Friday, August 27, 2010

Scott Cao Stradivari Davidoff Cello

This is the cello I am going to purchase. Since SW Strings started offering payment plans on all their instruments, bows and cases -- the Eastman 305 cello is always out of stock. The Cao cello is very well known, and has a sweet mellow sound. It is an intermediate level cello, and I think it will be a good upgrade from my Kay cello (my friend, my companion, my old buddy).

I Ordered New Strings!

Finally, I was able to order my new cello strings! SW Strings in Tucson has fairly quick shipping, so I am hoping to get them here and then installed before Sept. 3 -- our first chamber group meeting. I put off ordering the bow until a later date. I really need a new bow, but perhaps will be able to get one within the next week or so.

I also found out that I can now buy a new cello outfit and make monthly payments on it. You used to be able to do this with SW Strings own brands, but now I can purchase an Eastman or Scott Cao cello set and pay installments. This helps recover from the sticker shock -- nearly $2600. I am going to do it in October, after I get hired for a new job (oh, yes -- I have an interview for a FT position at one of our local colleges!)

On another note -- I practiced today. This was the second time for me since I started working at Macy's. I am stiff and really out of practice (no pun here), so the next week will be spent working on fingering exercises and bowing technique. Can you believe that two weeks off of practice, and everything just grinds to a halt. The good news is that I didn't sound that bad -- so with new strings and a new bow, I might just come out sounding sweet!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taking a Break from Cello

My teacher is on vacation this week and next, and I just started a new job at Macy's. Therefore, I am taking two weeks of vacation from cello. I literally do not have time to practice, and even when I want to do so, I fall to sleep as soon as I get home from work. I am getting used to working retail again (after some 25-30 years), so my plan is to not worry about cello for the next week or so, and just concentrate on learning how to work on my feet all day long.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

I have been off cello for about a week, mostly due to taking on PT work at Macy's. I finally got myself organized last evening, and got my cello out to practice. I was so surprised! I thought for sure I would be rusty, but I played through my pieces pretty well. God is so good to me!

Friday, August 6, 2010

No Lesson

I cancelled my lesson this week due to family being in town. I will post an update next week.

No Lesson

I cancelled my lesson this week due to family being in town. I will post an update next week.

Chamber was GREAT!

This post is a couple days old, but here goes anyway!

This week's chamber group was GREAT! We are working on some new tunes from "American Fiddle Tunes" and they are so much fun. At first, I thought they were too hard for me. The book says it is for beginners, but these tunes are more advanced beginner/early intermediate. The music itself, is not hard to play; but rather, it is the phrasing and the quickness of the progression of notes. And, with most fiddle music, there are loads of slurs, so the violinist or cellist has to be comfortable playing slurs followed by single notes in quick repetition.

I like fiddle music a lot. It is fun, and the music is never boring. Even when I play rhythm in the group, I still enjoy it. I am also finding that fiddle music has increased my ability to play classical music. You wouldn't think it was this way, but it seems to be the case -- with me, anyway. I think it has something to do with the complexity of the rhythm, the timing, and the way the notes are arranged. I am having to learn how to play more difficult patterns, and these patterns seem to appear most frequently in Book 3 and on of the Suzuki books. In short, my fiddle playing has enabled me to learn more difficult classical pieces. I still struggle with them, but I have so much more confidence. I don't have that "deer in the headlights" look about me. I simply look at the music, and say, "Hmm...Ok, interesting." Then I give it a go. I most often can sight read it, and then play it somewhat on the first attempt. Of course, I need to really work at it to play it well; but I am able to play it right off, and I think that is HUGE!

My goal now is the same as before, though my timeline has changed a bit. I had hoped to begin playing book 4 by Fall, but that won't happen now. I am going to begin playing cello for my teachers more advanced chamber group in September, and that will slow my studies down a bit. Plus I have graduate classes and I will be working full-time very soon.

All in all, I am so well-pleased with my cello playing. I still need those new strings and bow -- oh and perhaps (winking) a new cello? Yes, a new cello would be super SWEET!