Chinese Proverb

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Cello New Year's Resolution 2012

I really didn't have a 2011 goal except to: "not be a beginner for a long time!"

That is, I don't want to sound and look like a complete newb after a year of playing cello! Although I still have 2.5 months before my time frame is up.

Looking at my very first recording to my most recent video, I have to say that I have tangible proof that I've improved - though I haven't gotten out of the "beginner-newb" category yet! :). I've definitely learned a lot and am really enjoying playing and learning about the cello. I'm also satisfied with my progress, but it's not as quick as I hoped, but it is what it is...

My other goal was to finish Suzuki Book 1 in one year, but I don't know if I can have the last four pieces (Rigadoon, Etude, Happy Farmer and Minuet in C) completed in time (February 23rd). It'll be cutting it close if I work hard at it.

My first video (4/30/2011): My Twinkle Recital (after 6 Lessons)

There are so many things I'm doing incorrectly. Wow, Adam definitely had his work cut out for him! At this point, I always wonder how / where a teacher starts because there is just so much to fix!

I added my objective critique to the video. Wow...terrible! Although, I guess the worse I am in the beginning, the more improvements I can make! LOL! :).

Most recent video (12/31/2011): Andantino (after 38 lesson)

I think I look more relaxed, I sound better and am able to use a different bowing technique! Yaay! :). I didn't add my critique to the video since I'm still working on it and I don't know it well enough to review it very well. Though I don't feel comfortable with this bowing yet and I don't like how I sound in this video. I think I'll add my critique next year, that way I have something to compare it to. 

I have to admit, I'm really happy that I recorded my progress, especially since at times I felt like I was just spinning my wheels and not going anywhere. 

I was also recently reminded that I didn't know how to read music and now I do! Well for the most part - I can read notes on the staff, but I'm still working on learning how to read/interpret timing and rhythm.

Not bad for starting as an adult and not having any previous instrument experience! Ha! :D. 

Goals for 2012:
  1. Stop worrying about how far I get in the Suzuki book and focus on getting each piece polished, getting them memorized and learning the technique - after Book 1 of course! ;).
  2. Learn vibrato
  3. Learn 2nd & 4th position better and practice it consistently
  4. Be able to have consistent good intonation for 1st position - this should become second nature
  5. Start playing more improvisation
  6. Learn how to transcribe songs
  7. Learn how to do jazz pizzicato on cello
  8. Start playing with other musicians 
  9. Do some ear training
  10. Practice shifts and extensions daily - I hate practicing these, I tend to avoid these because I'm not very good at this!
  11. Focus on 1 or 2 pieces, instead of 3-4 pieces and other misc projects at the same time! Focus on assignments given and not what I want to work on or skipping ahead. I've discovered once I finally get to the piece I'm already bored with it because I worked on it before and its no longer fun and exciting!
If I do 9 out of 11 goals, than I think I'll have met my goal for 2012.

Hmmm...I wonder what I can use as a carrot ...oooo....I know.. a really nice pernambuco bow!!! That'll keep me motivated! :).

Here's to more progress and learning to play the cello in the new year! 


  1. hi again! Hope you are cello-ing great over there :)

    If i could share, here go mine:-
    1)Your 1 to 5
    2)Your 8 to 11
    * I might have started some of these, but this year, I wanna be great at them e.g goals #2 - 9
    ** I left #7 not because i dont like jazz, but right now my focus would be classical (and maybe classic rock walking bass <--i blame my brother!)

    3) Your #6. Just that i really need to start writing it in Noteflight, not just playing it from the end of my mind fail everytime i want to recreate :P For the new year Ive written a tune called "Undersea Waltz", only to discover it's actually a song in Super Mario Bros. no wonder naming it came way easily!

    More important than any of above:-
    4) To start something like Cello-Brained! so that I stop leaving long comments, like this one :P (sorry!)

    Ah, even more important than that:-
    5) To regularly, religiously, passionately practice, now more seriously on tone/bowing, rhythm and intonation, especially on 3rd and 4th pos. (really need to buy that blasted KORG tuner my teacher been talking about! suddenly every store I went run out of it, i started to wonder was yesterday 'tuner-buying' day or something :P)

    Herm, I am sensing I left something more important than that:-
    6) To never let the passion falter, not one bit :)

    Whew, a bit ambitious am i not :P

    Anyway, here's to stellar progress on everything about cello :)

  2. Hi Thaddaeus,

    Happy New year to you! :)

    Absolutely - thank you for sharing, and the long comments!! I don't mind at all! :)

    Love your #5 & #6 goals! I'm going to use those goals too!! =p

    Funny how memorable tunes seem to resurface! LOL! Super Mario Bros! I don't remember any of those tunes to be waltz-like! ;) Very cool!

  3. just sharing it here if you wanna's what i thought of on my new year's eve since it was...raining ( and all i heard was frogs madrigaling in their words :P)

  4. VERY COOL!!! LOL - it is reminiscent of frogs!! I can totally hear it! ;)

    Interesting software, I'll have to try that out too! I've been trying to improvise lately and thought it would be nice to get it down somehow. Unfortunately, I don't ever pay attention to what I play while improvising so this should be interesting! ;)

    This is going to be FUN!! :D. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. LoL thanks :) Be sure to share what's playing on your mind too :D