Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I'm supposed to be working

Instead here I am, blogging. My consulting projects are piling up. I had thought (hoped) I was going to be able to stay semi-retired, but now I'm beginning to wonder if that all-too-brief period of leisure is coming to an end. At least I still get to work from home, and the extra money is nice.

But I WILL keep my mornings free for my cello!

This morning I decided to slow down my metronome practice speed back to 104 bpm. I realized I've been over-reaching myself, and I just wasn't ready to be playing all those pieces at 112. Rather than just keep flailing away trying for speed, I realized I should be spend some time (for now) trying for more quality at a speed I could more-or-less handle.

It felt good to play things a little slower for a change - without guilt. I felt like I was back in control and could start to pay some attention to my bowing and posture, etc.

I started off today's lesson asking about warm-up routines for my daily practices. Seems I've generally been doing the right things, but maybe playing too fast too soon and for too long a stretch. My teacher suggested I start out doing my scales slower (using the metronome) and watching the tuner to make sure I'm accurate every time. Then gradually pick up the speed. But not so many repetitions, maybe. Then I should play some intervals, slowly and carefully, listening to the double-stops to get a feeling for the right sounds. We tried some of these for a while. Then I should play a variety of the Suzuki pieces, including the Etudes, but try playing them with different bowings, or staccato, or slurred, etc. Also I could be playing the Mooney Position Pieces.

We then turned to Handel's Bourree. I started working on this piece two weeks ago, but only using pizzicato. Finally yesterday, I felt comfortable enough with the fingering and rhythm to start using my bow. That slowed me down a bit, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't stumble across my usual rhythm issues. We spent most of the lesson working on this piece. Next we worked on some of the tough sections in the Gavotte for quite a while.

Finally, we went over several of the pieces on the play-list for our group recital at the end of the month. Most of it should be no problem, but I do have some areas that need a bit of work. Three more weeks, yikes!

The CelloBloggers site on Ning is taking shape. Our list of blogging cellists is now up to 94!

My warm up consists of tuning! Then I just dive in ... these days into The Karelia Suite, but also into South Pacific. (where I'm really drowning)
I never knew there was a cellist blogging network!
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