The last few weeks we’ve been doing nothing new in terms of pieces so that I’ve had the chance to undo some bad bowing habits. Which has meant I’ve been spending most of my practice time bowing open strings. A lot. I’ve hardly worked on pieces at all it seems — especially with my cello’s issues she’s had this week (visiting the luthier 3 times in one week must be some sort of world record, right?) I was expecting her to be unhappy with my progress this week since I’ve been upset by it, but she always surprises me. When she asked what I worked on most, I told her I worked on the wonderful bowing technique she’d shown me the week before and what I wanted to do musically with the Couperin gavotte and also playing around trying to figure out just how many different kinds of staccato bows I can play so they were all in my arsenal for the piece. It felt like not much from my perspective, but she was happy with what I’d been doing with the piece and thought I was doing a great job with the bowing. We worked on the gavotte some more with a focus on me learning how to get her to follow my changes in mood/feeling of the song while playing. How to lead her musically so to speak. It was harder than I expected — previously she’d been sort of helping me along with that so that if I did something other than what I intended she would move it along to where I’d actually meant it to be. Now, if I screw something up (ie. play a happy energetic staccato instead of spooky haunting staccato, she’ll move in the direction I played, not the direction I should have been playing.) Really confusing to think about all this while still trying to make sure we’re playing in tune with each other, etc. Lots of wrong notes, but the feeling of the song was better.
Then, she decided it was time to move on to the next piece. Well, the one after that. The next one is boring and ten times easier. Not sure why it was stuck in there, so she always skips it. This new lesson is all about 6th position. How the heck did I end up getting to sixth position already? We played B-flat major (two octave) for the introduction to the position and then she told me the new piece by Haydn she wasn’t going to go over with me at all this week. I get to figure it out all on my own. So, that should be fun. We’ll see how it goes!