My dad once told me that being a good teacher isn’t about thinking of things, but rather thinking of things to say. Each lesson is a struggle to convey how to do this or that, but more often, I need to sell the student on why doing it this particular way is important. In doing so, I end up using some fairly bizarre terms, metaphors, and imagery.

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11 Responses

  1. I like this post because it looks like I’m entering a contest for weirdest blog title. 🙂

    Sophia: your wishes will be answered in the next few days.

  2. I can’t say I’m crazy about any of the proposed book titles. I’ll give it some thought.

    Yes, seeing as how the Sarabande was banned in Spain in 1583 for its obscenity, it seems to me a muumuu is decidedly the opposite sort of image of how I should want my Sarabande to sound.

  3. Nice analogies.

    How’s “Cello like a B-52 bomber” or “Houston, Houston, we have lift-off — the heaven bound cello” for titles?

  4. Oh! Right. My thinking and perceiving ability seems to have taken a hit recently. I need to go back to crayons, rounded scissors, and child-proof keyboards for awhile so I don’t hurt myself.

  5. I like your proposed titles (#2 got my vote). Any one of them would certainly catch your eye among all those “regular” titles on the bookshelf.

    Your first comment to my blog did not come through.

  6. Since pinkies is the topic of great interest this week, let me ask a very basic, simple question that I should know the answer to. What moves and what doesn’t move in a 3rd-4th finger trill. Hoiw is coordination involved? Presumably the hand stays still. But does the 4th finger bend come all from the base knuckle or is it distributed? Is it a finger flap up and down, or sort of a squeeze by a single finger?

    I’m happening to get back into 4th finger trilling some.

  7. Terry: good for you! It’s daunting, but becomes more fun as you wrestle your hand under control. The hand stays sort of still, but flexible. In fact, I move my arm over the course of a trill if I hold it for any length of time (like in opera, where we have to trill while a singer does her thing for 16 measures). I move it just a little bit, up and down, maybe 1/2 inch, just to make sure I’m not locking up anywhere. It’s like putting some “play” in a joint, or retrofitting a building to sway in an earthquake. The movement actually makes the thing stronger and more stable instead of the ramp-up of tension trills can create. Andrew Cook gave me a great tip on trills: really anchor the lower note, and don’t think 4th finger down. Think 4th finger up. Concentrate on the lifting, not putting it down. As for the bend, if I’m understanding the issue correctly, the bend generates from that lowest knuckle, but is continued throughout the whole finger. I liken it to a rainbow shape, if that makes sense. I feel like we didn’t get to really work on good stuff at your last lesson. Maybe next time (if I am so fortunate) you can pick an element of technique that bugs you, and I’ll bring a prescription for it. 🙂

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