Places to go; Things to see

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Move is Over *from Lost in Cello blog*

Well, thank god that is over with. Thursday went on for ever, and then we had to spend Friday and Saturday finishing off the little things in the move.

It seemed like we were moving things for ever.

Now the new house just needs to be unpacked and everything needs to find a new place. This will be the hard part; I didn’t realise how just junk we had and now we have to hind a hidey whole for it all.

There are still boxes every where, but at least we are starting to make a dent in it all. The lounge room and kitchen are mostly finished; M's sewing room is mostly done. It just the extra stuff that we keep coming across that needs to have room found for it. Now we are getting started on the bedroom's being set up properly - not just the bed's set up and everything piled around them - and the garage put in some order.

But enough about the bad things in my life; Cello lesson was yesterday; small improvements each week. That is all I can hope for and so far it seems to be happening.

B got me started on a one finger B major scale on the A string, different and quite fun. I think it will take a bit of practice before I feel confident with it; but I will give it all I’ve got. B says it is just another exercise to prepare me for other positions on the neck. On the same line as that he also has me doing what he calls ‘sirens’ were all fingers and the thumb are on the neck and just get moved up and down the neck of the cello. Doesn’t matter what the sound is like when I bow, just as long as the hand is moving up and down; the thumb is kept square to the other fingers and I keep bowing. I seem to have a bit of a problem freely moving my left hand up and down the neck and so this should really help with that as well.

Besides that I need to continue with my method and studies and start learning the harmonic and melodic minor scale for C, G, D, and A. Just have to remember which notes are raised and which ones are lowered in the different scales.

I guess the time has come for this cellist to get back to work. The has been the worst thing so far with the move; the fact that I could only get the Thursday and Friday off work; while M has had all of last week and has the next three weeks off as well. She gets to do little bits at a time and then has a rest while I have been going off to work this week. Some people have all the luck.

Until later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Move *from Lost in Cello blog*

Tomorrow is M day and I am already exhausted; the house is a mess and nothing looks like it will be finished in time and I am about to start work.

The cat and dog are on their way to the Pet Resort (kennels) for a week so that we don’t have to worry about them just yet – good thing is they have fun there and enjoy all the personal time they get with the staff there.

I also had my cello lesson last night and that went well. The new practice plan seemed to hold up pretty well. Still need to keep working on all the pieces and then some. From next week I will be starting to only have fortnightly lessons; but they will go for an hour and a half. We will see how they go, I sure it will be trial and error to begin with.

I suppose I had best get going. First work and then the house. Let's hope I make it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Practice Update *from Lost in Cello blog*

I think the planning worked well.

I know I have only used it twice but I got through a lot in the first practice session I had using it. Looking back it seems really stupid that I haven’t done this earlier. I normally do follow a plan; but it has always been just in my head and so it easy to get distracted from what I should be doing.

Yesterday morning I followed the below schedule for practice:

C major - 3 octaves (using only first two fingers when moving down neck for the third octave)
The Young Violoncellist's Method
#15 - Exaudet Study
#16 - 1/2 position (include variations 1 & 2)
Studenwerke (German Study)#7 - Lee Study - include practicing with pizz to help the left hand get what it should be doing.
Technic of the Cello Vol 1
#1 - Romberg Study - only first half.
Nice and slowly to begin with and try memorising.
Suzuki Cello Book 1
Twinkle Variations
Cello Time Joggers#36 - 39 with CD to assist with tempo

I went through each piece twice and the only thing I didn’t do was the Cello Time Joggers. It only took half an hour and I got a good feel for what I was supposed to be doing. The main thing I was working on was to get the intonation right on all pieces.

This was the first time for the Technic #1 study. So I just played straight through on that one. I have to wonder how I’ll go memorising that one as there are so many parts of it that are similar to past studies – not to mention it is so long. I don’t know how my brain works sometimes. Some pieces I have been given to memorise I have no trouble with; while others I just never get no matter what I do.

And I did the same again this morning, but I also included the Time Joggers. This time it went even better that yesterday. Was able to spend a bit more time on making sure the intonation was continually correct - this is something that I always have to watch. I can start out pitch perfect and if I'm not careful; can end up at the end totally out of tune.
Let hope I am able to keep up the good work and not go insane from all the packing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lost in the Move *from Lost in Cello blog*

 I had a lesson last night and I was so not ready for it. I had a lot of trouble getting motivated to practice this week. I pretty sure it is just due to that fact that I am preparing to move while still working full-time.

I HATE moving – thankfully I can honestly say that this should be the last time for a long long time as I am buying a house. Yeah!!!!

Finally getting out of the renting rut. I am buying the house with my mum, but we get on great and there is room for both of us to have our own space – even room to add a granny flat in the back yard if needed. The photo is of the land before the house was started.


But back to my lesson; I did go a lot better than I though I would. B said he could clearly see improvement. The third octave of the C major scale keeps getting better; so he says.
This mainly means that the bad vibes I'm getting before my lessons is just me being pessimistic and not having enough faith in myself.

I am going to try some better structure in my practice sessions this week to see how that helps me.
Just a little planning to guide what I spend my practice time on (especially this week as I have so much to do!)
We'll see how it goes!?!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Practice Session *from Lost in Cello blog*

On Saturday I went to J’s place for a practice session. She is about to go for you preliminary Violin exams and needs to perform her pieces to an audience. She is getting there; I think she was still really nervous about playing in front of people; because she kept telling me that she still had a month to go. Once she relaxes though she plays quite well. She just has to relax – but then I know how tense you can be when you play for someone else. I’m the same; even at my lessons. As soon as B gets me to play something from memory; I get all tense and that is generally when I stuff something up that I had down pat before the lesson.

We started the session with the two of us playing an easy version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D (arranged by Ian Cantor ). The whole thing is very easy; very good for beginners; more so for the cello – as the first four bars are repeated throughout the whole piece – but J says it is quite easy for the violin as well. The best thing about it; is that it actually sounds like Canon in D. Not exact; but the feel of the music is still there.

I know that piece is played at just about every wedding, and most cellists get sick of it; but at the moment I still love it. It was one of the first pieces of music that I heard the cello in and has been one of the reasons I have wanted to play for so long.

We ended it with her violin pieces and then had chocolate cake to end the afternoon. I thought it was a pretty productive afternoon, and we both had fun – which is the main thing when learning an instrument.

I really enjoy playing with someone else. It makes me work so much harder so that I don't let them down. It is completely different to playing with B in my lessons. Which it should be, I know. I just need to arrange more sessions with J I think and maybe see if one of the ladies at work wants to get back into playing the violin, if so then she would be able to join us.

Something to think about and work on.