A Week in the Life of a Clarinetist



(above: UIOWA Voxman Practice room equipped with all the bells and whistles required for aerosol producing instruments)


As a current DMA student at UIOWA, personally, this semester has certainly been one of the most stressful I’ve ever had, with online classes, the pandemic, all of the protocols in place at school, election stress, and so much more on top of the stress caused by just being in school!


While this has been a lot to deal with, it has allowed me to have more time for myself because my schedule is more open! Because of all the rules, most of which are about allowed amounts of time for ensembles/practicing, I have had to practice good time management to make sure I have enough time for everything in the day and throughout the week, and it has helped me to try to stick to a regular schedule week to week.

 

Here’s what a typical week looks like for me during this fall semester!


(above: This is the side entrance of the Voxman Music Building in Iowa City.)


Monday:

My typical Mondays this semester are focused around the two classes I have, Post-Tonal and Symphony Band. I spend the morning doing chores and then use the afternoon to focus on homework and practicing.


8:30 - 9:30: Wake up and get ready for the day and class.


9:30 - 10:45: Post-Tonal - Because of Covid, this class is online.

  • A typical class involves reading an article before class starts that we then have a reading quiz over, and then we discuss the music and article.


10:45 - 1:00: Chores/To-do list.

  • I use these hours to get some small tasks down and make sure I am completely organized and ready for the week.


1:00 - 2:30: Band.

  • I walk to school for band, and then stay after for a few minutes to chat and catch up with people in person.


2:30 - 6:00: Homework.

  • This week, I spent most of this time focused on my presentation over clarinetist/composer relationships for clarinet studio class on Tuesday.


6:00 - 7:30: Meal Prep for the week.


7:30 - 11:00: Go back to school to practice.


11:00 - Midnight: Shower and get ready for bed.

(above: Since I have more time for breakfast on Tuesdays, I try to actually make something and sit down and relax to eat it, rather than eat something simple on the go!)

Tuesday:

My day is fairly spread out in terms of when class happens, so I have plenty of time to wake up early (or sleep in if my body needs it!), as well as having good chunks of time that I can devote to specific things!


9:00 - 12:00: Wake up.

  • Relax before doing homework or chores.


12:00 - 1:20: Clarinet Studio Class.

  • This week I presented for the duration of class.


1:20 - 5:30: More chores/homework.



5:30 - 7:30: Rehearsal at school.

  • Viola, clarinet, and piano trio rehearsal - We are currently working on Schumann’s Fairy Tales!


7:30 - 11:00: Practice.


11:00 - Midnight: Shower and get ready for bed.





Wednesday:

Wednesdays are jam-packed in the morning, but once I am done with my commitments, I have plenty of time to practice a(nd do homework! I usually try to devote some time in the afternoon/evening to hang out with some of my friends that are in my little Covid bubble.


6:00 - 6:45: Wake up and get ready for the day.


6:45 - 9:30: Walk to school to practice before class.


9:30 - 10:45: Post-Tonal.


10:45 - 1:00: Assistantship.

  • I am currently one of the two ArtShare Graduate Research Assistants at UIowa, and this week I spent my time sending out emails about a video project I am coordinating, as well as helping my boss with some general office work.


1:00 - 3:00: Finished up some homework for my ethnomusicology class that is on Thursday mornings, as well as going to vote early!


3:00 - 9:00: Social time.

  • I went to a corn maze with my friend Charlotte and her husband Levi, and then we all met up with our friend LaBarrin at Big Grove Brewery for dinner.


9:00 - 11:00: Finished up homework and to do list for the day.


11:00 - Midnight: Shower and get ready for bed.


(above: Charlotte and I after we finished the corn mazes and were looking for the perfect pumpkins!)


Thursday:

Thursdays start off early with class at 8, which goes straight into warming up and practicing for my clarinet lesson in the early afternoon. While it is busy at first, I have a good amount of time that I can devote to miscellaneous tasks, and I am able to go to bed early and get some much-needed sleep!


7:30 - 8:00: Wake up and get ready for the day.


8:00 - 9:15: Music and Cyberculture Ethnomusicology Class.

  • This class is online because of Covid, and we spend class discussing the articles we were assigned to read for the week. This week, we discussed what merits the title collaboration in classical music vs. popular music. (maybe)


9:15 - 10:00: Finish getting ready and walk to school.


10:00 - 1:00: Practice and Warm-up for lesson.


1:00 - 2:00: Clarinet Lesson.

  • I’m preparing for my recital which will consist of: Lutoslawski’s Dance Preludes, Peregi Verbunk by Leo Weiner, Resanovic’s alt.music.ballistix., Light and Shadows by Theresa Martin, and the Schumann Fairy Tales.


2:00 - 10:00: Relaxed and finished up to do list, then went to bed early.



Friday:

Fridays are a pretty relaxing day for me, as I don’t have any classes. Because it is more relaxed, I usually do what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it, rather than adhering to a schedule.


10:00 - 4:00: Wake up and relax, then start working on my to do list.


4:00 - 7:30: Practice.


7:30 - 2:30: Social time.

  • I hung out with LaBarrin and Ana Maria and went to Target before coming back to relax and hang out at my apartment.


2:30 - 4:00 am: Shower and get ready for bed.

  • Normally I go to bed before midnight, but this week it did not happen!


Saturday:

On Saturdays, I have trio rehearsal in the mornings, so I head to school early to have that and then get my practicing done for the day. After that, I do whatever needs to be done the most!


9:15 - 10:15: Wake up and get ready.


10:15-11:30: Walk to school for Trio rehearsal.


11:30 - 3:30: Practice.


3:30 - 11:00: Miscellaneous tasks.


11:00 - Midnight: Shower and get ready for bed .



(above: Here is a portion of my plant collection. This is a large part of my weekend chores - taking care of all 53 of them usually takes me about an hour on watering day!)


Sunday:

Sundays are my least busy day of the week, so I often use it to get ahead on homework for the week, clean, and practice.


9:00 - 10:30: Relaxing morning.

  • Wake up and take my time getting ready, eat breakfast, and watch some TV.


10:30 - 1:30: Go to school to get my practice time in for the day.


1:30 - 4:00: Chores - dishes, vacuum, take care of plants, fill out my planner for the week ahead.


4:00 - 9:00: Hang out with friends - this week I hung out with my friend Charlotte!


9:00 - 11:00: Work on homework.

  • I had lots of reading for my Post-Tonal and Ethnomusicology classes.


11:00 - Midnight: Shower and get ready to go to bed.



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