Jillian Chrisman’s group lesson had a special guest artist this past September. Misako Akama, a competitor in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, played Bach as well as a powerfully emotional Ysaye Sonata. She is from Taiwan and is currently studying in France. She was very sweet and happy to answer questions. She played a 1735 Nicolaus Gagliano violin. The students were struck by how old her violin was! When asked about how long she practices, Misako said that at first she practiced 30 minutes a day. Then in middle school it was an hour a day. But once she decided to be a professional violinist, it quickly doubled to 2 hours a day, and doubled again to 4 hours a day in high school. Now she generally practices 6 hours a day. We all enjoyed the Bach very much. The Ysaye, however, seemed to be everyone’s favorite as we all felt the emotions of this rich sonata that is also filled with virtuosic passages.
We all adored her. I hope she truly felt our hearts as we lavished smiles and praises upon her. The students were so proud to have their picture taken with her. It was truly a connecting moment through music.