Something nice, but something that’s a little disorienting, and that has had a few effects on my attempts to play:
- I really do have to pay mind to more things simultaneously now. Just bowing straight isn’t all that I need to expect of myself now.
- I also have to pay more mind to bowing straight! Before, there were fewer variables at play in my hand and head. Now, with more going on in my bow hand, it’s tending to wander off. As I’ve said before about the piano, going up a level in understanding means that there are whole new vistas of mistakes that are now possible for me to make. Yippee, sort of.
- As happened with my scroll hand wrist, my bow hand is indeed taking on exactly the shape that my teacher remarked on with time and relaxation. That funky rabbit-faced balanced hold with the middle and ring fingers working opposite the thumb, with pinky and index finger steering. Yes, yes, and yes. It’s made handling the bow near the frog much easier without crunching, although still not easy.
- String crossings are way smoother now.
- With my new awareness of my bow hand, my scroll hand and wrist are starting to wobble a bit and tense up. Tweak one knob, and the other will get out of whack. What I need to do is to continually tweak each in turn, trusting that the one not being tweaked at the moment will go less and less out of whack with each iteration.
I still don’t feel like a Real Violist™, I and won’t for some time. But I feel like someone who might someday be one. I very much love how the improvements in my bow hold have made it possible to just make prettier noises. If only the scroll hand wobbliness weren’t screwing with my intonation. It’s so hard not to concentrate more on intonation than I should. Out-of-tune noises are like fingernails on a blackboard.
I’m probably going to go through Suzuki v1 one more time, just to get full coverage — like I said, I’m like a bucket of cheap housepaint. Three passes gives full coverage. Then, we’re back to the Fitzpatrick Melodies (with appropriate repetition among them as well, and constant checks back to the Suzuki stuff).
Then, back to the beginning and I reiterate it all again, although by that time, I can probably work through all of them in one afternoon. In fact, I just moved back to the Happy But Unattractive Farmer again, and found that I could at least fumble my way through pretty trivially.
Then … I don’t know. I may call up my teacher again and see if I can’t manage a few months of intensive teaching for the next couple Melodies followed by another few months off to digest everything on my own. I hope we can do that and that he’s amenable to it, because I think it will work nicely for me. I also think that there’s no way in hell I can get used to shifting without some direct intervention from a teacher.
Also, I need to go through each and every piece I’m working on and write down all of the significant bits that I’ve confronted in each one, print them out, and interleave them with the music to make a complete lesson diary out of it, both the Suzuki stuff and the Fitzpatrick stuff. The Fitz stuff will be particularly good since I have them in PDF format and can interleave my text with the individual pages.