There are several different activities a student must be involved in to succeed in the end. These will provide you with opportunities and experiences that are crucial to your studies. They will improve your playing as a whole and many conservatories/summer programs seek these factors in a student.
By playing in an orchestra, you learn a load of repertoire that will be handy later in your studies. You also have the opportunity to establish connections with other students who you may want to be in a chamber group with. It is especially good to be in a community where you can relate to other people who obtain the same pursuits as you do. There are also many performance opportunities; many orchestras allow students to play solos so that you are able to make your solo debut. Private teachers typically know some local youth orchestras in the area, so talk to them about applying and what the directors look for. For those living in Dallas, the following is a list of youth orchestras in the area:
- Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra (http://www.daayo.org)
- Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (http://www.gdyo.org)
- Fort Worth Youth Orchestra (http://www.fwyo.org)
Being in a chamber group, is also very valuable for your studies and summer programs look for chamber repertoire learned by students. Forming a chamber group is something the students must take care of, your private teacher will then provide the music. However, establish connections with other students in orchestra so that you can later ask them if they want to participate. Then, gather contact information from all the other players and schedule weekly rehearsals that are most convenient for everyone. Ask private teachers to attend occasionally to suggest music and coach you on phrasing, technique, etc.
Community and Service
Participating in volunteer work around the community just adds to the experience you get during your violin studies. You gain more knowledge of what it is like in the professional music world and know what to expect once you get there. For example, simply helping set up for a local professional orchestra or doing work backstage can be really cool. You are able to see how the concerts happen and can establish connections with people performing there. In addition, helping with organizing and hosting events in the orchestra you participate in also looks good on your resumé. The administration is automatically way more appreciative of the help you offer and you also gain Community and Service hours while doing it.
If you have any other suggestions or things you do to get involved in the community, please comment!