May 2008

Spring is definitely here

May 6, 2008 16:22

Where did the winter go? I realize I haven't updated in four months. Fortunately, my practicing habits are far better than my blogging habits!

I'll have performed Vivaldi's "Spring" three times in three weeks by the end of this season, for progressively tougher audiences: my daughter's preschool, my church's talent show, and finally my teacher's studio recital this Sunday. It sometimes takes a little while for a teacher to know a student well enough to direct him or her to appropriate repertoire, and this time I think we've got it. I've really enjoyed and learned a lot from working on this piece. It's popular and at just the right difficulty for me---not so easy as to be boring, but not so hard that I have to focus exclusively on technical matters at the expense of musicality.

I've learned things that I'd never even thought of before, such as the importance of bow distribution and the fact that playing forte by bowing slowly near the bridge gives a really different sound from bowing fast and with lots of pressure farther from the bridge. And that when you're in high positions on the E string, you really don't have to press hard at all to get the notes you want!

The only sad part to all these revelations is realizing how much I missed out in my childhood violin education, where the only goal ever imposed on me was to play most of the notes mostly in tune and vary the dynamics once in a while. To anyone who questions the importance of a good teacher, I am living proof that it DOES MATTER. But better late than never, I always say, and I'm grateful for the opportunity now to work toward my full potential.

On another subject, I've written before that I hope one day to have a family string quartet. My three-year-old daughter has caught on to this idea, albeit with a twist. "Mommy, you and Kiera [5-year-old sister] can play violin, and Daddy can play the cello, and I will play...DRUMS!"

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