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Well, some big news from the middle East pretty much rendered whatever I have to say about my little wooden stringed box pretty much irrelevant. But perhaps by now you’ve absorbed all the commentary about the significance of Bin Laden’s death and are ready to read the exciting journey of a mid-life cello learner again.

I guess I should add my part in this. Yes, it is significant. I think people who try to dismiss Bin Laden is merely symbolic are missing the point. He is still a mass murderer who needed to be brought to justice. I found it a bit hard to believe at first when the news started to break around twitter. In fact, I found 9/11 hard to believe at first, too. I had heard about it at around 8 am (Texas time) on I-410 driving into work. I honestly thought at first it was some sort of radio station “morning show” prank, since nothing could be so unbelievable.

The world has moved on though, and the locus of terrorist forces has shifted somewhat. But that does change, in my view the significance of this historic day.

Now, onto cello.

I’ve been under the weather due to a rough April. April’s still my favorite month, though. I finished out the month with a fender bender. There has been a good impact on my cello playing though. My coming to a stop in my car has become a work of smooth refinement, and that reminded me to handle my shifts in a similar way.

I’ve been hearing contradictory advice on shifts. Dan often tells me to glide into my shifts so I can hear the arrival of the note, whereas others, including this month’s Strings Magazine article, suggests we measure them and not try to glissando unless the music needs it.

Working on that A-F shift in the Humoresque in the sixth line. After working it through on the keyboard (my son’s), I felt better about approaching it on the cello. And Elysia made some good points about the substitutions where I have to play the same note but on two different fingers. I actually enjoy those substitutions, because they force me to listen carefully.

It just kills me sometimes, that my son doesn’t want to practice his instrument. I wish he knew what he was missing and how hard it is to get traction late in life compared with earlier. Youth is wasted on the young, sometimes. So, I applaud all those young people who keep practicing even when it seems a chore.