Monday, February 13, 2006


Third Lesson

At least it wasn't snowing today for my hour and 15 minute drive to my lesson. We'll get together every other Monday at 1:30, at a local church. At first it was a little off-putting, because the church hosts a foodbank on Mondays, so the parking lot was full. Fortunately, the foodbank is on the lower floor. We setup in a small conference room with a few chairs and a low table. I had to set a few books on a chair to raise it to a proper height (next time, I'll probably bring my stool). Being so empty, the little room did amplify the sounds well.

We quickly got down to business, tuning up and bowing a few open strings. I still need to work on my bowhold. I'm twisting my hand - like a violin bow hold, apparently. I need to hold my hand flatter, more open. It's pretty complicated just trying to understand what I'm supposed to do, much less actually accomplish it.

We worked through parts of the repertoire - starting with the full Twinkle sequence without any problem. We also played several others quite smoothly. As we got towards the later pieces, I began to lose my place (which disappointed me, since I have been playing these at home without even thinking.) She didn't play harmony this time, probably realizing - correctly - that I got distracted by listening to her. She suggested I could now move on in the Suzuki Vol. 1, to the next several pieces (yeah!) This includes the C scale...

S suggested a way for me to attack these new pieces: 1) work on rhythym without playing the notes, counting the beat with one hand while tapping the rhythm with the other; 2) bow the rhythm slowly on the open strings to train the bow hand; 3) finger the notes, using pizzicato (not bowing); 4) finally combine the fingering with bowing - slowly at first and work up to speed.

We discussed the extra work I've been doing with my recalled songs. She said I was fortunate to be able to call up the music from my memory and transpose it for the cello so easily. I demonstrated a couple of them. She encouraged me to keep at it, but not to go out of the first position, yet, and to try to focus on getting them perfect before adding new ones. I told her I was going to dig through my mother's sheet music supply to see what I might be able to transpose via Finale Notepad. She is all for it, suggesting I look for a few "rounds".

S asked me if I wanted to play in their spring recital - May 5th (I think); with the beginner group. She said they'd play the French Folk Song (the "Clown"), "Oh Come Little Children", "Long, Long Ago", and a medly that mixed "Twinkle" with something from Prokofiev. I said I had to see. I really don't want to, but I know I should - I'll probably go ahead and do it...

I mentioned that I'd probably be buying a new cello soon. She said she thought the violin store in Anchorage should have quite a few models in the $3K to $5K price range and she'd check them out this week. I asked her to call me after she got home. She said that professional cellists often test drive hundreds of cellos before selecting one.

Lots of homework and several new things to work on.


I couldn't believe what I was hearing from algore this morning from his speech to some Saudi group. He ought to be arrested for treason! I wonder how many mainstream democrats are shaking their heads at how far off center this fool has drifted. I for one am sure as hell relieved he didn't win the election in 2000. Thank god for the Supreme Court!!!

No doubt the ultra-left will lionize him (and cover for him), but I can't believe he has any credibility left with mainstream America. Some A...hole VP from Chevron was also way out of line calling Bush's goal of ending our dependence on foriegn oil a "pipe-dream". Clearly Chevron has a huge conflict of interest in this. The more oil we use and the more we pay for the oil, the richer they're going to get.

Thanks for the help you guys in winning this war on terror! They both ought to be arrested!

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