Lesson Notes – 6/13/2009

L and I are starting to have more regular lessons. My lesson on Saturday marked the 3rd lesson in about 7 weeks – which is pretty good for us. So where to begin…

We started out by me playing “#15. Allegro” from the Applebaum, Chamber Music for Two String Instruments (Book 2). This piece of music has been one of my “focus hard on” pieces for the last seven weeks. I have made a lot of improvement, but there is room for more.

The take-aways for this piece were:

1.    Practice at a faster tempo. L wants to me be able to play this song at around 120 beats per minute (3/4). I had been practicing around 88 or 90 beats per minute.
2.    Around measure 16, there are four measures of string crossings; three eighth note slurs per measure. I need to make sure to make my sure my bow is placed in such a way on the string that is in the middle of the bow and only use about 3-4 inches of the bow per slur. Another aspect of this section of the piece is to make sure my bow is some tilted toward the string I am crossing over to.
3.    Be mindful of the accents. (sigh).

The next piece was “Japanese Garden” from Mooney’s Position Pieces for Cello. This particular piece is focused on 3rd position, with string crossings between the A and D strings and a few shifts back to 1st position. I did pretty good on this assignment. However, I think the tempo listed in the book is slow – so it sounds boring. However, L has a remedy for that – more on that later. The primary take-way for “Japanese Garden” was to make sure I slightly shift my bow closer to the bridge when I am playing in the 3rd and 4th positions.

L assigned me a new piece from the Applebaum book; “#13. An Episode” by Beethoven. Unlike “#15. Allegro”, “An Episode” is very legato like and has a lot of slurs, some of which contain string crossings. I have not yet put this into Finale, so I do not know exactly how it –should- sound – but it should be a lot of fun.

L wants to start spending some time working on vibrato. This is new territory for me – from a formal instruction perspective. In my opinion, vibrato is one of the “it-factors” when it comes to really appreciating great cello music as well as watching people do vibrato. All of us “young” cello players experiment with vibrato – so to be formally trained on this technique is awesome. Plus, L warned me that some of the exercises will drive my family crazy – which is always an added bonus.


2 Responses to “Lesson Notes – 6/13/2009”

  1. I’m waiting to hear how your vibrato is coming! What exercises were you doing?

  2. In case it is helpful, you’re always welcome to check out my site for things related to the cello. Good luck!

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