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Mendy Smith

Second Lesson with my Substitute Teacher

July 21, 2007 at 6:15 AM

It didn't start off well. I left my day planner at home and totally forgot that lessons would NOT be at his house, but at a studio I have never been to before across town. His wife didn't have the address, but did have the address of one of their favorite restaurants kiddy-corner from the studio. TG I have a nav system. I found the place (already 15 minutes late by now, I'm NEVER late!!!), and the building requires a "secret access number" to get in! A few minutes after I arrived, someone was leaving so I could get into the building, then the great hunt to find the studio. 30 minutes after my lessons were originally to begin I finally found the room! Luckily, Brian is a very easy going kind of guy, forgiving for being so late, and let me have my hour long lesson (I was his last student). I owe him something special for this inconvience!

Started with the usual warm-up scale, and he stopped me half way through. In my head I was thinking "can't even get through a simple scale". But.... instead I got "your bow arm has improved ALOT! Did you tape your fingers like last time?" (It has been a few weeks since my last lesson). I proceeded to tell him the story on how I focused on nothing but bowing for quite awhile, but without taping my fingers into a curve. So, continue on the 2 octave scale. Then to 3 octave.. before coming back down the scale, stop again (what is it THIS time?!?)

>>>"Did we talk about your left hand technique before?"
>>>"Well, it really is very good, even if you get a note wrong, you adjust quickly. Good ear!"


On to Bruch Romanze - FINALLY! I played through the entire piece, then waited for the comments.

>>>"How many lessons did you get on that last page?"
>>>You taught yourself how to play that on your own?"
>>>"pretty much"
>>>"I'm impressed, not many people can do that. It is a very difficult section."


>>> "Your rhythm is pretty good, but needs some work"

::bubble burst::

So we worked on going from triplets, to 1/16ths to 1/8ths for the rest of the hour. It was almost like patting your head and rubbing your tummy when I was trying to play triplets while he banged out a 1/8th beat! He gave some mneumonic suggestions for each rhythm, some of which had me laughing so hard I just couldn't continue playing. One had to do with a curse and spinach.

I have one more lesson with Brian before resuming lessons with Joel again. It seems that Brian is quite determined to improve my skills so dramatically in just a few lessons in order to do a "one-up" on Joel when I have lessons with him again in 2 weeks. They are colleagues, and Joel arranged this for me. I think they have some friendly competition going on, and this was just to opportunistic for Brian to pass up. :)

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