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July 28, 2013

I think he likes me

Sometimes my viola tells me good stuff. Today he said: "use more bow, and I will sound better." What a nice guy.

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July 25, 2013

Issues du jour

Lately, viola lessons start not with "here's what you need to do, in my opinion" but with "what are the issues du jour?" This teacher overestimates me. I think she thinks that because I'm an adult, I am super-organized and super-focused and know exactly what I need all the time, music-lesson-wise. But in weeks like this one, where I am running (literally and figuratively) from beginning to end, the only honest answer to that opening question is "all of them." Last night I spent 40 minutes on one little piece of one etude, trying (and failing) to get something right. Not only did I not fix that problem, but I could feel all the other problems festering and simmering because I wasn't giving them any attention. In weeks like this one, when I can't focus, I think I need someone to tell me what I need.

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July 20, 2013

sometimes it helps to go way way back

Long crappy week, and I feel like both body and mind are failing me. Saturdays used to be my big-time practice days because I have Saturdays off (and my husband doesn't), but Saturdays are now also long-run days so I'm trashed for a few hours afterward even during non-crappy weeks. Anyway, today I spent lots of time sleeping or wasting time online or just staring into space, simultaneously not practicing enough and feeling guilty about it. And what I did practice sounded pretty bleh.

I decided that 3rd position had become especially bad, so I dug out the Wolfahrt. I noticed 2 things: first, it helped, and second, I could read it through with no trouble (the last time I worked on it was maybe a year ago, and I definitely struggled to read it). I was delighted - I could read! Groups of notes, even! They made sense! In the midst of no progress, there is progress.

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July 18, 2013

going through the motions

This week I feel like whatever I happen to be doing, I need to hurry up and finish so I can get on to the next thing. Always the next thing. Not a good feeling.

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July 12, 2013

things might be looking up

Running: this was another (unintentional) cutback since I was babying a sore knee and foot, probably brought on by all the puddlejumping last week. I had a couple of ok runs but was unable to string two together. Still, Albert sent me my training schedule for Richmond (starts Sunday) and I have the utmost confidence in the success of the mission.

Music: I have to blog it or didn't happen, right? I think my viola must really like me - it is making such nice sounds lately. Tonight, especially, it seemed to be reading my mind, making the sound I was thinking about instead of some mockery of it. And I seem to be handling the bow better, and it is doing what's in my head more often too. Tonight while I was practicing I heard a clap through the closed door, and I thought my husband was clapping at the dog, but after I finished, he told me how good it sounded and mentioned that he'd even applauded :-)

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July 7, 2013

sometimes the littlest things

Yesterday at my viola lesson, I was trying to play something with triple-stops and my teacher said "don't try to put all your fingers down at once - place the first two, and then the third." Eureka. Years and years of guitar-playing had ingrained the habit of trying to form the whole chord at once, and it never occurred to me that it might not be great for viola, where you never really play more than two strings at a time anyway. Working with only two fingers at a time gave me back enough brain cells to be able to work the right and left hand at the same time. Wow. I feel like a rooster who's just learned to crow.

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July 6, 2013


I seem to have blocked every kind of comment spam imaginable!

This week: I got a lot done at work despite the holiday. If I get through tomorrow's 17-mile hill run, I will have done 68 miles. I bought the viola I've been trying out. Despite a hectic schedule, I've had some good practices.

Some days I really think I'm starting to get it. Other days, I think that what I've got is sore hand and a red mark on my neck. Still...

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