I see that all I’m managing is a blog post every couple of weeks, which is not so great for my record keeping. I’m going to try to blog more often. (That makes it sound like I haven’t been trying. I pecked this out last night on my iPhone during break at orchestra using Evernote, then synced it up this morning, copied it to the blogging software, and edited it. Whatever works. It’s not something I can do for anything large and writing-related, though I have been using the same process to make notes for the basis of the kids’ posts.)
Let’s start with a cello post.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to schedule a couple of lessons leading up to the summer recital. I’d been going to the group lessons and working on the group pieces, but I dropped private lessons entirely in February. When my teacher asked if I was doing something for the recital I wibbled. I hadn’t planned on it, as I hadn’t been really working on anything properly, although I’d been playing Allegro Moderato, the last assigned Suzuki piece now and then. She said she’d like me to, but if I didn’t feel comfortable doing the Allegro I’d started in January (and had all of two lessons on) then I could pull out something old and brush up on it. I agreed, because it would feel odd to play in the group pieces but not a solo, and it would be the first recital I didn’t play in since I started lessons again three years ago. (Is this really going to be my sixth recital with this teacher? Wow.) So for my first lesson in months, I brought in a pile of things I’d played sixteen years ago and had read through at home as potential back-up, but I set Allegro Moderato on the stand and played it for her first. She said, “Oh, this will be fine; we just need to polish it a bit here and there.” That made me feel remarkably good. I was relieved to know I hadn’t broken it irreparably over my months of practicing alone. Now, I’m not entirely happy with it; I’d like another two weeks of working on the targeted areas. I’m playing it at a slower speed than I’d been practicing it at home, because I couldn’t get it to hang together smoothly enough the other way. (It’s, um, very Moderato.) But I won’t crash and burn. (I hope?)
Orchestra is fun. We’re working on the Canada Day concert, which has a Northern theme, Russian and Scandinavian music… and one Canadian piece, too! We’re preparing Glinka’s Ruslan & Ludmilla overture (which we’re taking at a sane seed, so my initial conniption has been assuaged), both Peer Gynt suites, Finlandia, Borodin’s wonderful Third Symphony, and a piece by our conductor, Stewart Grant. I’m still sitting last chair, and that’s just fine and relaxed for me. It’s not like I have lots of time to work on my stuff at home, though it’s not a very challenging programme cellistically. I’m really enjoying this programme a lot. I won’t lie; it’s probably a wee bit due to the less challenging skill level required to pull it off as compared to our last couple of concerts, but also it’s also because I’ve loved most of this music for ages.
My A string is starting to feel rough. I may have to replace it. In fact, I haven’t taken my cello for a tuneup since I bought it two years ago; I can’t afford it. But it seems to be carrying on quite well, and if it’s taken two years for the A string to reach this point, then I’m pretty impressed, frankly. And the sound just keeps getting better. The 7/8 was a good investment: it still sounds fabulous, and much better than an entry-level student model is expected to sound.