Chinese Proverb

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

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lesson #103C (12/02/12): Minuet No. 3

I'm just getting over the flu, which I caught during Thanksgiving, and I've been swamped with organizing and work. I also had my final dress rehearsal last Sunday for our very first holiday concert this upcoming Saturday!

Have I mentioned that I organize and play in an all adult cello ensemble yet? :). Anyway, I'll be playing 14 holiday songs (originally 18 but we cut 4!) for two retirement communities with twelve other cellists. It's been a busy few weeks to say the least, so I haven't been practicing any non-holiday pieces, and I was sick...and it was Thanksgiving... so my individual pieces have been thoroughly neglected and aren't very good right now.

Surprisingly, even though Clayton also leads the rehearsals, we haven't taken any time during our lessons to go over holiday repertoire or work on ensemble technique. I think I'll have to ask Clayton or Adam to work on ensemble playing with me!

Anyway, long story longer, I had a lesson before our rehearsal so it was a long cello day for me! :).
We worked on Minuet No 3 since my goal was to have Minuet No 3 & No 1 recorded by the end of this semester, but I think I can get it done by the end of December instead. After the recitals, I'm going to buckle down and get those two done and recorded!!

Minuet No. 3
  • Phrasing - we worked mostly on phrasing and feeling the rhythm 
  • Exercise: 
    • To feel the downbeat, he wants me to play the first note forte, pretend there is a rest, and then crescendo to the the next downbeat. After I'm able to play it that way and start to feel the rhythm, then I can remove the rests and make the crescendos less obvious. 
  • Bow - I need to make sure that I don't use too much bow during the slurs because I'm getting a skating sound. 
    • I switched all of my strings to Passione strings, and the G & C are gut strings so I have to be more conscientious about giving more time for the strings to speak. So far, I'm loving the strings - although it has taken awhile for them to break in and for me to get used to them. Looks like my cello likes low tension strings and also gut strings! 

Clayton also mentioned that I could probably start working on Judas Maccabeaus if I wanted to, but I think I'll hold off. I have too many pieces to work on right now. Although I was able to sightread the majority of it and it didn't sound to bad either! :).


  1. I just found your blog, primarily through twitter recommendations. Great stuff! Your group sounds real smooth.

    I will certainly put your blog on my blogroll!

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you so much, and happy holidays to you too!!! :)