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Mendy Smith

Day 11 - first lesson sans sheet music

February 13, 2009 at 3:14 AM

Today was my first lesson with Joel playing the Bloch entirely from memory.  It was like a mini-performance without the pianist.  He did not stop me a single time from playing through the piece the entire way through.  There was once where I had to think hard and fast on how the next section started (almost jumped to the next one!!!!).  But, much to our delight, I picked out that high Eb from mid-air first try, and besides that momentary brain fade, I didn't stop once.  Although I must admit getting a bowing and fingering or two wrong, and was proud of myself for thinking quick on my feet on how to correct without pausing and still be musically pleasing. 

There were still a few incorrect notes, in tune but wrong  - I had forgotten an accidental or two.  My triplets need to be even slower in the beginning, my animato is happening about 6 notes too soon, and a few other notes that I need to hold just a little longer than I am right now. 

He said it was OK to record lessons.  Thank goodness!!!  There is so much to remember between lessons - little nuances that I remember in general, but cannot quite recall 100% in between lessons. 

At the end of lessons, I got what I consider high-praise from Joel.  He said he was proud of me having accomplished having memorized this piece in its entirety (first movement), and all the other accomplishments I've made musically over the past few weeks. He said that in his opinion it will be ready in time for the audition in two weeks if I keep on at this pace.  :::blush::::

Did I ever mention how lucky I feel having him as a teacher?  The amount of support and time he's given me, especially over the past few weeks is well above and beyond the call of duty.  I think that if it wasn't for him driving me so hard preparing for the audition, I would have succumed to depression after losing my job quite some time ago.  Instead, I have to remember to allocate enough time in my day for job-hunting. 

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on February 13, 2009 at 4:08 AM


I think we often mistakenly define ourselves in terms of our jobs. `I`m an accountant,` etc.  In fact, as you are discovering in such a profound way,  we are usually something else much more special.

You are a musician. 

All the rest is bumfluff.




From Mendy Smith
Posted on February 13, 2009 at 5:56 AM

Buri -

Quite some time ago you mentioned taking what defines your life and writing it down in 9 squares on a piece of paper.  I still have that piece of paper.  Work is only one square, off to the side.  Music accounts for 5 other squares :)  The other 3 are family, health, and my cats.


From Stephen Brivati
Posted on February 15, 2009 at 10:43 PM


just don`t ever let your playign be square...



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