My Plan

“Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.”
–Hamilton Holt

 

Over the next four years, I’ll be committing myself as a musician and also as a businesswoman. I plan on receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship. I will continue pursuing the violin as my main instrument, but I will also be developing my piano skills as well. I’d love to intern somewhere in the arts district, (i.e. The Meyerson, the DMA), become part of a string quartet, and volunteer around the Dallas area. Taking classes for my minor will help me understand how the arts market works and also how to promote my own business. I would love to manage a theater or symphony center and control what comes in and out of it. Having a background in music as well as management will give me a great perspective of artistic talent. Understanding what I’m marketing will make me a better manager and promoter. On top of my B.A. and AMAE minor, I am considering an International Studies major. Because I’m interested in managing and performing with international organizations, I believe in having knowledge of the global economy and cultural history. I like the idea of focusing on one region of the world and learning about its specific art and people. During my junior year, I’d love to study abroad for a semester and immerse myself in an entire new culture. As I pursue my arts administration career, I hope I never lose my love and passion for music. The spark I have inside of me will (hopefully) never fade, I hope to be playing music for the rest of my life. After graduation, and when I’m fully settled in my arts administration career, I would love to teach violin or piano on the side to elementary school children. I would prefer to leave Dallas, move somewhere new and different. I do love my home state and town (Plano), but it would be nice to have an entirely new experience somewhere else. Since my parents were both teachers and also musicians, I feel like it’s in my blood to teach music. A few weeks ago when the music education department came to talk with us, I was really interested in the degree. I guess that’s another major I’m deciding between, haha. Whatever I decide on doing, I hope it’s something that makes me happy. In the end, my success won’t come from how much money I’ve made or how many positions I’ve held, but how many people I’ve influenced.

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Skills

The greatest skill I’ve acquired is time management. Although I still procrastinate on some things, I’m still able to get enough sleep per night, haha. I love planning –another reason I’m pursuing a career in arts management. Planning out my time has helped a lot in being prepared for presentations, concerts and tests in the past few months. Another skill I have is working with others. I enjoy being on a team or assisting someone with a project. I’m able to focus on anything I need to and I have a strong work ethic.

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Elevator Pitch

  I see a future in youth orchestras in which children can connect their creative abilities, engage in self-actuated learning styles and develop a more global understanding. My name is Allison Beck . I’m a violinist living and studying in Dallas, Texas. I aspire to work as an international arts administrator; have you heard of El Sistema Aeolian? I hope to start a similar organization that opens people’s minds about art. Art is what makes us human, that’s why I want to work in this field. Could we trade business cards? I’d love to talk with you more and see how our visions could match up. Thank you so much.

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Motivation

“We first make our habits and then our habits make us.”
–John Dryden, poet

Making a contribution, getting better, the challenge. I love playing on stage. The feeling after a great performance leaves me beaming. :) I feel like my purpose is to be the best musician I can be, and without practice, I know I won’t get any better. I want nothing more than to fulfill my potential, whatever that may be. In rehearsal today, Dr. Phillips said how practicing is more of a psychological thing; we have to have confidence in our work in order to accomplish the task. I had never thought about practice in this way, and it makes a lot of sense. Believing that you can do it is the first step.

As for distractions, my phone takes the top spot. It has the obvious -texting and talking, but apps are another time-waster. Instagram, twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook are apps that I’m constantly checking. Facebook on my computer is dangerous, too. I’ve self disciplined myself to the point where I can focus on homework or practicing without being tempted. It’s during my precious free time that I wish I spent more hours sleeping rather than browsing, haha.

I thank my parents and friends for giving me motivation in the past, but now that I’ve gotten older my drive for success has become completely self-motivated. I’ve raised higher standards for myself. The self-empowerment that is felt when you play a challenging piece perfectly (well, almost perfectly; there’s no such thing as a perfect performance ;) ) is incomparable. I have yet to have the same accomplished feeling with anything else non-music related that I’ve done. I also want to make a difference in the world, and with music I will be able to do that. Becoming a better musician will open more opportunities for networking and employment.

 

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My Influences and Values

What I value most in life is also my greatest influence- my family has always been there for me, always cared for me, and always has gone out of their way to support me. I know it’s basically their job, but I feel so lucky to have had them in my life. I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without their encouragement and love.

