Opening the violin case is a very hard process at times. It often means you are about to focus extremely hard for a long period of time. It is much more convenient to just swipe past the Google Docs tab I’m writing on, to stop on Netflix about two slots over, or go grab lunch with friends. In musical communities, these negatives exit the mind, because everyone else is going to rehearsal/practice as well. It’s inspiring, because you see the hard work and great music of your peers, and also competitive because odds are the person you are listening to will be competing for a job or ensemble seating in the future. However, that practice room inspiration got taken away recently due to the epidemic. For a long time, there were no ensembles, no summer camps, no concerts, and no trips with friends to the practice rooms. How does a musician gain the motivation to practice during the pandemic?
The University of Illinois has responded to the pandemic in the most responsible way possible while still allowing students to have in-person opportunities. Many schools in America have mandated a simple facemask policy, others, have gone as far as converting to online learning for the full academic year. Our institution, however, goes above and beyond.
It has been a long year of staying inside and hiding from the world, but it seems that time is slowly being halted. Today, I got my first of two covid vaccines and my nurse, Carla, could not have been nicer. Before we began, I told her I wasn’t a huge fan of vaccines. . .she laughed as she looked at the six visible tattoos on my arms and let me know that she would talk me through it. I asked her if it would be okay to take a picture, so the pharmacist came over and obliged.