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Mendy Smith

Last Lesson of the Season

June 25, 2008 at 4:07 AM

Tonight, I had my last lesson until next fall. Between my teacher doing his normal summertime routine (traveling to festivals, vacation, etc..), and me with a long business trip, I won't be having my regular private lessons again for quite some time.

So, to take advantage of this last lesson night, Joel helped me dust off the 1812 overture for a concert I'm playing in soon. He's also playing the same in a different concert a week before I do. Funny how that worked out :-) Before tackling the 1812, we started on scales to warm up with, my choice of key. So I chose the scales that are in the overture - 6 sharps and 6 flats... I got a little worried when Joel said of my choice "This should be interesting"... Oh my! Well, it wasn't so bad afterall - except I kept missing the C-flat on the A string - aka B-natural in first position, and the transition to B-flat on the D string (back in a "real" second position again). ::::sheepish grin::::

And then, I got some "professional help" on a Mozart quintet my quartet-sometimes-quintet group sight read a few weeks ago. The first viola and first violin play the melody, and it is a very typical violin-ish melody. It may be easier to play on a violin, I wouldn't know having never played violin before. Turns out my teacher never played this piece before either. Needless to say, he figured it out faster than I did, and helped me with the sections "filled with black" and "micro-notes". At least now I have something to work with to practice this piece a bit more at home.

The next time I will be seeing my teacher is at Interlochen this August. There are a few other folks from Oregon that will be there. My teacher, his wife, maybe a few of the other Oregonians and I will be getting together for a cocktail before the camp starts. I'll be the only amature in this group of musicians. The others are all professionals and part of the faculty.

I'm so looking forward to this musical vacation.

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