Author: Emily Wright

Fired in front of Zubin Mehta and Sophia Loren: an excerpt

I’ve got all kinds of irons in the fire these days: NaNoWriMo has inspired me to get rolling on some projects, including a book of essays. The following is a favorite memory from my development as a young professional, and I thought maybe you’d enjoy it, too. I was Fired in front of Zubin Mehta and Sophia Loren For most of my time at Northridge, I was in AYS, the American Youth Symphony, under the baton of Mehli Mehta: father of Zubin, friend of old Hollywood types, bastion of musical knowledge. Sometimes Sophia Loren would attend rehearsals and concerts;...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

WHEEL! OF! PRACTICE!

  Just a fun randomizer for those times when you know you need to practice but then fall into a well of ponderous ennui.     Http iframes are not shown in https pages in many major browsers. Please read this post for...

Read More