Cellospeak - Wednesday

July 29, 2015

The sessions for today followed the same pattern as Monday: Warm Ups for the Cello Athlete, Elementary technique, musicanship, practice time, and then an evening recital.

Warm Up

The continuation of Monday's workshop on warm ups was very good. In addition to physical stretching and muscle warm ups we are getting into musical warm ups. For example: using a perfect 4th and a perfect octave to find first position. We also did a drill with "Mary Had a Little Lamb" using whole steps, half and whole steps, and half steps for Major Mary, Minor Mary, and Modal Mary. As it turns out the major scales all follow a major, minor, modal pattern.

Elementary technique

We focused a lot on extensions (or stretch position as they tend to call it here). One of the ideas that I really liked was that when you play a G or a G# on the D-string, you are also playing a perfectly in tune E and a perfectly in tune F# - you don't hear them. In other words, always place all the fingers possible on the fingerboard and place them correctly.

Musicianship

We worked on more of the pieces for Friday's presentation. Each of us was given a variety of parts, some harder, some less difficult. That way we all get some growth opportunities and a chance to shine perhaps. I didn't spend much time preparing any of the Cellospeak pieces so I am lagging behind on a couple

Recital

Tonight's recital was wonderful. The student's played beautifully, and the faculty presentations were fantastic. The final piece, Souvenir de Seville by Stephenson, was incredible. Having 8 or 10 world class cellists playing together night after night is unbelievable. As thrilling as it is for the audience, it must also be incredible for the faculty. How often to they get to play together with 6 or 8 or 10 of their peers?

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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.