Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cello Plans for 2012

It is March 3, 2012, and I see that it has been about 8 months since my last post to this blog. A lot of changes have taken place in my life over the past months, and my routine for cello practice has ended up out the window. I have since regained my love of playing, and in January, made the decision to start practicing regularly again. I thought I would post my plans for 2012, along with an update to what I had hoped to accomplish in 2011.

Update on 2011 Plans (as posted last year)
  • Greater comfort in playing in groups and in front of people
  • Confidence in my ability to sight read and then play with a group
  • Expression and fluidity in my bowing
  • More study in position, especially 3-5th (working on 4th position since Fall 2011)
  • Generally working on playmanship, playing so that I sound better -- no matter the style or level of music
  • Lastly, overall enjoyment of the cello. Less pressure to perform, more effort to enjoy and be moved by the instrument and the beauty of its voice.
I was able to accomplish my goals for 2011, even though I really didn't have as much time to practice as I had hoped, especially in the latter half of the year. Still I am pleased with my progress, and I am looking forward to setting some new goals for this year.
New Goals for 2012
  • Continue working on 4th position, and then move into 5-7th for great range of expression
  • Complete the Suzuki Book 3 selections I am missing (Humoresque and La Cinquantaine)
  • Begin Book 4 towards Fall
  • Learn to finger without my tapes for reference
  • Continued work on bowing technique for fluidity
  • Transition to performance -- be able to play one solo piece in recital by Christmas 2012
  • Increase my range of music to include folk as well as Chamber
  • Lastly, continue to enjoy writing cello music, creating at least two pieces for chamber.
On the other side of goals, I am also sporting a new cello. My lovely old Kay cello needed to rest, and my teacher loaned me her Cremona cello. It had some major playability issues, so I took it to the String Shop of Arizona, and the Luthiers there fixed it. It looks beautiful, and plays well. I am really loving what opportunities exist for me as I continue to progress on the cello and move into more advanced and accomplished cello pieces.
My Repertoire for Spring 2012
  • 170 Foundation Studies for Violoncello, Vol. 1
  • Introducing the Positions for Cello, 4th Position, Vol. 1
  • The Cello Collection in 1st position
  • Suzuki Book 3, Humoresque and La Cinquantaine
  • Vivaldi's "Spring" (for Chamber)
  • Medley from "The Gladiator" (Chamber)
  • "Through Time" by Karen Macklin (Chamber)
  • "Ave Maria" (accomp. for Violinist Betsy Morrow's Sr. Recital)
  • Some piece yet to be written by me
My Practice Schedule

With working full-time now, and getting ready to graduate with my Master's degree in English Literature, my time is very limited. However, I have figured out how much time I can devote to my studies each week. The following is a pretty good schedule for me.
  • M, T, TH - Practice for 1 hour usually around 8-9 p.m.
  • W-F - No practice, Lesson and Chamber reheresal
  • S-Su - Practice for 1.5 hours stressing bowing and technique exercises, scales, and other easier things to help strengthen and develop quickness in my fingers.
Overall, my ultimate goal for 2012 is to become ready to perform at a Level 4 grade so that I can tackle most music and feel confident in my ability to play Chamber, folk or classical selections. Next year, my goal will be to learn how to play in Tenor Clef. For now, Bass Clef is my best friend, so I am content to continue to develop skill and reading ease with Easy to Moderate cello pieces.