Maria Juliana is one of our SGS students who loves music. Since she was seven, she has been in the Basic Music Programme (PBEM) of the Music Conservatory of the National University, doing what she enjoys best, playing the piano. This is the interview she gave us:
How did your music training begin?
It started at the age of four, when I tried several musical instruments but eventually discovered that I had a special talent for the piano. My parents decided that I should go to the Music Conservatory of the National University to receive formal piano lessons. When I was seven, I applied to their Basic Music Programme along with 22 other children of my age and obtained one of the three places in the piano programme. That was four years ago.
What has been the history of your piano playing?
For the first three years, I went to a private school in which I learnt the foundations of music on a synthesiser. When I was admitted to the Music Conservatory, I found the level was higher. My parents then gave me an acoustic piano for Christmas on which I could practice the same as in the Conservatory. For the last 8 terms, I have been learning to play music from different periods: classical, baroque, romantic and contemporary. I have also learnt to read and write music which I have reached at an intermediary level. At present I am at level B4 on the piano.
Do you play other musical instruments and if so why?
When I was seven, I began playing the violin, the accordion and the classical guitar but on entering the Conservatory, I concentrated on the piano which requires a lot of time and effort.
What is a typical week for you?
I have seven hours of piano lessons and I try to practice for one or two hours. When I have exams, a lot of home work or projects, I don’t have as much time as I should to practice.
How and why did you prepare to enter the Music Conservatory?
When my parents thought I should to play the piano in a more formal way and I applied for the entrance examination, I was not sure what to expect. I practiced the piano pieces I knew with a violin teacher who plays in the Philharmonic Orchestra. The exam was hard because I had never played on an acoustic piano before, the keys are heavy but I did my best. I was thrilled when I heard that I had been admitted.
What has it been like at the Music Conservatory?
It has taught me to value what I have; to be responsible and organize my time. But one the biggest satisfactions, is at the end of each term when I play in concerts to which my family come. The other is when I take an exam with a very strict jury and I get good marks; I have even obtained a scholarship for a few of the terms.
What advice would you give your classmates?
Organize your time well so that you have the necessary time to practice and to do your homework. Enjoy it when you practice and give the best of yourselves in everything you do.
Thank you for this opportunity