Practice Makes a 12 Year Old

Teacher needed to cancel this week’s lesson, which is OK because I didn’t get a lot of practice in over the past week.  It’s also OK because I am still able to work on many details from the final piece in Book Three – the Bach Bourree.  I worked on the piece in isolation for probably an hour yesterday.  Being in tune and handling all the accidentals is tricky business – I’m still having a lot of fun with it.

I’m also working on the final bowing variation of the first Wohlfahrt C Major Etude I’ve been practicing for a very long time now – probably upwards of 18 months.  I go through phases where I don’t really focus on it much.  But this final variation, about the eighth one in a series, is tricky as can be – I’m struggling and keep going back to working the bowing pattern on open strings versus playing the C Major notes of the etude.  I think I’ve mentioned before that C Major, while a naturally “easy” key on the piano, for example, is not so easy on the violin.  Hence this interminable period working on this first etude that teaches newbies where to plop their fingers to achieve the notes.

I have not thought much about what’s next in this etudes book (is it more C major with a different etude?), nor do I know if Teacher will have me take them in order.  Either way it will be odd to go on – for me this book has become this single etude – of course I know the “Book” is really two books and it contains 60 etudes written in the early 1800s, but for a year and a half I’ve barely opened the cover, and I’ve started from the beginning every single time.  I confessed to Teacher a bit of boredom with it last week.

I’ve also been listening to the Book Four CD in anticipation of starting in on it.  I think we are going to start with the Seitz Concerto, but Teacher also tells me she’s going to work with me in a dedicated way on vibrato as well.  Book Four brings two lullaby tonalization exercises which she says are great for vibrato, but though they come first in the book I don’t think we’ll start with them.

Finally,  I saw a great treat in my Facebook news feed yesterday – my old friend, the 12 (almost 13 now!) year old who introduced me to Teacher but who moved away last year, was giving her Suzuki Book Four recital.  Her dad posted a video of her playing one of the Vivaldi Concerto movements – she’s doing so great!  She’s obviously ahead of me, but not by an overwhelming amount, so it’s really fun to watch her play.  She’s the concertmaster of her school orchestra too.  She’s growing up awfully fast; they always do.

Thanks for reading.


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