Playing Cello, Not Solving Puzzles

May 16, 2011

For the past week I have been reviewing "old" pieces. If one can be said to have old pieces after only eighteen months practice. Instead of pressing on with the pieces in book three of the Suzuki series, and in the middle of the Lee etudes book, David had me return to the beginning of Suzuki book one, and the first five pieces of the Lee book.

Relearning these pieces was fun. Several times I was struck by how much easier things were than even a few months ago. There were still some stumbles, oddly enough in the same measures as before, but on the whole my playing was much improved.

Today at my lesson we played through all the pieces I had reviewed. At one point, after  one of the Suzuki pieces, David made the comment that I was playing cello and not solving a puzzle that involved a cello. He was right. The pieces are well within my technical grasp, freeing me up to focus on playing them and not solving them. It was a huge ego boost. With his accompaniment the music sounded really good. He also said (for the first time ever) that I had a good "big sound."

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

In early June I am participating in a mini-camp for cello that David is hosting. Three half days with about 10 or 11 cellists plus David and his assistant. Today he gave me on of the pieces I'll be playing in the cello orchestra that week so that I can start learning it - Passepied by JS Bach. We also selected my recital piece for that week, the Boccherini Minuet. I played that in February at his recital, but haven't touched it since. I wasn't overly thrilled with my performance at the last recital, so I'm grateful (famous last words) for a chance to perform it again.

All in all it was a good cello week.

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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.