Turning Notes into Music

In yesterday’s lesson we worked on the finer bits of playing that increase musicality.  What I’m talking about is a version of the “bow boldly” theme that’s becoming prominent for me, but it goes further than that. Yesterday we focused on playing sections of the music that naturally flow together as a unit – a breath phrase, if you will.  I’m glad I wrote that – it’s helping me get my head around it to think of it in that way.  There are often little “breath” markers in music – little commas or apostrophes over the staff that indicate a slight pause that’s not a rest – a breath moment.  So getting all the notes between breath markers to flow together into a phrase is one manifestation of the point we’re working on.

Teacher asked me if I practice straight through a piece, or in chunks.  I told her I start off with a piece in chunks, and work it up to playing it straight through, and once I do that I tend to stop with the chunks.  She wants me to spend more time on the chunks to improve the feel for these phrases being a unit.  So I’ve got homework – I think it’s a good way to improve pieces I’ve been working on for a while, my first Gavotte, for example, and maybe those Bach minuets.  I commented that this feels like turning notes into music.

After working on the Lully Gavotte she asked if I was ready to move on.  I am extremely excited about moving on; I’ve been looking forward to the next piece intently.  But once again I reigned in my enthusiasm and said I wanted another week on Gavotte.  Beethoven will have no qualms about me waiting one more week to start in on his work, and my enthusiasm is unlikely to wane in the interim.

Thanks for reading.


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