Last Wednesday I arrived home from work and was chatting with Michael about my violin lesson that morning, and telling him that Teacher is encouraging me to be more expressive in my playing. It’s not as if I stand there like a robot; I do move with the music to a certain extent, but Teacher is also talking about things I’ve written about before, like bold bowing and dynamics and phrasing – overall musicality. These are things you have to work on, just like you have to work on putting your fingers in the right place.
During the lesson Teacher was demonstrating expressively for my benefit without being too verbally overt about it – moving all over the place, boldly bowing, highlighting dynamics in an exaggerated way – all to get me to see what she was talking about – I know what that’s about as a teacher myself; she sees a potential she’s trying to awaken. A few weeks back we returned to my bow hold to bring it back as a major focal point of my progress; I’m working on making it looser. I think that’s what this expression project is about too – loosening me up. Be free! She said this new Gavotte in G Minor is made for it, since its technical complexities shouldn’t trip me up too much.
My partner does not share my martial pursuit, so I am always quite taken when he comes out with an insight from the martial world. I’ve written about our martial yell of spirit in the past, and as I described Teacher’s interest in expression to him he summed it up well, “You’ve got to Kiai!, Ryan!”
Thanks for reading.