Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lesson with Julia Lichten

That was exciting!! We worked on Elgar for an hour ... and I guess it would be more accurate to say that we worked on the opening of Elgar for an hour ... some stuff we covered:

Bowing: Arm weight & the resistance of the strings ... apparently I use a lot of horizontal motion, but I also need to use vertical motion ... also, we talked about grip & not bowing with the fingers ... the fingers mostly stay in the same position (though as you venture away from the frog, the hand naturally rotates & you have to release the fingers). Bowing strength comes from the change with the elbow ... the force/energy for bowing comes from the shoulders and upper back ... I have to not raise my shoulder when moving from frog to the tip ... I also have to move sufficiently with my elbow when going from the higher strings to the lower strings ... I should pay attention to how I move/pick things up naturally & apply that to my cello technique


Left Hand: Same idea about using weight to produce bigger sound ... here there were also serious issues about keeping the fingers aligned and over the fingerboard, as opposed to hanging them off, which I always do. We also talked about angle of the arm to the fingerboard, and she kind of repositioned my arm the way the Alexander Technique instructor did when we had the workshops last semester/year. We also talked about not always playing on the tips of the fingers, depending on the sound I want to produce... it's more of a paddier feeling, which is how I used to play (only recently that I began to alter that) ... Once I get the alignment down, I have to work on not locking up/tensing when I vibrate ... one step at a time though ...

Elgar: He has a tremendous amount of detail about articulation marked, and prepared a piano score, so obviously he cares a lot about how his music is interpreted ... don't invent extra slurs
... pay attention to dynamics & use slower bow ... get as much from the resistance of the strings to the bow as possible


It occurred to me mid-lesson that I probably should have recorded it ... didn't think about that until then though ...

That hour really flew by though ... I feel like I really learned a lot & there wasn't anything to be nervous/stressy about ... she's so supportive and helpful and felt I had improved ... altogether, very helpful/encouraging ... really want to study with her more ... so much more focused than my teacher ... she said to ask him about some of the stuff we talked about


In other news... I had 4 concerts last week, which was fun & I started to develop very small tendon problems in my wrists over the weekend (I'll be taking it easy as soon as I can, and already, I'm paying close attention to them and making sure to shake them out constantly and to stretch) ... in a way the tendon issues are sort of a mixed blessing, because they'll serve as a reminder that I need to always incorporate relaxation and awareness of muscle tension into my playing ... something I had developed at one point, but have lost a bit of ...

2 comments:

Amalia said...

Interesting to know.

Mike Lunapiena said...

Can I ask who you are?? Clicking on your name leads to an insurance page ...