Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Fine summer days, at last!

Finally, after a long wait, we are enjoying warm sunny days, with light breezes, and hardly any bugs. We've been out at our new property installing fencing to mooseproof several trees we bought on sale this weekend. How nice to be outside!

Today's lunch concert was Jack Will and Sue Biggs on the patio of the local coffehouse. Nice. Everyone seemed to be there to enjoy their music. Tomorrow, the Kenai Peninsula Youth Orchestra will play at the Kenai Library for lunch. I am really looking forward to that.

I'll have to talk a little more about measurement one of these days. My post on this topic generated a little discussion (thanks to everyone who commented!), which made me realize that I really haven't gotten to the core of this issue, myself. So, I'll probably come back to this topic, now and again, as I try to figure it out.

In my cello studies, I really feel like I'm on a roll, right now. I've incorporated the second position exercises into my warmup routines, and I'm finding it easier and easier to get those shifts accurately. I am really enjoying learning several new pieces both in Suzuki 2 and Mel Bay's "Position Pieces for Cello".

I love exploring a new piece - first figuring out if I'm already familiar with the tune from hearing it at some time in the past, then finding the parts that I can quickly play relatively easily, exploring those parts that will take a little bit of practice and repetition, and finally probing the parts that might need some serious study. For these pieces (at least) I'm not really having to struggle to figure them out - that's not to say I am even playing them adequately, yet. Instead, although there's still a lot of work to do on them, I actually feel as if I am 'ready' to take them on. That's what feels so good! :)

Erin's blog today, Playing without thinking, sort of, describes a specific wrist movement with her bow, which is:
... definitely going to be one of those think about it without really thinking about it techniques... Now I just have to get it going consistently. Without thinking too much about it, of course.
Nicely put! Learning how to play the cello has been a long series of specific small movements, positions and postures that I have to first figure out how to do, then do over and over again until I get it right every time, and finally end up doing without thinking. The real work, however, is putting all of these small skills together, fluently, to make music.

A lot has happened in 8 months. Maybe this is going to be the way to measure my progress.

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