My Teacher's Remark
I don't know if I should have done that, but recently I have overheard a conversation between my violin teacher and another teacher in the hallway, where she remarked:
"The problem with Peter(me) is that he thinks too much in terms of down-bows and up-bows."
At the time and to this day, I have no idea whatsoever about what she meant! It couldn't possibly be that I play robotically since I am often criticized for being too expressive in my playing. And I'm a bit afraid to ask about it because the remark is from a conversation that I overheard....I really hope that she is going to bring this up over the next few lessons, for some reasons this comment has been bothering me for a few days now....
At least you are remarkable enough Peter for your teacher to discuss with her peers. I think you should not make a mountain out of a molehill and try to forget what you overheard her say. What you need to learn or correct she will help you with in time but it is a slow process for most people including myself. She sounds like a good teacher to me.
It could have been worse. The teacher could have said "Peter doesn't learn very fast" or "Peter is as musical as a mud fence" or "why does Peter insist on having the Taco bell $5 Biggie Box right before lessons?"
I agree, if there is a problem then she recognizes it and will address it in your lessons, most likely in different terms. In the mean time, if you're like me and can become crazy curious then record an video of your practicing at home, compare the outcome with someone playing similar song on the youtube. My guess is you're not considering enough with other aspects of bow usage, ie., portioning, speed, rotation, etc.
Im guessing here but maybe it has to do with a difference in the volume of down bow vs upbow, given that the downbow travels in the direction of gravity and thus there might be a tendency to have a stronger sound going down vs up. My teacher pointed this out to me in my playing.
I wonder if what she's talking about is more related to fluidity and the mental connection of phrases from bow to bow.
Hi Peter, I understand it can be quite devastating to hear something your teacher said about your playing that is not favorable. It's good that you are expressing your concerns openly rather than bottling it up and let it consume you. It is much better still, Peter, if you could express it directly to your teacher. I tell you why and suggest how.
There may be a disconnect in learning styles.
Thank you, Mr.Jetson, I also think that she is a good teacher, I'll try not to over think it :)
Scott (sorry if I'm being offensive, I don't know in which situations I should use honorifics on online forms...), I could indeed recall her commenting about my bow distribution on multiple classes, mainly that I use too much of it. She always emphasizes to never use more bow than musically necessary, so I think there's a good chance that might be what she meant.
Actually, Lydia your comment reminded me of a lesson a few weeks ago. My teacher once told me not to focus too much on the bowing and to focus more on the phrasing of a fast passage. She then proceeded to demonstrate her point by playing the passage, of which she played with immense musicality and fluidity, despite the passage being very fast. When she told me to replicate what she did, she seemed dissatisfied. A few cycle of demonstrations later she seemed to give up on her point. So, now I look at it, it may have just been that. Although the mental connection between the bowing and phrasing is a concept a bit too abstract for me to wholly comprehend, do you mind elaborating on it a bit more?
I'm with Lydia. I also surmise that your teacher's comment is about being too "local" or "microscopic" in your approach.