I "retired" from my job a bit over a month ago, and I have thrown a lot of the extra time into music practice. More practice, more organized practice, more regimented and regulated practice. In fact, I have turned it into a job, which is probably not a good thing.
At yesterday's lesson, I did not have the chance to show off all the smooth-shifting I worked on last week; that never came up and instead the teacher focused on spiccato, something I had not worked on so much. I can't get it. He stops me the second my upper arm moves, and my upper arm always moves, pretty much the second I start trying to play spiccato, so it never goes anywhere. He then wanted to hear the Mazas 5 etude (another thing he'd not said much about the previous week, so I didn't do lots of work on it) and he seemed discouraged over my inability to play fast and cleanly. Keep your fingers down, he said. I played it one time with my fingers down. Rattled, I read some notes wrong and fumbled others. OK, keeping your fingers down isn't working, he said. Try keeping your fingers close instead, and especially on descents. I tried that, but no magic happened there either. OK, this isn't working, he said, let's just try another etude. And so we went backward in Mazas, to #4, which is not so bad to be going backward, but that etude doesn't have many of the descents I need to work on. Anyway, on to Bach, which I did work on during the week, a lot. I knew I'd improved and had looked forward to bringing that to the lesson. Rattled, I blew it. Totally out the window. About one particular measure he said, You have no idea where the notes are, do you, you have no idea where your fingers are supposed to go. I felt that in general that wasn't true, but at that particular time and place it was true, so I just agreed with him stared at the floor. I have never wished for a lesson to end so much as I did yesterday.