A soap bubble, but sans violoncellist

Background: Saturdays I have an orchestra rehearsal with the BPSM New Strings program, followed immediately after by my private lesson with Aurora.

My teacher uses s concept called the cello bubble, which is equivalent to mumbling, and consists of huddling over your cello with short bows and playing only for your little practice world in your own head.  Interestingly, my conductor also used the bubble analogy today , but in a different way.  She used the idea that our bubbles have to join when we play as a group.

We discussed the need to play out, and really speak with that right hand.

  • Feuillard – Keep trying to get that squiddy  hand feeling . Be aware of tension that immobilizes fingers first.  Practice in front of the mirror, focusing on straight bows.  This will help my string crossings. It might be fun to do the bowing motion underwater in real life at the pool tomorrow.
  • Lully Gavotte from Book 3.  yes, back in book 3! w00t.  Play out – get out of the cello bubble, especially on runs of eighth notes and the trills.  Metronome work on the first three lines.   Follow bowings!
  • Schroeder.  Not discussed.
  • Schumann.  Make decisions on the bowings and stick to them.  Try to be more rhythmically accurate in the minor sections.  And those triplets!  We also decided that for a first performance of this piece, that easy is better, and go with the surer intonation over the more stylistically preferable.   There are large sections where we play entirely on the D string, but we may cheat a little, especially on those high E where 4th position E on I is more convenient and local for my left hand.  Also, decide on whether to break up slurs, but whatever we do, we need to lock in the decisions by May 31, for the most part.
  • Eb Major scale.   Coming along, but the shift to 4 needs refinement on the D string as well as the Eb-F-G sequence on the A strong.

There was also an post-lesson discussion on how long to stick with a piece before moving on.  Obviously it’s not until mastery (Or I’d still be back on Kummer #4) but we agreed to put in as much at it takes to refine repertoire pieces before moving on and keeping a reasonable amount of time, but generally not more than a month on etudes.  I am concerned about creeping sloppiness by moving too fast, though.

We also talked more about community orchestras.  That will depend more on my work schedule, but we’ll see where I can fit in and what I can audition for.

Random bit: learning a bit about blues scales and recognizing those patterns when they come up. For instance, a rock piece that looks like it’s in written in G major may actually be a D-Major blues scale (flattened C# plus addition of blues-note F natural).