Music is in my blood; I remember listening to my grandpa play, and also playing along with him. My mom always sang to me when I was a baby- as soon as I was old enough, I made up my own songs about whatever I was doing. There are countless (embarrassing) videos of me singing about making my bed, cleaning, and swinging on our swing set. My dad has probably had the greatest influence in my life. As I mentioned in a previous post, I began studying violin through the Suzuki method, meaning that a parent also started to learn with you since the student started at such an early age. My dad and I practiced together and went to lessons together. It was a learning experience for the both of us, and I was able to teach myself self-discipline and realize self empowerment. When he used to play at Six Flags Over Texas for the fall festival, he let me play with his band; it’s one of my favorite memories. :) My first violin, guitar, electric guitar, electric violin, harmonica, and piano all came from him. I don’t think I could ever thank him enough; he’s the best man I know.

Other great and recent influences are the people I’m surrounded by here at Meadows. :) Everyone’s amazing at what they do, and it only makes me want to become a better musician.

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Work Ethic

My work ethic developed to what it is over the past four years. I went through the International Baccalaureate program (AP on steroids) at my high school and learned how to balance social, academic and extra curricular activities. Academically, I am known to procrastinate. I put off more pressing matters to work on things due later in the week. So this way I still feel okay about not doing what I really need to do… does that make sense? Haha, but eventually I finish everything at a reasonable hour. :) I also try to make sure I work and not text or check facebook/instagram/twitter/pinterest. While I’m reading, I won’t let myself respond to a text until I finish that chapter, or if I’m on the computer I make myself get off at *said time* that’s ten minutes away from the current time. Since I’ve been at college, I haven’t fallen into my old habits, it’s been easy to go practice because everyone else has to do it, too.

I’m not exactly sure where my music motivation comes from, but I want to share my art with other people, and would like to sound (at least) decent when I play for them. I like to practice in one to two hour sessions, starting with violin then ending with piano. My practicing gets really repetitive, I like to practice certain things over and over again until I get them right; til it sounds like how I want it, repeated three times. I start at a slow tempo then work my way up. If I mess it up, I go down two bpm’s.

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Endless Opportunity

Tomorrow marks the two week period I’ve been here at SMU. :) I love Meadows! This week has felt more like what college will actually be like; we’ve gotten past the reading of the administrative rules and the syllabi, I also had my first violin lesson this week! I can’t be more sure of the fact that I picked the right school to go to.

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Where it All Began

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I don’t remember very much from my early childhood, but I do remember the moment I decided I wanted to be a musician.  My dad was in a Cajun band called the SoRelle Brothers. He played the accordion, Kris played fiddle and Pete played guitar. It was a late night in the spring of 1997 and they were rehearsing at our house for an upcoming gig. I was supposed to be sleeping, but curiosity got the best of me and I had to know what that sound was. I tiptoed out of my room and as soon as I saw Kris’ violin, I whispered to my dad to ask if I could try it. Looking back, I think he had been waiting for this moment since before I was born. Soon enough I had a wooden box as tall as I was sitting on my left shoulder. I was pulling the bow every which way, mimicking Kris’ movements. My dad asked me if I wanted one of my own and I nodded. That summer I received a package in the mail- my own sixteenth sized violin. Ever since then, I haven’t stopped playing. I started guitar, piano and even bought an electric violin. I thank my parents every day for being so supportive of me. My first violin lessons incorporated the Suzuki method where my dad learned along with me. We went to lessons together and practiced together which helped my self discipline at such an early age. Some of my favorite memories from my childhood were from when we went as a family to the North Texas Irish Festival and the Oktoberfest. When I was older, we drove 45 minutes to Burleson, Texas, so that I could have a fiddle teacher and be able to participate in fiddle contests in Fort Worth. Being exposed to different types of music has helped me become the musician I am today.

It was this past summer that I realized my calling as an artist. I travelled on an international concert tour with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and had an experience of a lifetime. I loved playing in the different concert halls and meeting the German music students who were so similar to us. After visiting, it made me want to give the opportunity to other artists to travel and perform as well. International arts administration and management became an idea for one of my future careers. For those that know me, I’m a very organized person (my color-coded planner is practically an extra appendage) and I love to travel. I also love performing, but I feel like I could make a greater impact on the world by spreading music to different cultures. Music is a universal language that can bring people together and promote global understanding. I hope to impact society in more ways than one, and I can’t wait to get started. :)

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Welcome

Hello! My name is Allison Beck and I am a violinist studying at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. I intend to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Music and also a minor in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship.

Welcome to my professional page where I will be posting about myself, my art and my aspirations. Comments are welcome!

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