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John Chew

A Short Vacation and Third and Fourth Finger Concerns

August 16, 2006 at 1:49 PM

Last weekend I went up to Toronto and Buffalo with my girlfriend. At that time I really needed to get away from the city. I had gone to college in Buffalo and was curious about the campus as I hadn't stepped foot there in 12 years! Toronto was beautiful! Driving there on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) which is the highway connecting Buffalo to Toronto is a short 2 hours. Driving past Lake Ontario I noticed far off in the distance perched on the edge of the lake was the city Toronto. It seemed like such an unlikely place to place a city. The University of Toronto is a beautiful place as well. And I always think of Toronto as a place where Glenn Gould lived and played.

I correspond with a V.com member who lives in Buffalo. In an email to him I mentioned that I stayed at the Hyatt Regency downtown. He wrote back and told me that he was there attending a NYS Music Educator's conference at the same hotel. Wow! Major coincidence! Yes, we V.commers are everywhere!

My teacher is really getting on my case about half-steps. Specifically the distance between my third and fourth finger. I am not sure but did anyone struggle in the beginning with placing the fourth finger (pinky) down followed by the third finger (tucked) to get an accurate half-step intonation? My fingers are so stubborn, and I'm wondering if I am physically disadvantaged in playing half-steps using my third and fourth finger. I'll just have to practice harder.

I have been listening to Chausson's Poeme, Op. 25. Is anyone working on this? It is amazingly beautiful.

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