To begin each lesson, Teacher asks me to play some song from some ways back, relatively speaking, in my repertoire. I have them all memorized, of course (it’s the Suzuki Way), and I do play them all through at least once every time I practice. When I’m practicing, I start with Twinkle Twinkle and work straight through, in order, all my songs to date. When I do it that way, I have no difficulty recalling the songs at all, nor the sequence in which I learned them.
But Teacher calls for a title, and I’m not so good with the titles. Yesterday she said, “Let’s start with….Andantino or Allegreto; you choose!” They are the two Suzuki-composed tunes in Book One that basically teach students to play notes in D Major. I can’t keep them straight. I said, “I’ll do the one that starts on D – I’ve been having trouble keeping that one in tune, for whatever reason.” “Allegretto!” she said.
I started playing, reminding myself of the first few notes, then said, “OK, here goes.” The song came out better, probably, than anything I’ve ever played for her. Of course I play best when I’m all by myself – I’ve mentioned to Teacher many times the fact that I wish she could hear me when she wasn’t standing there! But this time it came out great.
Except not quite. Teacher corrected me on a note I’ve been leaving out. Allegretto is one of the songs that I learned before I even had the book, one of my older songs, and somehow I memorized it wrong and have practiced it that way dozens of times!
I’m taking two lessons away – one, I don’t think that would have happened if I had been reading music the whole time. But I can’t be sure – at some point I did have it correct – Teacher would have seen to that. I’m just now approaching the 6 month mark of my playing, so I have very little experience with how well I will memorize songs for the long haul, and if I can expect other notes in other songs to become similarly wayward!
Lesson Two: There’s always something to improve upon.
Thanks for reading.