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Mendy Smith

Music Happens

December 13, 2007 at 6:45 AM

I'm excited, the week after next (Christmas) I'm taking a whole week vacation from all the "hubub" at work. And boy do I need it!

On to the lessons: My teacher worked with me some on the slow bowing technique - varying the counts per bow. This really helps in straightening out the bow BTW. Then onto the scale of the month. These two shortened warm-ups really did not get me out of "work-mode" and into "performance mode" quite as fast as we both would have liked, but about half way through lessons, I finally got in "the zone".

Once in the zone, bowing remained the main concentration: the plane of the bow (see Buri's blog), lane-jumping (fingerboard to bridge in one bow stroke change), open string bowing, weight, (Buri's blog again... there is a pattern here...), etc. The pattern continued with where to place the "pulse" in certain phrases. It truly amazes me how the right hand can be the source of so many problems musically when you are right-handed! And I've been focusing on my "weaker hand" for all these years! :::sigh:::

For a Christmas gift, my teacher gave me a compliment. It was a comparison on how I played this piece nearly a year ago vs. today. He is right, I HAVE come along way. Earlier this week listened to a recording of this piece I made a year ago and then one I made just recently to be able to give my pianist. The improvement was huge! A year ago, this piece was riddled through with rhythm issues. There was no really rhythm to speak of (OMG! painful to listen to), intonation issues all over the place, and no sense of style to speak of at all.

Most noticeably for me, the achievement is finally learning and applying the "finer art" of making music rather than just the mechanics behind it all - phrasing, articulation, dynamics, and so on. All this together in a package creates a sense of anticipation, climax, longing, excitement, fulfillment, disappointment, and pure bliss.

I have 4 weeks to make a huge leap musically if I am to win this competion. Got no clue if I can pull this off, but the attempt is making me a better musician.

From Albert Justice
Posted on December 13, 2007 at 7:19 AM
Mendy, this video may help you.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=mJvGpIf7ugc&feature=related

The comments attached to it are a little lesson of their own.

Discuss it with your teacher.

From Albert Justice
Posted on December 13, 2007 at 7:21 AM
p.s. the balance and relaxation at first may seem a little strange, but once one starts using the energy, from the feet to the bow, it becomes really clear.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on December 13, 2007 at 12:05 PM
That's great that you can see such progress over the past year!
From Tara Shaw
Posted on December 13, 2007 at 3:35 PM
"Most noticeably for me, the achievement is finally learning and applying the "finer art" of making music rather than just the mechanics behind it all - phrasing, articulation, dynamics, and so on."

This is something I'm hoping for someday. Congratulations and good luck!

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