Archive for October, 2008

Back In The Lesson Routine…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2008 by cellomuser

I do not want my lessons to be a “routine” – but that is the only word that comes to mind as I type this. L and I met for the first time since Feb 2008 this past Saturday. L looked very healthy and enthusiastic. After a few moments of niceties – we jumped into the lesson.

There is some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is that over the last few months, my bow grip has worsened in two areas:

1. My thumb is not as bent as it should be.
2. My bow hand pinky has not been staying on the frog or the stick above the frog.

Once L pointed this out to me (because my tone on the A strong sounded not so good). I immediately adjusted and heard a significant difference in the quality of the tone. I guess I need to document a checklist in a 48 point font of things to check for every time I touch the bow and periodically through an exercise / piece.

The god news is that L stated that I displayed more confidence with the cello then we last met earlier this year. I am happy to hear that and hope to demonstrate more of that moving forward.

Another interesting tidbit of info is that there has been a staff change at the “The Ohio State University” music school; specifically the head cello string instructor. The previous person in charge was William Connable. The new person is Mark Rudoff. I only mention this because I fully expect a portion of what L is being taught to trickle down to me. L has already stated that there are significant differences between the approaches and philosophies between the two.

If any of you know Mark Rudoff – let me know. Even though I am not taking lessons from him, I like to have as much information as possible.

Have a great week!


Instructor #2.5 – “L” Part Two

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2008 by cellomuser

Some of you may recall of few of my posts from earlier this year where my 2nd instructor was very sick and I lost contact with her (I refer to her as “L”). My attempts to follow-up with L three or four times were in vain and to be honest I was very disappointed with the situation as a whole. I resorted to Emily’s self instruction approach – which has been very beneficial – and have been progressing in my own little way over the last six or seven months.

Well, I was recently contacted by L. I will spare the details but L and I are going to hook up for a few more lessons – hopefully beginning in the next week or so. My decision to go down this road is influenced by a couple thoughts (and these are in of importance):

1. In general, I think that most people are good and intentionally do not try to hurt or short change others. While I was disappointed in the lack of communication with L, there was contrition and I think there is mutual benefit to both me and L moving forward.

2. I have worked my butt off over the last six or seven months instructing myself – rather then quitting. What better form of measurement then to have someone else gauge if I have made progress over the same time.

3. The holidays are coming up and I have already been reached out to by a few folks at the church I attend to start practicing some songs for some ensembles.

4. I still have a $60 credit with L; enough for like two or three lessons. I would prefer to have something to show for the $60.

In preparation for our “reunion” lesson, I have asked L for a list of things she wants to focus on. I realize that this will be her reviewing or re-baselining where I am at overall – but I want our lessons to be intentional. I have already told L that I will probably not do more then one lesson per month due to my hectic schedule right now and wanting to focus on quality versus quantity. So, we’ll see how this approach plays out.

That’s it for now. I realize that I have not posted much the last several months. Work has been very busy and with school starting back up for the kiddo, free-time is very little. Cello practice takes priority over cello blogging even if its only for 10-15 minutes.

Have a great week!