Thursday, December 13, 2007
At yesterday's lesson (#43), my teacher did something different. She had me play the various pieces alone - without her playing accompaniment. Surprisingly it helped me a lot, since that's what I'm used to hearing when I practice at home. Usually, I lose focus by comparing my intonation with hers, or from listening to the combinations of sounds. I also tend to rely on her for timing. Yesterday, I was on my own. I still didn't play as well as I do at home, but not that bad.
We reviewed my tough spots from several of the more recent pieces, testing out various ways to practice them.
Then we turned to the Gavotte in C Minor. I'd been playing it pizzicato since the last lesson... but I'd finally started bowing it a few days ago. So I played it through pizzicato, slowly, stopping to go over the various tricky parts. Then I played some of it with my bow. While I still had a few missteps, in general, it came out rather well. After some ego-boosting complements, we then turned to the next piece, Bach's Minuet #3 (#7 in Suzuki Book 3). Since it will be at least a month before my next lesson, she commented I should start working on it after a few more weeks of focus on the Gavotte. This piece takes the basic Minuet from Book 2 and adds a part in C-minor. We talked about which of the listed fingering alternatives to use; in most cases I'll use the revised fingerings from the latest edition, but in a few cases she suggested I try the earlier fingerings.
Finally we talked about scales. I admitted to spending up to 45 minutes a day on them (her comment: "Scales are good!"). For the last month or so, I've been working on octave scales from each open string up to third-finger, fifth position. To start preparing for the next piece (#8), she suggested I also begin working on the third octave of the C-Major scale up to 7th position.
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