Saturday, September 6, 2014

the viola lesson

My regular viola teacher is back from his summer job, and I had a lesson today. Despite all my misgivings, doubts, and catastrophizing, it was not bad, maybe even good. I am going to note all I remember, so maybe I can keep from freaking out in the future. Ha.

Much talking about camp. Then much discussion about what I did over the summer, with Mr Summer Teacher and on my own. Finally we got down to playing, as always starting with a scale. Back to Flesch, Bb major, 1 octave on one string. He noticed I'm more at ease shifting and getting around, asked for more bow weight, slower bow. Assigned 2 1-octave Bb major scales, in a consistent tempo all the way through (yikes! consistent tempo? moi?), plus octaves. 

On to etudes: he still wants me to stay in Kayser. Will I never see the end of that book? Had me sight read some of 24 and I was not as bad at reading as I was last year, but not as good as I was yesterday.  The tempo is allegro assai, but I will be happy to get it andante. 

Then pieces: I told him I'd worked a lot on the Bach and kind of memorized the first 2 movements, but I didn't offer to play it and he didn't ask. So I played Sitt's Album Leaves, 1st mvt, which I haven't really touched in a few weeks. He wants it to sing, and it does not sing. We worked on one passage for a while. He gives a lot of bow instructions at one time: speed, weight, soundpoint, distribution. It's hard to get everything right. I was more able to remain unflustered and follow instructions, and completely unfazed about my mistakes, just tried again. 

I hope I can use all my nifty new problem-solving tricks to help get this stuff playable by the next lesson. If I stick to my old plodding ways, it will take me 4 hours a day at least, and I'll stress constantly about it and feel slighted if my efforts garner nothing more than "eh..." at the next lesson :-)

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