Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Moving along

We played La Cinquantaine together today in Lesson #49. I played it smoothly and, best of all comfortably, with only a few errors. It took me a few measures to get past hearing it played properly right beside me. But I told myself to relax and play it as I have been doing at home. Surprisingly, that worked. I made it through all the tricky sections (not exactly cleanly, but evenly at least). After complimenting my progress she brought me back to those tricky sections and we discussed how to improve them.

Then we talked about vibrato and she showed me several practice routines I should do each day - focusing on the elbow first, then moving on to adjusting hand angles and using the first finger joints. She advised me to take my time with this, a good vibrato will take a lot of patient work. I've started some of these exercises before, but didn't stick with them. I'll try again. We also briefly talked about scales and fingering in the upper positions.

She turned the page to the final piece in Suzuki Book 3, #10 Allegro Moderato, by Bach. She asked me if I was interested in learning the new fingerings or the old ones; that either version was fine, but the older fingerings are usually more challenging. I said I'd try the older version. We went through the piece and discussed the advantages/disadvantages of each version - in a few instances she recommended the newer fingerings, but for the most part I'll use the old ones. She flagged several of the practice points and we talked about the bowing challenges.

After that we went to Mooney's "Position Pieces" and played some of the upper third position tunes. These pieces bug me for some reason, I just can't get them to sound good. Anyway, we talked about finishing all the pieces in Mooney before starting Suzuki Book 4.

Also, I should be working on all the etudes and scales in the back of Suzuki 3.

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