February 13 Lesson Notes

February 13, 2012

This week is Rote and Drone week. Both of my Suzuki pieces have shifts and extensions and I need to improve my intonation accuracy.

Schröder
Étude number 20 is considerably more difficulty that its predecessors. The piece is written in 6/8 time, and is filled with a three-note rhythmic pattern that is not easy to play: a dotted-eighth note, followed by a sixteenth, followed by an eighth note. Last week I focused on just getting the rhythm down and managed to play the first line reasonably well. It went fairly well in my lesson this afternoon. The assignment for next week is to complete the piece.

Suzuki
La Cinquantaine has improved a lot in the past couple of weeks. Several of the shifts still give me fits and my intonation suffers as a result. David devised a couple of rote exercises for me to practice that will reenforce the shifts. And he wants me to use the drone CD with the rote drills to help train my ear. Allegro Moderato is also progressing nicely. David explained that this piece really is a graduation to the next level in my cello playing. It exists in the "adult" repertoire. We devised a couple of rote drills for difficult passages in this piece as well.

Minuet No 3
I continue to work on my competition piece. It's completely memorized now, which means I can focus more on intonation and articulation as I'm not busy reading along in the score. This week's goal is to start playing with accompaniment. There are really two goals hidden in the accompaniment. First I need to get used to playing with another instrument and second I need to learn to come in on the down beat following longer notes. I tend to pause (i.e., add a micro-rest) after longer notes. The competition is two weeks from Saturday.

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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.