Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back in the saddle again

Yes, it has been four months and I have not played my new cello regularly. I will admit that my life has been taken over my doctoral courses and teaching English at Grand Canyon University. I have made a promise to myself that now that I am off for the summer, my number one priority besides getting in shape for summer, is to get back into playing form on the cello. I plan to start practicing again this Monday, and I will post my new summer practice schedule then.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Practice Program

So I am loving this new cello of mine. It still squeaks (yikes) which tells me that it is just me playing the cello and not the instrument itself. However, I love the tonal quality of this cello as well as the ease of playability. It is a nice student cello, perfect for my needs. I wish now that I had invested in a good cello back in the beginning, but the thought of spending $60 per month to rent a cello seemed outrageous, so I settled for a poorly made cello and thought I was being "wise." Even though every cello website I went to said "do not waste your time with a poorly made cello," I didn't listen to the experts. I assumed they just wanted me to by one of their instruments, but in truth, they were correct. Students will lose interest when they are forced to play on a cello that doesn't suit them.

My new cello is perfect for me. I am still not sure how I will end up, whether I will purchase this cello outright or if I will turn it in and buy a better cello. I am content now, but let's see how things go later on.

My practice regime for the month of January looks like this:

C. Schroeder Nos. 6-22

Nos. 24-25

Nos. 28-29

Nos. 30-32
A. Schroeder Nos. 3-22
Scales No. 22 Cmaj

No. 27 Gmaj

No. 30 Dmaj

I am out of practice, and my fingers are weak and uncooperative right now. However, just since I started playing again, I am getting some dexterity back into my hands, and I am improving quickly. Carl Schroeder is the method book with which I first learned to play the cello. I like it because it covers scales and etudes and it has nice music to play.  Alwin Schroeder, Vol. 1, is the study book I am using for finger strength and dexterity as well as to practice bowing technique. I am slowly working through this book, but I hope to make good headway this year. This book as 80 selected works that include bass, tenor and treble clef, though a majority are in bass clef. In a perfect world, I would love to move into book 2 by next year, but as I look at the studies, I realize that I probably will be in this book for a good while longer.

I plan to introduce the Klengel and Starker books later in the year, once my fingers are used to playing my new cello without any finger guides. I also want to learn tenor and treble clef this year. I should be able to do this fairly easily as it is just a matter of learning the notes on the clef and then visualizing them on the cello fingerboard.

Oh, so many good plans! I will be happy if I can get to back to where I was last year before I set the cello aside for other things. I will have more time now that I am teaching and not working full-time. Wouldn't it be nice to look back on 2014 and review the year to find that I had accomplished my cello goals and that I was now moving into more advanced cello literature? Dream big, dream big!