As a rule, when I play for Teacher it’s not my best. Something about her standing there causes my fingers to fail. I see it in my own karate and in my students too – it’s even worse if you pay a compliment – a calamity is guaranteed to ensue. Of course when I play for her, I’m often focusing on something that she’s asked me to focus on or, even more impactfully, playing as she literally holds my hand in a better position. But Wednesday we went straight to the Brahms Waltz and I played it better for her than I’ve been able to play it by myself yet – I really stepped up! Of course I had to ‘fess up and tell her that was not exactly par for the course.
She then asked me if I was ready to move on or if I wanted another week with the Waltz. I quickly said I wanted another week. I’m just now, after another good practice session yesterday, to the spot where I can play it through; I’ve got it mostly memorized. At this stage of my sight reading the reading slows me down and takes too much of my attention – I can’t remotely produce my best tone while doing it. It’s only after I have something memorized that I can start to work on making it sound decent, and I’m thrilled to be onto that project with this piece, because, well, as I’ve written, this thing is lovely.
The prospect of beginning my first Paganini piece has me very excited – really, you have no idea. I’ve been a huge fan of his music for many years, and would never have imagined I’d be playing him so soon. I bring it up because the first Suzuki Paganini is coming up for me here in a couple of songs – it was the first factor that flew through my head when Teacher asked me if I wanted to move on. But I am not rushing the Waltz.
Thanks for reading.