April 4, 2010

Cello and More

Ok, I got really fed up the other day. I love the cello, and I am getting better. I can tell it; my son, the pianist (musician extraordinaire) says so as well. My cello teacher tells me I am doing very well. But, with all the praises and such, I still feel like I am a beginner player (I am really, I am!) Even though I am attempting more difficult pieces, I still feel like I sound flat and out of tune. Not to mention that my rhythm is off. My teacher tells me that this is the point when most adult beginners give up. I think it is the "rubber meets the road" or the "cello hits the strings" point of any new endeavor.

It is always fun when it is easy and enjoyable. The test of a true interest is "stick-to-it-iveness," you know, the desire that moves you past the "I am never going to get this" point in the early phases of a new thing. It is discipline for sure, but it also has to be a strong desire.

I have attempted a number of new things, some I made it past this point (like drawing and painting), and other things just fell by the wayside. My interest waned once it got noticeably more difficult to perform. The more I tried, the more frustrated I became, and the more quickly I began to lose interest and consider the "thing" to not be worth my time.

Not so with cello, at the least not yet. I have worked through my "bad phase" and actually had a good practice today. I decided to go ahead and give Book 3 a try. I have been blessed to be able to "teach myself" some of the books already. There were parts that I didn't get, and it was helpful to have a teacher on hand to explain/demonstrate those parts to me. But, generally, I have been able to read the piece of music and then figure it out.

Book 3 teaches three more positions on the cello. I have found position 1 to be very easy and enjoyable. I have detested position 2. I don't know why, but for me, it was so difficult to keep the fingering straight. Maybe it is because it is falls right after 1st, and there was some overlap of the notes. I was feeling pretty low, like I would not be able to do position 3-5, and was starting to fear the new book. Thankfully, the Lord put it on my heart and into my mind, just to go for it. You know, tackle that fear before it becomes too big to handle.

Yesterday, I played with some of the opening pieces, and made it through a couple on my own. Today, I picked up the book and whoa! I cannot believe it, but I was able to play (1st time through) pretty well. I played several of the beginning pieces, those without too many position changes, and notation that I recognized right off. I had to think a couple times when asked to go into 4th position, but other than that, I did it. I am so happy!

I have to say that at this point, I am finding position 3-4 to be so much easier than 2nd. Position 5 is difficult because it is so high up and requires a great deal of technique to make clear tones. That will come in time, but for now, I am singing and dancing for joy! Hooray! I overcame this obstacle and cannot wait now to really get into this book.

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