Examining perfectionism & ethnocentrism
in Western classical music

"Poems in Practice Rooms" tells the story of a woman studying classical music & post-colonialism in college.

The performance grapples with two questions: In a culture saturated with perfectionism, can you reconcile imperfection with validity? As a person of color, can you decolonize your cultural identity while perpetuating a Western tradition with your body?

"Poems in Practice Rooms" offers a picture of the invisible struggles between a musician and her art when race, power, and identity are involved. 

 

"profound, sad, uplifting, powerful, & beautiful" ~ Paul Eiss, anthropologist & professor at Carnegie Mellon University

As a student at Carnegie Mellon, I wrote parts of "Poems in Practice Room" from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, with a grant from the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, I created a short-film version as part of my senior capstone

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May 2020. A scene from my short-film version of "Poems in Practice Rooms."

 

"an insightful presentation that reflected her courage,

artistry, & grace"​ ~ Monique Mead, violinist

I have performed "Poems in Practice Rooms" live for the Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning and Chamber Music Pittsburgh. If you are interested in hosting a performance at your school/organization, please contact me at theresa.s.abalos@gmail.com.

 

From this project, I developed & taught a workshop on creative expression for Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra.

"It helped me realize the connection between music & stories"

~ workshop participant at Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra