I just got some new music for voice and violin in the mail and discovered that I will probably be able to play/sing this new piece like I've been doing with the Vaughan Williams set *Along the Field*. The new set is *Four Songs for Voice and Violin* by Gustav Holst. Of course I can only play/sing two of the Vaughan Williams and will probably only be able to play/sing two of the Holst... It is interesting because the way I'm practicing is pretty much just to try to improve my violin playing by practicing solo violin literature, etudes, and scales, as I have no idea how to practice singing and violin together. Still, the coordination it takes to do the two things together is beyond me right now. I mean, I am doing okay, but there are things like trying to change bow and also end a phrase with good diction and take a good breath that are surprisingly hard to do simultaneously! Still, it's actually a really, really fun sort of challenge that I am mostly enjoying. I do get really frustrated and stamp my feet and curse sometimes, but overall, it's all good.
I also have two new books to read. One is *The Savvy Musician* by David Cutler, which so far looks like it's going to totally change the way I think about myself as a musician and how to make a living. (Yay!) The other is *The Grand Design* by Stephen Hawking, which already has completely expanded the way I think about everything. (Whoa!) I love it.
Oh... and I understand it's very, very cold in the northeast and midwest right now. Stay warm, y'all! Drink lots of hot cocoa! Get to the nearest fireplace!