Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summertrios part II

The whole week was an experience, let me assure you!  Each day was filled with practice.  Practice with other campers, practice with professionals, practice with my group and a coach, and lots and lots of practice on my own, trying to get those squeaky measures tweaked just so.   Folks would practice in the living room of the dorm, in the dining hall, in practice studios, in the hallway, in their dorm rooms, and even outside under the trees. (Violinists have an advantage there -- they can practice anywhere! The pianists would scramble every morning to reserve a practice room.)  There was music everywhere!

I had been working on one section (maybe only 2 measures), trying to get my right hand to play in fast running thirds.  I just could not get it.  My last coaching session provided the help I needed -- let your left hand play too.  It was written for right hand alone, my left hand had nothing to do at that point.  It never occurred to me to use my left hand to play the notes my right hand was missing.  Wow, what a difference! Yes, I can play that section!  

I especially liked the professional sessions.  Even when I messed up, the pros kept going, covering up my mistakes, and making the whole thing sound ... professional!  I received good coaching at these sessions as well.  The violinist didn't like my attack at one point.  He stopped and wanted me to play alone.  He corrected my fingering.  He showed me a different way to drop my hand to create a different sound.  But wait -- "You're a violinist, aren't you?"  He was first a musician, and a very good one at that.  A violinist, a pianist, a conductor -- and a great mentor.  I learned a lot from him.  Oh, and the 'cellist from Day Two, remember him?  We were assigned together once more, and I had had enough time to "get" this whole chamber music thing by then.  We did much better second time around.

The evenings were a time to relax, for us campers at least.  We enjoyed concerts by the professionals each evening.  Piano trios and quartets, string quartets, all performed with such pizzazz.  We all enjoyed letting someone else's fingers do the walking.  Wow, were they good!  Post concert was always party time.  And yes, an occasion for more music.  The string pros would do a "read through" to beat the band.  Such good music from morning 'til night.  Nothing like it!

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