Practice, and Thanksgiving

I had my first lesson in the new place this past week, but the room where I will likely land to play permanently, a sunny corner of the dining room, is currently our staging area and the only remaining room that’s encumbered by boxes.  Instead, I set up for our lesson in a corner of the living room – suitable but a little confined.  I told Teacher we’d have more space eventually.  She also lives downtown, much closer to our new place than the old, so I think overall the new neighborhood will work out well for her.  Personally, of course, she’s very happy for us in our new housing adventure.

The lesson went well, one of our back-to-basics weeks, as we zeroed in on my bowing.  The nuance involved in bowing is, as I know well by now, incredible.  A million things comprise success – the movement of the arm and hand and fingers, the position of the arm and hand and fingers, and the angle at which the bow intersects the strings.  In addition to returning to finer points that I’ve known forever to be crucial, we worked on hand/finger motions that will help me work up to spiccato, a short, fast bowing technique.  I practiced the technique again yesterday and, like all things on the violin, it will take some time.

As we worked mostly on the Seitz Concerto, I also mentioned to teacher that though I’m well into Suzuki Book Four now, I’m still a little hung up on the final piece of Book Three, the beautiful Bach Bourree.  She said that she’s thrilled I continue to work on past pieces (it seems many folks don’t) and that I should play it for her next week.  So yesterday I spent a little more time than usual with it, and today I’ll hit it again.

Finally, a Thanksgiving note – yesterday Michael and I were grateful for a great many things, but most notably it was a treat to get a visit from our new neighbors, who welcomed us to the building with a fresh-baked pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  We were bowled over by the kind, neighborly gesture.   They’ve been in the building three years – she shares Teacher’s name, while he shares some of the geography of Michael’s and my youth.  They are kindred city-dwelling spirits and it’s great to have some new friends.  And they don’t seem to have been bothered by my playing.  So far.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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