Getting to the spot in a new piece of music where I can play it through without stopping is always a thrill. After yesterday’s lesson I am much closer on this newest piece – we worked through the remaining section of the Third Movement of Seitz’s Fifth Concerto, a flowing stretch of slurred sixteenth notes that is challenging but no worse than other things I’m playing from the earlier concerto movements. I’m pretty sure this is the week I’ll be able to make the play-through happen.
The new section of sixteenths leads right into a double stop extravaganza that I’m still struggling mightily with. Interestingly, I’ve almost got the double-stops section memorized, which is fine, I suppose. But my need to memorize challenging passages to successfully play them through smoothly is something I’m beginning to wonder about. I think the reason for the need is two-fold. First, there’s my overall skill level, which will increase over time and is to be expected. But the other reason is that I am not the best at sight-reading music. That second bit will come as no surprise to fellow Suzuki players – the method prioritizes aural learning.
This memorization need is a trend for me. I am noticing that as I work up the more difficult sections of my pieces, I generally tend to memorize them somewhat quickly versus playing from the music. Contrast those difficult sections with slower, “easier” passages, which I don’t memorize nearly so readily; I continue to sight-read them for much longer. In many cases I haven’t memorized them at all. A good example is my simple arrangement of “Danny Boy” – not in the Suzuki Repertoire, but it’s a piece I was fairly obsessed with for a while. I worked with the music for a very long time. I do have it memorized now, but it took me far, far longer to get that simple tune into my brain than these complicated Bach and Seitz bits.
Thanks for reading.