Friday, October 31, 2003

Lesson on Barber

Well, Happy Friday! The week is over...I finally feel like I can stop and breathe. I love Friday afternoons, because I can do nothing at all, while experiencing none of the guilt that comes with doing nothing on a Saturday. Once it's Saturday, I feel like I have to get to work on homework, but Friday afternoons are for relaxing, in my opinion. (Although I should probably be getting started on those variations I'm supposed to be writing...)

Oh, I forgot to mention our orchestra recording session last Saturday. It went pretty well, I think. Mr. B. and Dr. O. seemed really happy with how we played. It was kind of fun, seeing all the equipment and all the crewpeople and all the work it takes to film a project like that... well, it was fun for the first hour or two. By the end of the day, the 10 am-6 pm thing had definitely worn me out a bit. But still, overall it was a good experience.

I've been feeling a little better each day since Monday (aka The Worst Day of My Life), which is good.

Wednesday I had a violin lesson. It was okay. I hadn't made as much progress as I should have. I always feel that way when it comes time for my lessons, and I feel terrible about it. Self, you must work harder! Anyway, I'm supposed to keep thinking about continuing to fix my left hand position (lower, looser, flatter) and about fixing my bow hand (keeping my pinky on the bow, my wrist down, and my bowgrip sinking down lower around the frog). With regards to the Barber specifically, we talked about rhythm (don't be wishy-washy), articulation, keeping the bow in the string, being thoughtful and aware in my use of the bow (as opposed to thoughtless and utterly distracted, which, sadly, is generally what I am in most aspects of my violin playing... hey, maybe even in most aspects of my life. hah.), and making a sound like silk instead of like cheesecloth. At one point he asked me to widen my vibrato. I tried, and it still wasn't right, and he said to me, "Sweetie, do you need me to write you a textbook for you to figure out how to widen your vibrato?" I felt sheepish. But he said he can tell I'm working hard and that my practice is more thoughtful and productive than it used to be.

Last night I practiced in Phillips Recital Hall for a while. Mike came in and made me play through the first movement of my concerto for him. I whined and complained but finally did it, and I suppose it was good for me to have to "perform" it for an audience of sorts. It gives me a better idea of where I am in terms of learning the piece and how soon I could be ready to really perform it. It was also good to hear Mike's comments. (Some of the things he said were exactly the same things my teacher tells me!) Basically, I need to pay more attention to rhythmic precision in my playing, and I need to make my fortes real fortes instead of nice-sounding, tame mezzo-fortes. After I played, Mike played Crumb and Bach for me, which was nice... ahh. Bach can just make your heart ache sometimes, it's so beautiful and pure and transcendent.

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