Sunday, January 19, 2014

in praise of non-praise

An unspectacular lesson, when I particularly wanted (and felt I deserved, believe it or not) a pat on the back. Instead I got a very detailed critique of the many things I was doing wrong, or at least not all the way right - all valid and true, but still...Oh well, if there were nothing to work on, what would be the point?

Part of the reason I wanted pats on the back is that I (yes, even I) can see improvements in areas I have long struggled with. Recently I noticed that I can think of a sound, with some tone and some volume, and many times make a sound that gets close to what I want. I am a lot better at sight-reading. Reading rhythm is no longer a big mystery; I used to have to hear someone else play something that looked tricky on paper before I could truly get it. My reaction time is quicker. My shifts are cleaner. I use vibrato a lot more. I play in tune, in different positions, a lot more often that I used to. But...

...but these things all came after a lot of work, and they can disappear in a flash. Today my teacher said I wasn't getting a good tone for the volume I was trying for. Another time he pointed out that I consistently played this one note (in first position!) out of tune. I thought "but no, my tone is better, my intonation is better" but then I realized I hadn't actually worked on these specific things in a couple of weeks. Guess I need to add drills for these things back into the rotation.

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