Lesson Notes from January 3, 2011

January 04, 2011

Over the holiday break I worked on six pieces and at my lesson yesterday we focused on four of them. I'll be working on those for for next week's lesson.

Lee Etude #8 This piece is built around 12-note slurs and string changes. I need to separate my bow speed from my fingering speed. I'e been using the metronome to learn how fast (or slow) to bow to allow for 12 notes. As David puts it, the bow is playing a dotted half note, it's my fingers that are playing 12 sixteenth notes.

Lee Etude #10 This piece intermixes hooked bowing with non-hooked bowing of the same rhythmic pattern. I have the raw elements now, I just need to improve my speed.

Suzuki 3, Gavotte The Lully (Marias) Gavotte is well in hand now. I need to improve the articulation of the staccato notes, and improve my accuracy when shifting for the D and later A in the middle section. Also I need to have a firmer fingering for the F on the C-string so that it speaks clearly.

Suzuki 3, Minuet The Boccherini Minuet is a huge step up in difficulty from the preceding piece. I broke it down into very small sections and have managed to get through the first to repeated sections of the piece and have started working on the trio. Following the trio the cello is accompanying the piano, which results in rests. Learning to play nothing for the appropriate length of time will be a challenge.

David also wants me to work with the drone CD to improve my intonation. As he told me yesterday, Casals once said that every day he has to learn where E is all over again. Intonation practice will be a part of my practice as long as I am playing the cello.

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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.