Today, while my mother-in-law spent 20 minutes grinding coffee, I realized that the sound of my cello, when bowing within about 2 inches from the bridge, is actually more harsh (and painful) sounding than said coffee grinder. This would be fine if I could avoid bowing in that 2 inch zone of ear-drum-rupturing brightness. Unfortunately, my teacher has caught on to this pattern of avoidance and has assigned me a task that may leave me deaf: I need to practice bowing each sub-phrase (however I choose to divide them) at different places along the string so that I can actively choose (instead of by default and avoidance) where I’m bowing. Somehow she’s convinced that for some parts of the songs I will actually choose to bow closer to the bridge. Except I’m thinking not likely, since the coffee grinder is less painful. And I’m not talking about “nasty” like Les was, I’m talking just plain old bright and painful no matter how prettily I bow. What’s even worse is the realization that I’ve been purposefully not working on this aspect of my technique because it’s so awful to listen to. This week should be fun. And by fun, I mean my cello will be lucky if I don’t remove my end pin and stab her with it.