Sunday, November 28, 2010
So in November 2005, I was in a good place. I couldn't complain. I'd accomplished pretty much what I'd set out to do with my life to that point. But I did have one regret - that I'd never learned to play music. I had started playing the clarinet in junior high, but I didn't stay with it. Then I bought a cheap violin in my early 30s and spent several months trying to make it sound nice. I remember thinking then how much I'd have preferred to be playing a cello instead. I didn't get very far before I mangled my left forefinger in my workshop, putting an abrupt end to my dreams of playing music.
The next morning I drove to Anchorage and rented a cello.
Finish Suzuki Book 4 - I'm about half-way through Book 5.Complete 2/3 of the [Percy Such] Position Etude Book - I'm about half-way through this one.Return to the [Mooney] "Double Stops" book - Not yet, but I did return to Mooney's "Position Pieces".Work on playing faster - Some improvement, but this is still my biggest challenge.Improve sight-reading skills - ?Use vibrato while playing - I have not done much on this in the past year.Continue learning Tenor Clef - I've gotten reasonably comfortable with Tenor Clef, but it recently took a while to reacquaint myself after several weeks of not playing in it.On my quest to complete 10,000 hours of practice: in the last year I've logged another 500 hours or so, bringing my total to about 3,500 hours. At this rate it will take at least another 13 years.
I don't think I'm going to do "goals" any more, I'm just going to keep on playing my cello. And I expect that I'll keep getting better at it, however slowly. There's so much more to learn. But I do [finally] feel like I've come quite a ways after all. I feel I am finally a cellist.
I hope you will continue blogging. I appreciate the detail and the honesty in your postings.
Best wishes and happy holidays.
I hope you start a new blog or keep writing here if only occasionally. I'm getting the sense you have nothing much more to offer, and perhaps life is logarithmic - the next five years may have less information than the previous five put together. But it's still worth letting us know how things are going.
Now you have done so much and you are evolving as a performer (not just a cello practiser). I think you are wise to have a period whereby you don't have such high targeting goals such as your practise hours. Much can be done in small amounts really if focused and really specific in what you are trying to achieve.You've worked on some lovely pieces and I hope that the desire to play even more lovely music will be an incentive to continue. Surprising as it sounds many professional players have never performed the very pieces that inspired them to take up the instrument they have chosen to study.Other issues have taken over.It happens for some people like that. I am fortuneate and I have performed some wonderful pieces with people who also loved them. Why not get into a small chamber group 3or 4 people to start and so on. That would be fun too!It might be a drive away but worth it.Forgive me for advising but you have done so much to date.Do continue
* identifying what's getting in the way
* working on it persistently and consistently
* Setting long and short term goals
* achieving them
and then moving on to the next issue.
May I hazard to say that your setting goals may be an important factor in your success?
And blogging is a way to publically announce your goals and remain accountable for them...
BTW I was search for Percy Such and I found you!
Congrats for getting as far as you have, starting at 55—I have a long way to go, and I'm going to go as far as I can by myself, with all the resources available on the 'net, it shouldn't be impossible.
Not enough $ for lessons; trying to live on SS and VA disability. I'm making it, but just barely.
The 'cello is a beater I got for $200, put 200 more in it at the luthier, then got and installed by myself a set of Pegheds® tuning pegs—love 'em (not a commercial, just sayin').
When someone asks me why I chose the 'cello, I pause dramatically and say... I _didn't_ choose the 'cello—it chose me! And it's true.
When asked how long I've been playing, I glance at my watch, and guestimate..."Oh, 'bout fifteen hours now." :-)
I went to LA in March for the Cello festival, and it was a wonderland of delights, I heard six 'cello concerti, all six of the Bach Suites, and a master class by Lawrence Lesser! Fantastic!!
It's only been playable for about 5 weeks now, and I can do a C scale pretty much w/o looking, can play the first of TTLS, and am working on "The Swan" right now, figuring out the fingering & bowing by myself.
Anyway, I'll be checking out some of your former posts looking for hints & stuff. Wish me luck!
Thanks & regards
Just like the others who wrote in your blog, I would love to see you return to writing more because it was fascinating to read about your earnest desire to persevere.
I just found your note this morning, 6 years after your last post.
Your journey with your cello, inspires me. A LOT.
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