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Focus on Art Part 3: Richland Student Practices Violin 5 Hours a Day


With the hair of Justin Bieber and the work ethic and dedication resembling that of an Olympic gymnastic, this young musician is well on his way to having a very successful career as a professional violinist.

Brenden Bachaud, a senior at Richland High School, practices the violin at least five hours a day, every day of the year.

For most, this sounds exhausting as most high school students would probably agree that their practice regimens more resemble 30 minutes to an hour per day… if that.

“The practice is necessary,” Bachaud said.

Bachaud explained that he wants to first attend college at either WSU or Eastern Washington University, majoring in music performance, and then eventually earn a doctoral degree in music performance from what is recognized as one of the best violin colleges in the country: Michigan State University.

And after that, he said he plans on having a career as a professional musician.

“You get used to it,” Bachaud said referring to his practice time. “Although, when I first started, I felt like I was dying. I felt like I couldn’t stand up anymore.”

Bachaud said the practice schedule was recommended by his current private violin instructor.

“It seems like a long time,” he said. “But it does go by pretty fast. It is broken up into sections like 50 minutes working on technicality. That sort of a thing.”

His practice has proven to pay off as Bachaud said he has entered young artists competitions and has placed well. Additionally, he currently holds a spot with the Mid Columbia Symphony and plans to audition for the Spokane Symphony this year.

He said the Mid Columbia Symphony is also going to pick two soloists for the next concert, a spot he has high hopes of filling.

Bachaud said that he started playing the violin in third grade, being that it was the only instrument that his elementary school offered. He said he has taken orchestra every year since, with private lessons on the side.

Bachaud said his favorite part about playing the violin is performing.

“I used to get really nervous,” he said. “If I messed up, I didn’t want people thinking less of me.”

But those nervous feelings have since changed, he said.

“I love the after effect of the concert,” he said. “I always walk out feeling good.”

Bachaud said that there is just something about playing the violin and making art with surrounding musicians that is truly fantastic.

“Playing just makes sense,” he said. “It is amazing to see what your instrument can do.”

Bachaud said his favorite violinist and one of his main inspirations for playing is Grammy-winning American violinist Hilary Hahn.

“She is different from other violinists in that she plays what is on the page and doesn’t fudge around so much,” he said.

Bachaud said that he gets to see her perform this May in Seattle and get a private lesson from her after the concert. He said he will be missing his high school graduation rehearsal, a necessary sacrifice.

He said the lesson costs $500, but is truly a lifetime opportunity.

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