Cello lesson #6: the long one

Okay, after I finish paying off a couple of things I have to start doing hour-long lessons instead of half-hour ones.  Or maybe alternate between short and long ones.  Today’s was 45 minutes, as the last lesson ran short, and it was so, so much nicer to not feel rushed.  I feel like just the one session has made me better, because we spent a lot of time working on technique.

I had felt like my bowing was absolutely awful, and we spent quite a bit of time working on my arm movements so that I sounded better and felt more natural.  I also asked her to add a couple of pieces of tape on the side of my fingerboard that faces me.  She had stuck some on the far side, so that I would feel them, but I just didn’t feel them at all (too busy trying to get my fingertips to hand correctly) and found myself craning my neck to see where the tape was.  Now I can see where my fingers should go, and I sound so much better now that I’m on key.

I have a lot to practice this week, as I know more about bowing and fingering both and need to work on my muscle memory for each.  I’m going to be doing some super-basic exercises, just “zoning out” (as she put it) and doing long bows back and forth on each open string for a couple minutes each, bow held correctly so I build up muscle memory.  When we were playing today’s pieces (“O Come, Little Children” and “May Song”) I kept stopping to adjust my bow position into the correct one, so doing the open string long bows for a few minutes at a time will make it so I have to concentrate on it less.  But my the end of the lesson I felt a lot more confident than I’ve felt this entire time.

“May Song”, by the way, is the first piece I’ve done that isn’t just quarter and half notes.  It starts with a dotted half note, an eighth note, and then quarter notes.  Teacher played it for me, saying that everybody has trouble with the rhythm. I found the rhythm easy, but not the hopping back and forth between strings for every note.  I’ll nail it this week, though.  It’s not that hard, I just need some practice.

So it was an amazingly productive lesson and I wish they all felt that comfortable and relaxed.  Hour-long lessons are $60, so I probably won’t be able to do them every week, but maybe every other week.  After Christmas, though.  I’m broke until then!

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