Chinese Proverb

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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lesson #80 (07/29/12): Preparing for my next workshop

Time to prepare for the next (and last) workshop of the summer. This workshop is the one in California, and I'm still apprehensive about traveling with my cello. They're providing me with a cello there, but if I can make the trip with my cello I'm going to try.

The previous workshop ended on Thursday, but I needed a break and didn't pick up my cello on Friday and Saturday and now wished I had! The pieces I thought looked easy, actually are not!

During this lesson we went through all the fingerings and discovered that a lot of these pieces were best done in 2nd position. *sigh*
Here we go again - another crash course! What did I get myself into?? 

I guess my penciled-in frets are going to have to remain. Although my intonation has gotten a lot worse since put my frets back in! I think it's because I'm depending on my sight instead of my hearing, so it's not sounding as good.

Adam had done an excellent job in preparing me with the "correct" fingerings for the last workshop. Our workshop instructors were providing fingering options, and I noticed that a lot of the cellists had to change their fingerings and I didn't have to change any of mine! Which I was very thankful for because I don't think I would have been able to change my fingerings at the last minute and still be able to play the pieces, so despite the fact some of the notes could be played in first position for these pieces I know that the fingerings he's providing are the correct ones.

I practiced the pieces once I got home and discovered that my intonation was waaay off. I'm also working on dropping my elbow and making sure I grab the string on the side, so I'm also changing my left hand technique, probably not a good idea right now with learning all the repertoire. However, Adam has been trying to correct my left hand and elbow, and I think the way I'm attempting to do it is closer to the correct way that Adam is trying to get me to do.
Therefore, I'm trying to get some practice with it to get some of it into muscle memory before I loose how it feels or revert back to what I'm comfortable doing, which I don't think is correct.

  • Brahms Finale from Symphony No. 1 Mvt IV (easier...)
    • Cmaj, 4/4 time
    • Things to watch out for: 2 accidentals (which we marked the fingers) and two measures where it shifts to 4th position or 2nd position depending on what is more comfortable for me 
  • Francoeur's Largo (difficult)
    • Gmaj, 3/4 time, some slurs 
    • This piece is almost entirely in 2nd position!!! ...argh...why??
  • Adagio by Corelli  (really difficult!)
    • Gmaj, 4/4 time
    • Lots of shifting with a lot of sections in 2nd position and a lot of chords, although Adam mentioned since there are two cellists on each part that we would probably be doing divisi on the chords, one person playing one note on the chord. Learned a new word! :)

...booo...I want to go back to Suzuki books!! :(
I can't believe I said that after how much I complained how boring and slow the pieces ramped up in the Suzuki book... I changed my mind, I LOVE slow and boring!! I can't wait to get back to Suzuki rep in the Fall!! 

I did have a mini-freakout when I received the last workshop's music; hopefully, I'll be able to get these down in two weeks. 


  1. Congratz on the 1st workshop completion! i believe when you return to Suzuki rep in the Fall you will probably nail Book2 music no problem :D..I wish I had the same opportunity to attend workshops and all :( Anyways, have a good time on the next workshop!

    1. Hey Thaddaeus!! :)

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! ;).
      Although my teacher warned, sometimes when cellists are cramming to learn a bunch of repertoire they let their technique suffer just so they're able to get the notes.

      I have to admit that when I tried playing the last few pieces in Suzuki, I couldn't get a nice tone at all and my intonation was a bit off. It's very strange...

      Bummer!!! Yes, find a workshop!!!
      ...have your teacher create one?

  2. Your teacher might be right but it might also because of your listening is much better now :) Be positive!

    Well my teacher is too bz with concerts to create one and I am too bz to attend even if there's one :( Earlier last month, I had to turn down the invitation to join my school's strings ensemble since time wasn't on my side..

    Anyways, do enjoy the next workshop for me!