Because of a job transition that also involves preparing to sell a house, I have been a bit busy for blogging. However, I do plan to make some digital recordings this month since that’s part of my new lesson plan with my teacher anyway.
Put in an order for the electric today – the lower end of Yamaha’s electric line but at least I’ll have a practice instrument I can travel with. I considered Nussbaum’s prackticello but I was concerned about my ability to take it down and reassemble it reliably. Also, I like the idea of plugging it into headphones and playing silently.
At the lesson, talked about the Schumann Pieces in Folk Style #2 – first two lines and how it was important to see how the shift to pp requires that I stay on the D string and not move to a brighter string. Interesting to see how dynamics affects these choices.
In left hand, realized that my Vibrato motion on 1 needed help. I thought I needed help with 4, but that wasn’t all. My vibrato was too rotational on my wrist. Glad we caught that. As we are both going through changes – I with a new job with more travel and he with a new addition to the family (that isn’t a new cello), we’re trying to find ways to keep the teacher relationship moving forward in some way or another.
I may be traveling a whole lot more, and of course, I don’t want to put my cello down. Of course, I’m not letting Stempie anywhere near an airport, so I’m considering buying an electric. Any ideas – thoughts? I only know that I definitely want a 4-string. I don’t want to re-learn LH and bowing angles that would come with a 5-er.
I’m a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. Regardless of how many times I fail, I know I’ll be back next December 31 with new ones. Willingness to evolve, even in the face if repeated setbacks, is very important to me. I tend to structure my new year’s resolutions so that I get partial credit. They are my resolutions, after all.
Post four recordings of my current progress in 2014.
Practice 300 hours at a minimum during 2014. This is more ambitious than it sounds if I have an ambitious travel schedule.
Re-set long term goals by January 15
Focus on skills that will help me play with others.
Focus on really getting to know what makes my kids tick. Know when to withhold judgment, and when to let them know they could be wandering off course.
As I go into the fifth year of this blog, I once again need to re-think whether I want to continue the blog or not. Amidst a move and a new job, I’m happy to just find time to practice. My cello teacher also had some changes in his life, and that has made me wonder if I should consider making this our point of departure. These points are in open discussion between him and me. However, since I won’t be physically moving for a few months, this isn’t the time to announce anything drastic.
My thought is that my everyday musings at this stage are of little interest, but if I’m going to do this blog, even on a reduced frequency, I need to let people know what that frequency will be. There are still some big ideas in the future that are worth blogging about, including a visit to CelloSpeak (although I’m not sure if this will be in 2014 or 2015), whether to try to study online with an instructor while I try to find a new instructor in the Bloomsburg area.
I also have a feeling that my bow articulations are very crude, and I’m not really paying enough attention to my RH.
Each time I play the Prelude to the first suite, that fourth measure gets the tiniest bit more comfortable. Meanwhile, I pushed ahead and played through the first half (up through the fermata D) with the LH only. This was about 40 minutes of practice. Need to greatly increase the practices now. I keep forgetting how fun they are until after I start. Goes to show that doing is, for me, the most powerful motivator.
Started playing this one again. We had started it but I lost the score! I’ve since bought another. Challenge – should I go F to F on the d string as marked, or use i(F) for the time being. Seems that there ar e a lot of shifts and substitutions on just that first line. [note: After reviewing some live performance, I see that just about everybody plays the F on the A string even in passages marked II.]
Bach (Suite #1, Prelude) is going better, but still not getting comfortable on that fourth measure. Right now I’m reviewing tapes of my past lessons to see where it’s discussed.
Scale for the week is Melodic E minor (Because Dotzauer #4 was in E minor) and the shift from F# to G is tricky to measure.
Focus today was on remembering pitches between long shifts, and getting ready for the F to F scaley parts. Now in prepping for this the focus was on arm weight and ‘pushing’ the bow just slightly on the up-bows for the two-octave F major scale that occurs in this piece. The right arm needs to be a tad higher than usual C string position
I’ve been given a new piece – the second of the Schumann ‘Pieces in the Folk Style’ - Langsam (=literalliy: slow, but in a contemplative way. I’d almost translate this as ‘lingering’) Here’s a link to an interesting essay by W.D. Seiffert, pointing out the context of these pieces in relation to his cello concerto and relationship to the cello later in life.
Here’s an quote from this page. Apparently, I need to get to work on some story-telling!
Geringas sees the key to these pieces in the title. In his opinion the musician must invent a story to match the piece and “tell” it through the music, like folklore.
The theme is tricky for me to read. I’ll try to come up with a few stories and start working on that opening theme. For me, it brigs up feelings of autumn, though, and impending but not imminent goodbyes.
We talked about the F-scaley parts of the Kol Nidre today. The big riffs, the descending of which needs to go into thumb position to do. But generally for the ascending scales, we talked about keeping one’s hand very light and almost fluttery while practicing the scales. Then imagine the left hand is driving the right and try to do it in one motion. Easy to say, right? We worked our way through those two lines, which is pretty much going to be the focus of my practice this week, along with keeping the Prelude in working order.