May 12, 2011
At my lesson this week David decided that I should set aside my current pieces and return to Suzuki book one and the start of the Lee Etude book. He said that it was his fault that I hadn't done more review of early material and that this was a good time to have a review.
So this week I've been playing Suzuki book one numbers 1 - 10, and the first five Lee etudes. The Suzuki pieces are nicely easy to play now. The melodies are simple and the pieces are far less complicated than my current stuff, so I can focus on intonation and dynamics at a level I'm not normally able to reach. Seeing that I can play piece after piece with relative ease has been fun, too.
The first five Lee pieces have been slightly more challenging, but have still been fun to redo. They are more technically demanding than the Suzuki work, but are still well within my grasp. The first couple of plays of each reminded me of what was difficult about them before and subsequent plays have gotten measurably better. It is obvious that my skill has increased.
In addition to these pieces I've been diligent about practice scales. Currently I'm working on three major scales (C, G, and D) and four minor scales (d-natural, -harmonic, and -melodic, and c-melodic). I've also been working on bowing rhythms; playing a pattern over and over with whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes. With all the notes in the patten in first-position I can more or less play all the note durations, when the notes involve extensions, however, things fall apart fairly quickly. It's not my favorite activity and therefore one that I don't spend enough time on.