Have a look at the basic outline of my book. (or 1/3 of it, anyway!) This is just pasted from the proposal I send to OUP. Teachers and students! I call upon YOU to help me make this an undeniably useful and fabulous book. Of course I am not looking to poach innovative approaches, so if you are writing a method and do not want me to include your suggestions in my ruminations, please don’t comment! xxoo, emily
1) Body Concept and Positioning (10 images, 2 or 3 pages)
The first few chapters are congruent to the typical first few lessons I give. In fact, much of the genesis of this book was because I realized that the first 50 pages of my students’ notebooks had the same exercises and technique tips and corrections. This chapter is heavy on the pictures and presents a dual approach to technique: general concepts; “Position on the instrument is like a series of gentle curves based upon a square frame” and detailed description; “The emphasis of the bow grip is the right index finger, where the weight of the entire arm travels from the shoulder, through the elbow, the wrist, and finally comes to rest, in a single point, on the finger.” All examples have pictures that bring the technique to life. There is nothing worse than someone trying to explain a complicated concept without visual representation!
2) Crash Course In Note Reading (musical examples, 2 pages)
I am not sure whether this should be included. This book is supposed to be an adjunct to lessons, and moreover, about the technique as opposed to theory. I consulted with a few other teachers, and they thought it would be good to have at least a little bit of music reading basics. I did not get into rhythms, but could add another page or two if need be.
3) Open Strings (musical examples, 1 image, 1 page)
An introduction to playing on the open strings, with technical tips on moving the bow in an efficient way.
4) First Finger Finder (musical examples, 3 images, 1 page)
A classic fixture of the Emily Wright cello studio! If a student can reliably find where 1st finger goes, it is the key to good position. I emphasize the manner in which the hand approaches the fingerboard. This whole text, in fact, is based on the premise that the cello is, at root, about how your hands move on the instrument. People look for alchemy and witchcraft in their search for a shortcut to greatness, but in the end, staying on the long road is the only shortcut there is. Technique first, art comes naturally thereafter.
5) C scale (musical examples, 4 images, 2 pages)
The basic C scale, with pictures of what each finger looks like in position.
6) A history of the cello (1 image, 1 page, could be doubled with more images)
Taken from wikipedia and altered. I am not attached to the content, but the gesture is important. I want people to love this book, want to open it, become close to the instrument through it. That’s why the pictures are lush, and I include anecdotal and historical sections. The personalities, lore, and repertoire of the cello are irrepressible. I want to whet the appetite of the student so that they continue to seek these things out.
7) The Good Fight (1 image, 1 page)
About the value of watching others play and working through the elements that are the toughest, instead of playing the easy stuff over and over again.
8) Intro to 4th position (musical examples, 3 or 4 images, 2 pages)
4th position is a cellist’s second home. We play as much there are we do in 1st. A scale is the best way to introduce any new technique, but since this is a radical departure from what has come before, I like to prime the student and make them familiar with the position before throwing a new scale at them.
9) G major scale (musical example, 1 page)
Draws upon the previous chapter and puts the new technique into the most common context.
10) G major scale patterns (musical examples, 1 page)
I continue to turn up the knob on technique, and give them different bow patterns to encourage coordination between left and right hands. Much of these scale-oriented chapters have nothing new to the music itself. What makes them different, and advantageous to the student, is that there are pictures of things that frequently go wrong, corrections for them, and descriptions that are truly helpful. So many cello books are written only for scholars. I have tried to thread the needle, and write in an intelligent, highly descriptive fashion, but maintain a friendly cadence.
Copyright 2007 Emily Wright