February 28, 2012
My lesson was a good one this week. Mostly we reviewed my performance/competition piece as the performance is this coming Saturday. We also spent some time reviewing my études and other Suzuki pieces.
David had me start by playing the piece all the way through by myself. While I was playing he wandered around the studio doing things. Opening and closing the door, shuffling papers, and the like. Not being noisy but being distracting. He was pleased when I kept right on playing. We then played through it a couple of times with him accompanying me. He said that if I played it as well as I did in the lesson for the performance that it will be my best public performance yet. I still need to focus on playing the Eb's low enough, and on not rushing the longer (dotted half) notes.
I'm finished with #20 and have started two new études. Number 23 and number 27. For number 23 David only wants me to play the first three lines, however, he wants me to practice playing 1, 2, 4, and then 8 notes per bow stroke. The goal is to have each note be equal in duration and sound quality. It's deceptively hard.
For number 27 he again only wants me to work on the first three lines, this time paying particular attention to intonation and to the changing slur pattern. The étude is in G: major which means there is an F#. I need to be careful to shift (or extend) to play that note on the C string.
We spent a few minutes working on La Conquantaine. My grasp of this piece is finally starting to come together. It's full of shifts which means it can be an intonation minefield. I've learned the hard way that there is a difference between playing a piece and practicing it. Practice for a piece like La Cinq means picking one or two measures and working on them note-by-note. As a completionist it's hard for me to ignore the rest of the piece in order to focus on a just a few measures. But it really does work.