Interview with Shanshan Wang (2 of 2)



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MUS 229 -- Anthropology of Music

Dr. McGraw

On-Campus Ethnography Project

R: Ok. So I just have a couple questions here, umm, so first, I was silly last time, and uh, forgot to ask you, umm, would you mind just telling me a little bit about yourself in general, umm maybe your major, your class year, other interests, that kind of thing?

W: Umm, my name's Shanshan, umm I'm a sss--junior now, so this is my third year in the uni- in the UR. I'm from China, and uh, it took me a long time to accommodate - like to accustomed to the American way of living so uh it's tough though but I made it, then I'm a philosophy and mathematical economics double major. I'm thinking of doing a music minor but that depends on how many credits I-- will-- have on my account to like actually allow that umm then umm-- what else should I say?


R: I mean, any other interests, what ummm cool things about you, just in general.

W: Ok umm, I don't know, uh, I don't have any - I -- I -- we, in my family, we don't, we did not have any pets, growing up umm and I'm -- I have this fear of dogs or something like, inherent in me and so even though I love their appearance, like their cute appearance but I -- there's just kind of reflex in me that if I actually approach them I will be like frozen immediately, so I cannot help it, so it's not like I hate dogs -- they do just frighten me. Yah

R: Um, so now I just have a couple of questions now that we got that out of the way, umm, now that you've had a few rehearsals, can you maybe share some thoughts on how you think the process is going?


W: Well I think, uh, the group members they are just brilliant so they make things way like easier, and um, we cooperate like a few times and I feel they are, like they know their instruments, like better than I know mine, (laughs), so uh, and uh, they are both good at theory stuff, so I think that's umm, I need to catch up umm like faster, and um, I think because like, I'm the piano and I've got the full score, so I have to like know their parts so that we can have this better like cooperation thing, yah, that's -- I need to umm, that's where I need to address and progress, I guess.

R: Umm, so going forward for the rest of the semester, what are your goals for the ensemble?

W: Umm, I think umm, so firstly we need to get a good performance for the audience 00:03:00at the ends of the semester like for this movement and then, if umm, I think when we finally like g-get this movement perfect or something like nearly perfect, umm we will pick another piece or another movement so to make our performance as longer as possible, so that's kinda yah, and don't mess up at the final performance

R: Umm, how well do you think that you and the other members of the ensemble are communicating now that you've had a little bit of time to get to know one another?

W: Well I think because they are like really nice people so, so uh I think in terms of communication we can just say - like because they say anything like polite, so we are like any of us will not be like offended or something so we are really like care about each other's feelings so we kind of yah, great!


R: Umm, I asked you this the first time that I talked to you, umm, but I'm curious to see, now that you've had a couple of rehearsals, what do you think your role is in the ensemble and has anything changed from last time?

W: Well, I -- like last time I think that my answer was like pivot on like the scheduling things, like I'm kind of the scheduler of this whole group but now I feel like I'm umm, I'm more of a -- like -- ah, I don't know, a check or something on everyone, so because I -- once I got a full score, I need to like make sure everybody's got their part right because they don't have the full score so I think I'm kind of the role of uh I don't know, feeling like coaching, but because I don't know actually familiar -- I'm not familiar with their instruments and their scores, like so I'm not doing a great job on that but like 00:05:00I think Dr. Kong is like ex-ex-expecting that I'm doing this, so yah, maybe we'll do that in the future, I don't know.

R: Umm, and then, umm, do you, uh, have anything that you're, umm, is there anything that you think you're going to gain personally or musically from the experience of being in this ensemble?

W: Oh ok, yah, that's uh, I don't know, I think there's an important thing that I will or might gain, because of when I play piano, I will only like play the, play my scores right and mostly when I focus on it, so when I'm playing with other instruments the focus is a problem because I have to like listen to their parts so if I wanna do that piece well, like the chamber piece well I need to like be really familiar with my piece so that I cannot like think really hard to 00:06:00get it right. So in the mean time I need to like listen to their's, so, yah if umm, so after this I think I will be, I don't know, generally more umm, more truer, like being playing piano, and yah.

R: Umm--so last time that you had a coaching with umm, just the violinist, cuz Davis wasn't there, umm, did that uh, help in any way, or was that a little bit less helpful because you were missing one of the members of the ensemble?

W: Well I think it, it is helpful, in terms of like me, being at the same time or at the same like pace with her, but umm, it -- on the other hand because missing the cello we don't know how the whole thing is actually shaping like so I think that's -- that's uh, something missing but is helpful.


R: Umm-- what do you think umm, is Dr. Kong's in the ensemble as the coach?

W: She, well she, kind of set the umm, requirements and the standards for our performance so every time when we like do -- when we show her our like work, she will be checking us, checking on us, like, if we actually stick to the scores, there's no mistakes, or no wrong notes, something like that and then, there will -- and then she will like tell us the dynamics, how to shape the whole thing and then where to use some -- some right techniques and that -- that kind of thing, yah she's helpful.

R: Umm, do you mind me asking, how much you practice for this ensemble, outside of the rehearsals?

W: I think umm, one hour a day, or something because I got -- also I've got my 00:08:00private lesson to practice, I might spend more time on that sometimes, yah

R: Well, how much time do you spend on this particular piece?

W: This one? Umm, maybe five hours a week, yah.

R: Cool. That's all that I have. Thank you!

W: Thank you so much!