Lessons to learn for myself

Those are the delicious Chocolate Hot Cross Buns I made for my classes!  Originally hot cross buns contain such things as raisins and currants, but that sounded gross to me.  I wanted chocolate … and I discovered that in Australia and New Zealand, Hot cross buns (I can’t for the life of me figure out how I really should be capitalizing this…probably NOT doing so, but it just doesn’t seem right any way) can contain chocolate chips.  Needless to say, they were fantastic, AND my students loved them.

Today I played for Heidi Harris.  She gave me a lot of fantastic information to think about.  One of the things that struck me is how much she seems to practice using just open strings to get the proper bow feeling.  I have never been an open string type of practicer, but in my Suzuki pedagogy class Vera teaches us to teach our kids various passages with open strings, so why NOT do that myself?  Nobody ever really taught me how to practice, and since I’m not really that introspective with my own playing (I am more of a doer than a thinker) I just keep plugging away at the same things.  It’s funny, one would think I would give more thought to my practicing, (as I give lots of thought to many other things), but I don’t.  Probably because I really do dislike practicing.  It’s one of those things I DO (well, not regularly 😉 ) because I know I need to, but I have never been a huge practicer, nor have I ever enjoyed it.  The results are nice however! To sum up today’s lesson:  work on intonation, work on tone quality, and solidify rhythm.  Sounds an awful lot like what everybody tells me…just gotta do it now!  But the open string practicing is a new thing that I will be testing out.

Looking at today from a pedagogy standpoint, I really loved Heidi’s teaching style.  She was a positive yet critical teacher.  She made me feel good about myself and my playing, yet was able to be very critical and point out what (many things!) needed to be improved.  She told me HOW to improve them, HOW to practice, what I should be aiming for, and made me feel like this was all very possible with practice.  I feel like that really covered everything I needed today!

I’m going to bug a few more people in the next month to listen to me.  I also recorded today’s lesson on my new recording toy.  We’ll see how things go!