Author: Emily Wright

Grey, part deux

Well, you can see that the eye is doing a lot better! We can also see that he is very much a he. Good lord. I had never, ahem, seen an intact cat before. Quite shocking, really. But now, other evidence of the hard life is apparent: there are large claw scratches on his legs, and I am lead to believe (from the teeny hand-like prints in the back yard) that our Grey Boy has been tangling with a raccoon. So, what do you think the chances are that he would hang around if we trapped and neutered him? I know that we could do it, and that it would benefit him and the enormous feral population, so it’s pretty much a guaranteed thing, if we can snare him. But he’s so wild! I know that a lot of that is due to the fact that he is not neutered, but I wonder if any of you have experience with doing this to a cat who won’t let you touch him. Oh, and for those of you who actually expect some cello here, I have a few notes. First, the celebrity thing is still in the works. Hold tight on that. Next, we are going to have some bow month post scripts, with updates on progress, and I have been contacted by a few people who want to submit...

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Grey

So there’s this cat. This magnificent, aloof, probably feral cat, who has gradually been slinking closer and closer to our door over the past few weeks. I immediately named him (I think him…could be her) Grey, because he is so unbelievably, totally, utterly grey. Except for his little green eyes and pink nose, that is. So we’ve been feeding him nice portions of tuna and leaving the sliding door open in the hopes of gaining his trust. Last week, as we sat in amazement, he even stepped inside and sniffed a bit. Then he marked his territory by rubbing his cheeks and chin on the door jamb, and went back outside to sit near the pool for a spell. The next day he came by, looking like this. Oh no! We immediately went into sad/panic mode. Sure he’s a tough guy, but do a search for feline eye problems, and you don’t get scared when you see what a bloody eye can mean! So I looked into trapping options, found a vet who would do housecalls, and waited overnight to see what he looked like when he next appeared. In fact, Terry saw his little shadowy body run into the side yard when he arrived, and that was all we saw of him for nearly 48 worrysome hours. And then yesterday he showed up. The photos were too blurry...

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Free Stuff, Part 1

The time draws near for the April issue of Strings magazine to come out, and we all know what that means. Contact me and you’ll get an issue! Woo hoo! The first 10 people to email me through emilywright.net get an issue for themselves, and another issue for a friend. Or to keep in the car. Or by the bed, for those late night geek cravings. Bird owners, looking for cage lining need not apply. Strings has been extraordinarily generous to me and now it’s time to pass it on! I will let the winners know when I have mailed the magazines. Writing is one of my joys in life, and it is an honor for a magazine to solicit my thoughts, and still more flattering that such a compelling bunch of people like yourselves would care to read them. …and yes, there is Free Stuff, Part 2 in the...

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A good problem to have

Bow Month lives! Thanks to Terry and his wife for taking the time to chronicle yet another bow grip. One thing I notice is that the kind of student who lives in the world of cello blogs AND is likely to be interested in the habits, adjustments, and solutions we talk about here probably has pretty solid technique to begin with. I was talking with Francy, one of my advanced adult students, and came to the realization that often times simply noticing an issue is nearly problem: solved. Take our friend Terry, who writes, “I can’t say I have any discomfort issues. I do notice on double stops things tighten up considerably. More than can be accounted for by just an additional string, I’m guessing I need more accuracy and less unintended forcing. I feel my problem, instead, is a sort of slipping out of a power position, such that I can’t apply index finger effectively when I need to.” Here’s a picture of the “slipped” grip: …many entry-level students would love to have your problem. Your grip has a beautiful foundation, and being discomfort-free is something that many professionals still wrestle with. What I see, however, is a slight tendency to be what I call “inside out”. Being inside-out definitely takes you away from the index finger (power) side, and it is, aside from thumb tension, the most...

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photo unrelated to Bow Month

CelloGeek (but aren’t we all?) submitted this quandry: …”I struggle with 2 things with my bow hold (I’m sure there’s more but these seem to be the peskiest) 1 – my thumb starts nice and curved but gradually will get straight and I lose that nice flexible grip.2- the position of my other fingers starts off nice – middle finger in a very similar position to your picture, but then my fingers start moving towards the tip so that my pinky may end up on the middle of the frog – is that related to problem #1?” Concerning #1, I think the real issue is awareness. A lot of people have habits that might seem inexplicable. Straightening the right thumb is probably second only to the various foibles of the left thumb, where a player is left thinking, “How’d that get there?” The answer is simple…and it requires a sense of humor. You put it there, that’s how. I used to swear that there was a Death Grip gnome that would seize my right hand during loud playing. We’re talking numbness in the thumb joint, nearly dropping the bow from weakness, a sort of “headache” throughout my hand, even in the palm, and a tone that was not reliable. The breakthrough came when I had a practice session before a competition and the power went out. I was grossly...

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