks that would allow me to learn more advanced techniques.

What have you noticed about recording yourself? Is there anything you can see/hear that you didn’t realize before, or a way it’s particularly helped you?

When I record myself, I have noticed that I play differently in the recording versus when I am practicing. In the recording, I can clearly see when I am rushing or using a tight vibrato, things that may not be apparent to me as I am playing at that moment. When I watch the video(s) later, I find things beyond the more obvious ones I listed, that I need to correct/fix.

How have you shared about Practice-a-Thon with others? Have there been any surprises in how people have responded (or who)? Or how you’ve felt about sharing it?

This is my first year doing Practice-a-Thon and I have been using my Instagram account to share my progress with others. My mom has also shared my progress with family and close friends by emailing or messaging. The comments I get are very positive and come from many of my followers, friends, and family. My first Practice-a-Thon video was about practicing my scales. I was practicing my scales using a method that I found helpful and saw comments like “great strategy” or “very creative idea.” Those positive comments are encouraging and make me feel like what I am sharing is also helpful to others.


Student-supplied image

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