A Year

November 09, 2010

One year ago today I had my first cello lesson. It was exciting beforehand and a huge disappointment in actuality.

In hindsight it is apparent that the instructor was used to dealing with children and that the entire lesson was geared to the attention span and needs of a middle school aged child and not a mature adult. We spent an inordinate amount of time practicing how to carry the cello in its case. The only music looked at was a series of open string bowing exercises. After all the anticipation and build up, after my first lesson I could play anything on the cello.

Next I turned to the local university hoping to find a graduate student in need of an eager beginner. I did have a couple of lessons from an ernest young man (who I later learned is the first chair cellist in the University orchestra) but I wasn't 100% satisfied with his approach. While I am positive that he is a fine player, I wanted someone with more pedagogical background.

Through a series of emails I was fortunate enough to gain entry into my teacher's studio. As head of the University orchestra and a cellist who had just celebrated 50 years of playing, he has not only the playing experience he has an enormous amount of teaching experience.

My relationship with him has grown over the past 12 months; I look forward to my lessons and to the interactions with him. Together we have moved through books 1 and 2 of the Suzuki books, and starte the 3rd. I'm also working through the Lee etudes book.

Playing a string instrument (as I have learned) is one of the harder things to do musically. The challenges to me have been difficult at times, and rewarding. My appreciation for music has grown as I now know a small part of what goes into making beautiful sounds. That I have a lifetime to grown and learn about violoncello pleases me.

It has been a good first year of music for me, I am looking forward to the next, and the next, and so on.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.