I had a lesson yesterday – my first in three weeks. I’ve been playing well enough recently, but I was out of town for a long weekend just prior to the lesson, so I worried about being rusty. Happily, rustiness wasn’t much of a problem. I’ve very nearly memorized the Seitz concerto, the first piece in Book Four, odd considering I have not done so with the final two pieces in Book Three. Teacher said, “When you’ve got it memorized we’ll move on.” That’s the Suzuki way, so I’m not sure how I skated out of Book Three!
Vibrato has been my technical focus recently. I watched some YouTube videos to gain inspiration: it takes time. It takes practice. It’s hard. Keep at it. My video pep talk helped me achieve a bit of an improvement in my disposition toward persistent practice, and I’ve since been working on it faithfully, after waning for a bit due to my poor ability to deliver anything resembling a pleasant sound.
And it’s coming along. Yesterday, Teacher encouraged me to try some vibrato on the quarter notes in a slower section in the concerto, and with her goading I was more or less able to make it happen. I’ve realized that the technique depends on a relaxation of the left hand on an order of magnitude apart from what I’ve been able to do in the past. And while the vibrato is a nice sound, I think the relaxation required to produce it creates tonal gains in and of itself. I still have tons of work to do, but it’s starting to feel like there’s hope.
Thanks for reading.