Friday, March 11, 2011

A Lesson Every Time I Practice

Right now I do not have the money to afford cello lessons. I have not had the money for a long time and unless things change, I won't. What I do have are years of training and skill and professional experience as a performer and teacher. This means that to a certain extent I can teach myself. A good private lesson is about raising awareness while pushing the student further & being supportive at the same time.

Some people set goals before they practice. I usually look for something that's wrong or not working and then try to fix it. At previous points I've set goals and used practice routines. It may be helpful to start doing that again.

Today my practice focused very heavily on the alignment of my left arm to the cello & keeping it consistent (particularly when playing on the 4th finger or shifting) & on using the whole arm for vibrato instead of just the forearm.

I started out watching and trying to imitate Amit Peled's video of the prayer. I learned a ton from this ... it led me to work on the alignment and vibrato. This has in turn helped my shifting, intonation & connecting notes. A lot of the work I did was slow & step by step (going at the speed of thought) & a lot of it involved going back and checking and re-checking (because the whole aim of this is consistency & the ability to do anything on command).

Some general tips and thoughts that came out of this lesson:
-Vibrato with the Arm, not the wrist
-Vibrato with forearm for quieter passages (generally requires more tension)
-Always play with a big sound/project
-Don't get stuck
-Every practice has to be a lesson
-I have to be my own teacher
-Left Hand has to down before the right hand can act

I have a list of cello technical exercises that I've kept for a while (mostly areas I want to work on or skills I want to develop), I'm going to make sure to refer in future lessons.

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