I see I haven't posted a lesson summary in a couple of weeks. I'm still trying to figure out what's useful, as I transition from my old lesson and practice log system to... something else. I played the loaner cello. It's not really to my taste, but I thought it might be to T-'s, and it was. The bigger and more extroverted the sound I can make, the happier he is. And it's interesting that after a week of playing it it sounds less harsh to my ear, and more like me with an added edge. I don't know whether the primary factor is habituation, or more likely that my physical approach has subtly modified to get more of the sound that I want to hear.
This week we worked on two etudes and several core elements.
* Lee #5. I'm working my way through the Lee melodious exercises. We no longer spend months on an etude, like we did with the first three. I now work up an etude for a couple of weeks, play it and drive on. I take the comments home and apply them to that etude while also working up the next one. Like T- says, if I can just clean up my string crossings by (1) keeping the weight in the bow and (2) making good tunnels over the strings I will have nailed all of these exercises. Just. Also concentrate on leveling off the string changes, more "bow strum" and fewer terraces.
* Gruetzmacher #13. This is the beginning thumb position etude that I've been playing for at least a year. I like it, and time and repetitions have really been key to developing strength, coordination, and good finger positions and hand patterns. I've increased the tempo from 1/8=80 then to 120 now.
I still struggle with physically backing away from the cello when I play "up there", which leads to the vicious circle of unpleasant sound, followed by more tension. Today we worked on the bow change motion at the tip, with the desired end again of keeping the weight in the string. I am to practice by making the motion with my hand for now, extending the fingers and thumb on up-bow and rounding them on down bow. T- demonstrated a good way to practice this using Duport #21, where the bow distribution leads to playing fast notes at the tip. He thought that etude is too difficult for me right now, but I can use that bow pattern when I practice scales or other etudes where I already know the notes.
After a short time working on the bow change motion I was able to get much more sound on this etude. Personally, I thought it a not very pleasant sound, but T- was delighted. He has been telling me frequently that I am trying to refine too early, a common adult failing, and that first I need to have a sound to refine. So I guess this is progress.