Friday, August 6, 2010

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!

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