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Mendy Smith

Time In-Between

June 1, 2012 at 2:00 AM

It is that time of year again. Recitals are over, regular lessons turn sporadic, I head down into the pit for the annual Houston Bar Association musical comedy (though this year the orchestra is on stage and :::gasp::: acting!), and begin working on music for camp.

Yes... there are music camps for us older-ish types. Each August I head up to Interlochen to attend a week-long chamber music camp for adult amateurs. I look forward to it for many reasons:
a) I'm considered young
b) I get to see my previous teacher, his wife and baby
c) I get to play with folks who have become friends over the years at camp
d) I get to play music that I've never even heard of before
e) I get to play with people who I've never met before

This year is special. The cellist who I've played with down here in Houston for 2 years now is attending camp with me. We have worked on and off again on the Beethoven 'Two Eyeglasses' piece and will be getting coaching on it in the first half of the week. We've also arranged to play some cello quintets and sextets with some folks I've played with before. Outside of that, I signed up to play the Britten Divertimento, Beethoven Op. 132, 95, and Grosse Fugue. Daunting and difficult pieces that I'm glad to have some advanced notice to practice.

So, in this "In-Between" time, I'm pulling out all my notes from lessons over the past year and studying how to practice these pieces: slow with metronome, scales in the key signature, string crossings, planning shifts and bow distribution, hearing the underlying chord structure, rhythms, etc...

I have one maybe two lessons before Interlochen. We'll see how well I learned how to practice on my own.

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