And I thought I was scared before! (University entrance examination coming up)

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Kamuilija, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm applying for Sibelius Academy (Finland's only music university) to major in double bass (Folk music dept) this spring. The five-day, two-phase entrance examination will begin on May 7th, and today I received an email containing practical information and MY PERSONAL EXAMINATION TIME.


    I was anxious before, but now... whoa. And this has nothing to do with sense or rationality - I know what's expected and I'm quite confident with my playing. I just played my whole repertoire through for the first time and recorded it on Zoom H2, and - well, it sounded like I want it to sound.

    But still - nerves, nerves, nerves...

    I just needed to share this. Thanks for reading!
  2. jumbodbassman


    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    Good luck!!!
  3. Good luck! Be self confident in your programs knowledge, concentrate, and make music! It's gonna be okay! Tell us the results!
  4. Thanks! The results will be published on June 7th, so there's a month of waiting (if I get to the 2nd phase). I'll report here!
  5. Alas, I didn't make it to the second phase.

    The exam went very well, I think. My teacher liked my programme, and so did a friend of mine (who is studying at the dept. I was applying to) who I played it to a week before the exam. There's nothing I would change in my performance - I think I have found a musical identity of sorts, as a byproduct of preparing for the exam.

    Next Monday, I'll call the dept. and ask for feedback of my performance, and take time to chew on it.

    In a year, I'll try again. Meanwhile, I'll still be having a great time doing what I love: playing the bass with great musicians.
  6. Elrend

    Elrend Guest

    Feb 24, 2008
    I'm sorry to hear that.

    I hear it's stupid hard to get in though, heard even Teppo Mäkkynen needed two tries. Is it true that they only have like 5 spots per program?
  7. Yeah, 5-ish in this program, more for bigger ones like music pedagogy. Ten people made it to the 2nd.

    Most people I know that study there needed two tries, now that I think of it. The jury seems to have this policy of wanting to see how one develops in a year. And I'm fine with that. It does show something that a person will come back to the exam after a year's time. I will.

    I've had a wonderful day with the bass today. The first time in a long while with no pressure, no expectations, no hurry. This will be a good year.
  8. I got the feedback today, and wow, I'm so happy!

    The professor basically praised my musicianship, vision, professionality, and bold choice of repertoire. The drawbacks were technical, something I will have a great year with a great teacher to work on.

  9. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I'm not a double bassist (I rarely even visit this half of the forum), but I know trying to get into Sibelius Academy takes considerable sisu. :D Hope you'll prove them you're more than worthy of being accepted in a year.
  10. Sisu, hehe :) That's what I hope too. Thanks!
  11. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Wow, what perseverance. I appreciate your patience and desire to improve. Best of luck to you!
  12. pocketgroove

    pocketgroove Guest

    Jun 28, 2010
    Good luck for next year! It really seems like you deserve it. Instead of being upset or depressed or having an identity crisis like some ( would have, you looked at it from the perspective of being a worthwhile experience, you took a lot of good out of it, and you're using it as an opportunity to further improve yourself. Sir, if I was wearing a hat, I would take it off to you. :)
  13. Thank you, everybody! You're too kind!
  14. Update zombie thread, one-two-three!

    A year ago I wrote I would be having a great year playing bass with great musicians and mentored by a terrific musician. This is exactly what happened.

    The constructive criticism I got last time was technical, centering on intonation and bow technique. To force myself to concentrate on these, I applied for a local student symphony orchestra, got in, and found myself hard pressed to manage even the simplest written lines, my bow technique being what it was. But I went on attending the rehearsals, shedding the parts furiously, working with my teacher to first even survive the rehearsals.

    By December, I was confident enough to play the orchestra's main concert of the year, where we played two popular classics, Dvorak's New World Symphony and the Star Wars Suite. It didn't go badly, so I went on.

    In March, a crack appeared in the bass, revealing a fault in the making, that had waited for these 70 years to come up. The bass spent six weeks at my luthier's, underwent a total de- and reconstruction, and came back nine days ago better than ever, a totally different instrument. Knowing there would be little time to actually play before the exam, during the weeks without a bass, I spent most of my spare time (and cycling to work) doing mental excercises - asking myself, what will I want my hands to do when the bass is back, I had also to ask, what is the core of my musicianship, of the tunes I will play in the exam. It was maybe the most productive time of my (short) musical career.

    And so, yesterday I played my tunes to the jury, and today I received an email telling me I'd been accepted to the second phase of the (two-phase) exam, as one of ten candidates, a maximum of seven of whom will then be accepted.

    There's still a lot of work to do before tomorrow, so I'll go back to the shed. I'm not overly optimistic, as it is still quite possible that I'll not get in this year: after all, at this stage it is not (only) about the individual musicians' skills, but also about the combination of people, personalities and ways of making music, that needs to be optimal for the new class to work. I'll remember to be myself, and that will be all I need now.
  15. basic74

    basic74 Guest

    Dec 28, 2012
    wow! very inspiring! keep doing what you do!
    let us know how it went, I`m sure you will be fine - one way or the other.
  16. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Inactive

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Do more of the mental practice. you must center yourself and just play. Do not weigh your performance on its outcome or your future. Play it as it needs to be played. This is what they will want to see in you, and will make them want to vote for you.
  17. This is deep, good advice. Not just for today, but for life, to ruminate and chew on. Thank you.
  18. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    That's great news. Congrats and good luck on the second phase. Let us know how it goes.

  19. I can't believe it - I'm in! The email came yesterday morning, and all day I read and reread it, to check if it's really true. Odear. This is something I've chased since at least 2007 when I first applied. Now I can start from the beginning again, empty myself to make room for more learning. No more short cuts - it's time to take the long way home.
  20. lowEndRick


    Apr 8, 2006
    Very inspiring. I admire your perseverance and integrity. Congratulations!