Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Praise of Simplistic, Silly Exercises

Well, my slow vibrato wobbles (see previous post) were better today than yesterday. As a consequence, my vibrato on the Bach Arioso, which I'll play at a student recital on the 23rd, was noticeably slower and more expressive (Eat your heart out, Dean Martin!).

Y'know, it's easy to dismiss exercises like that simply as demonstrations for children -- try it out once, then fahgittaboutit. Ditto for cello hugs, circles, ski jumps, knock-knocks, bridge touches, spiders, one-finger scales, and various other exercises; many which were invented or codified by Margaret Rowell.

Maybe some things can be classified simply as one-time demos, but it seems to me, many are worth repeating -- often. Maybe I should do many of them more often than I do.

When I started cello, it seemed to me playing cello was more complicated than I could possibly understand. Now, I'm feeling it's simpler can possibly understand. The issues are not learning new, more complex behaviors, but rather dropping interfering behaviors. Getting down to the basic, pure, simple, expressive act that creates the desired sound. There is a beauty in the simple, free, easy, heartfelt act that is somehow carried and communicated by the sound.


Emily said...

So how's it going? If we manage a next time, it might be cool to take some pictures to document the lesson.


Gottagopractice said...

Even more coolio to post them here...