Author: Emily Wright

bolstering your shift practice, part 3

The previous posts were designed to provide conceptual and technical underpinnings of a solid shifting practice. Today’s is all about developing inner hearing and the ability to generate music inside of your mind, because when you shift, you’re not just going to a place: you’re going to a note. If you’re not hearing the shift ahead of time, you’re flying blind and incorporating chance into something that should be built upon certainty. The first thing to do is form a basic understanding of the intervals, aka the spaces between notes. There are minor and major versions of most of...

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bolstering your shift practice, part 2

So last post we talked about getting a feel for the distance the arm travels to put the hand in the right place for an accurate shift. Today is all about the mechanics involved and a bit of the mental approach behind policing your technique. Shifting physically Although the mind may seem very active during playing, practicing the cello is at root a physical act. You may be trying to keep corrections and new techniques in mind while you work, but if they are just words, like: don’t overshift keep the shoulder down remember to breathe …the chances are...

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bolstering your shift practice, part 1

There are only a handful of reasons we miss shifts: no clear idea of the note’s physical location on the fingerboard technique is inconsistent or maladaptive cannot hear the interval between the first and second note Any one of these can cause a shift to feel uncertain forever, no matter how long you’ve bashed away at it, because (stop me if you’ve heard this before) it’s how you practice much more than what you practice that offers a direct path to progress.┬áToday, we’re crossing off item #1 on the list: Mapping the distance When we shift, it’s easy to...

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everything old is new again

      Well hello! Yes, it’s been a while- I’m supposed to be up to my ears in grapes, and organic chemistry, but fate has had other things in mind these past few months. I had an unexpected reaction to the second Botox treatment, which left me with very little use of either arm, lots of pain in my back and neck, and no real solutions. Although it’s been up and down, July and August saw me in bed much of the time, unable to do anything except teach for a few hours here and there before retiring once more to a prone position, in the company of my new bestest friend, Mr. Heating Pad. My wine internship was cancelled (postponed until next year by a gracious winemaker) and I’ve been tempted to write about this stuff off and on, but kept stopping myself. Having an online presence can take a person and turn them into a consumable product. A brand. Early on, I sort of embraced this idea, probably because it was new, smart internet people were talking about it, and likely because it stoked my ego. There was a happy overlap working in my favor: what I was doing came straight from my soul, was full of promise and progress, and also filled a gap in the offerings for adults wanting to learn to play the...

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