Summertime? – Piá Bromby

Digital Ambassador Piá Bromby chronicles life as an RNCM violinist in a series of monthly blog posts.

May has easily been the busiest month in the RNCM building since before Covid-19 times. Whenever I’ve been in college practising or rehearsing, it’s been lovely to see the hustle and bustle of this very special building nearly back to normality. There is definitely an atmosphere of excitement in the air as recitals are on the horizon. For now, all I can say is good luck and congrats to all those who are already done and dusted!

Personally, I find myself in a slightly different situation to most at this time as I’m sat ‘writing’ this months blog via a microphone (which is dictating my speech into typing). Sadly about a week and a half ago, I picked up an injury which has put a huge halt on my violin playing, including my recital. This is extremely upsetting and frustrating, but has definitely been a beneficial learning curve with regards to awareness and knowing what my body is capable of.

I mention my personal circumstance not for sympathy, but rather to show people how not to get into this situation themselves – I’m sure many of us are also experiencing aches and pains at the moment! The recital period can be very stressful for many musicians and this stress can manifest itself in numerous ways – emotionally and/or physically. It’s very easy to work harder and push yourself in order to achieve the best possible results (whatever that personally means) but to do this at the expense of your physical and mental wellbeing is basically asking for a one way ticket to the land of ‘Injury’. Fellow musicians, friends, colleagues – please be careful and look after yourselves; although end of year recitals are VERY important, they do not determine the rest of your life! Focusing solely on this one performance and nothing else will surely cause problems as one becomes unbalanced. Please, take breaks regularly (for mental and physical well being) and remember to have some fun when you’re not practising!

In a recent coaching with my quartet, our chamber teacher said,

‘A break will not stop you from progressing as a musician’ – and of course, he is absolutely right.

Aside from music…

At the start of this month (before the chaos began), my flatmates and I decided to venture out of Manchester to Edale in the Peak District. Not going to lie, climbing up ‘Mam Tor’ was a bit of a struggle, but it was worth it when we got to the top. We had our meal deals over a stunning view in the heaviest hail shower I’ve ever seen – you really can’t beat British summertime. After we reached the summit, we descended down and headed to the pub for some more food. The Peaks are a great way to get out of Manchester as they are so close but completely different to the city – might be a fun idea to visit if recitals are stressing you out? *hint hint*

All in all, May has given us a mixture of weather alongside some great steps forward into normality. Once again, we are making progress and in doing so we are closer than ever to the freedom of the summer holidays. I also want to mention that it’s been such a joy watching friends play in their end of year recitals; it’s crazy how talented everyone is at their craft and to see all that hard work in action was a privilege.

Again, wishing everyone luck in your recitals!!

Thanks for reading and see you soon,


2 June 2021