Saturday, November 1, 2014

first of november

Today's run: really good given the windy weather and my physical decrepitude.

Today's lesson: passed on the scale, holding pattern on the etude. All my work on the first page of the Hummel netted me a long session of drilling 3 or 4 measures of that page. I kept messing up, and I fear that tried my teacher's patience, but in the end he was ok with it (or maybe just over it) and he fingered/bowed the 2nd page and sent me off to chew on that for a week. 

Something interesting: a few times my teacher has commented that I may never be able to play fast, because of my age. Today he honed in on my occasional brain farts (where I know damn well what note to play, yet play something else) and suggested maybe that was what was keeping me from being able to play fast. At last, a real thing not related to something as immutable as time passing or synapses decaying. I think I do this because I've read the music just well enough and just long enough to memorize how it should sound, at which point I stop reading and just play. And occasionally daydream, and lose focus and play a wrong note. I learned to read music fairly young (5 or 6 years old) but have always avoided doing it, instead playing by ear because I have a good ear and a good memory. At first, reading music to play viola was a disaster. I've gotten a lot better at reading, but still find myself relying on memory and screwing up when I lose focus. If I can learn to see reading as something I can fall back on when I lose focus, maybe I'll stop playing these random wrong notes. And maybe then I'll be able to play faster. 

2 comments:

Lee said...

Beyond a certain point in time I don't need to read the score any more, because I know what it says and can hear what it should sound like in my head; so I stopped using the score after that point. But now I find that reading along with it helps me focus on the music and away from technique, because everything I do wrong along the way gets a little mental checkmark, which is a distraction. There is a lot to monitor as you play while technique is being built. The more you care about doing it right, the more the mistakes create mental interruptions. JMO.

joe positive said...

Exactly - mistakes do get that distracting little mental checkmark. These used to completely derail me (to the point of stopping). Something that helped a lot was, ironically, all the sightreading I did at camp this summer. You just have to let the mistakes go, else you will cause the piece to crash and a whole bunch of strangers will give you the stinkeye. Since camp, I've backslid some, and my teacher said he noticed that I take a bar or two to get over a fumble. I need to stay focused!