Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cello lesson 10/4

I'm not sure my heart's completely in it, but with the resumption of cello lessons my Fall season has started in earnest. We spent more than half the lesson talking about summer adventures and assessing where I am now and where I would like to go next. Then T- did something he almost never does, and that I have never encouraged: he went through my part in the Gaubert and worked out reasonable fingerings and bowings. My first teacher used to spend entire lessons fingering my parts, which I came to consider a major waste of time. But this was a real blessing, and saved me three or four hours of struggling.

After the marking I played for about 10 minutes, focusing on the first phrase. If I were to roughly summarize the steps we went through:
* Get the fingerings down
* Practice the bow gestures by air bowing while fingering the notes. Pay particular attention to where the bow speed changes, and where on the bow the notes are played. Play freely, with large muscular gestures.
* Play the phrase with attention to the musical elements. Focus on what I can "not do" (i.e. release tension) in order to make it sound the way that I want.

I left feeling inspired, and confident that I can learn this piece to play it for coaching in the next two weeks.

This is the agenda that I prepared before the lesson:

Goals with dates
Adult Chamber Music Weekend Oct 20/21 flute/cello/piano trio
Haydn Trio in D Hob XV:16
Von Weber Trio in g Op 63
Lully Suite arr. Cheret and Modzelewska
Gaubert Soir d’ Automne

Orchestra concert Nov 7
Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture
Elgar Enigma Variations

Suzuki teacher training audition tape – by Feb 2008
Faure Elegie

Additional Repertoire
Beethoven Sonata Op 5 No 2 (g min)
Schumann Fantasy Pieces
Gliere 10 Duets

Current Warm-up and technical baseline
Open string long bow exercise 2 counts/bow,4,8,16,try 32 all strings up and down
Sevcik Op 8 one exercise/one string/day
...Ex. # based on day of month
...String based on day of week Su C, Mo G, Tu D, W A, Th D, F G, Sa C
...One scale/week, alt Maj and min
...Mm=88 acceleration pattern
...Arpeggio (I), 3 fingerings
...Thirds, first two octaves
...One additional specific goal each week (decide in or after lesson)
Thumb position
...Swan on thumb
...Grutzmacher 13 and/or sight read song or etude
...Offenbach Grand Duo Concertante Op 46
Bach 2nd Suite
...One or two phrases/week for technical elements
...Speed development outside of lessons
...Rotating review of chunks outside of lessons
...Would like to design etudes based on technical needs of repertoire in addition to or instead of assigned etudes

Adjunct schedule
MON Piano semi-private lessons
TUE Alexander Technique, ?piano trio rehearsal
WED Voice class, church orchestra rehearsal
THU cello lesson, HS Orchestra rehearsal
SUN church performance, flute/cello/piano trio rehearsal


cellodonna said...

This looks like you'll be very busy ... but it's a "good" busy. I just love your "all music" schedule.

You're very dedicated and disciplined. I like your comprehensive approach to practicing. You have a great sense of how to organize what seems to be an overwhelming amount of material.

Re fingerings: In my case I have mixed feelings on the teacher-marking-fingering-at-lesson for my orchestra music. Frequently he shows me really good sensible fingerings that keep the line of the music sounding smooth. BUT ... lots of time I end up going back to what I consider easier positions, even if I have to sacrifice the richer tone, just so I can get to the notes faster and accurately during the performance. So, in a way that becomes a waste of time ... but maybe not entirely, because it does teach me something about choosing fingerings.

Guanaco said...

Whew! I thought I was busy.. When do you manage to practice? and how do you even find the time to play with all those cats?

It is good to see you back in play... :)

Maricello said...

You are so organized, such an inspiration. I often write out schedules, but day-to-day life intervenes....

My teacher only gives fingering when I ask for them (or when she sees a way to improve upon mine). They are almost always better than mine. On the other hand, I liked Abby Newton's fingerings too, and they were different. My cello choir teacher (I am taking a break from cello choir at the moment) has an "any fingerings in a storm approach" which is not very effective to overall growth, but perhaps helpful for the first or second time through an ensemble piece, together.

Anonymous said...

You're going to do Suzuki teacher training? How exciting! Do you intend to teach?

Gottagopractice said...

It was interesting observing him deciding on fingerings, a 10-minute mini-lesson. For some of the sticky ones he tried every combination of fingerings, string crossings, and bow changes I could think of, then at least a dozen more. Very illuminating.

I almost started the teacher training last year, but my knee surgery put a crimp in my summer plans. My philosophy is that the best way to learn something is to teach someone else, and teaching is one of the few things I am missing in retirement. I'm just not sure I'm ready to be tied down to a regular schedule yet!