I have spent the past couple days working on my technique, and I think I see good progress. One thing I am doing is reminding myself that I can play the cello. I know -- that seems silly, but really it is just a mindset thing. Whenever I get into this funk that says "you cannot do it," then really I cannot do anything cello-wise. If I give myself some kudos, then I feel more empowered and I find that I actually sound pretty good.
Yesterday, I played through Suzuki Book 2 again. I am amazed at how much better I can play these pieces. In fact, my work in chamber has made it possible for me to play these pieces really well. Sure, I am familiar with them -- but really, they are challenging nonetheless. And, as I struggle through Book 3, it helps me to remember that I can indeed play the cello well enough to be in this book.
I think I have finally passed Gavotte in C Minor, and I can almost play Allegro Moderato from start to finish (on my own -- not even with any teacher help yet). The Minuet is easy for me, because it is also in Book 2 (but with a second part -- new and more challenging). The two pieces I cannot play yet are Humoresque and La Cinquantaine. I love the latter, and think I actually will be able to play it. Humoresque is another thing all together -- and I don't know if that is something I will play now or have to come back around to later on. My concern is this -- if I can finish these two pieces, then I am ready for Book 4. I have heard that Book 4 is really challenging -- and I don't know if I have the technique to play it yet.
On another front -- I finally can play Allegro by Joseph Henry Fiocco and Concerto Grosso by Vivaldi. My teacher changed my part on the latter piece, and it is a bit more difficult for me now. However, I can play it (hooray) and can say that it is absolutely beautiful in chamber (with piano and five violins and cello).
I am really pleased with my performance ability -- now I just need to relax when I play in group. Oh...that and make sure to bow a bit more pressure (on my new bow), and I am set.