Monday, October 12, 2009

The State of the Onion

So, I had a this blog post. It was about starting lessons with the principal harpist of the Utah Symphony. I never followed up on it. I had my third lesson with her this afternoon. Let me tell
you how it's been.

I've been completely intimidated. A teacher is a deal-breaker; when you're looking at getting into a conservatory, you must have a teacher recommendation. If you don't, you will never be invited to audition. Looking like an idiot in front of your teacher will stop you dead in your plans in addition to bruising your ego. There's more at stake here.

In the very first lesson, we started changing everything about my technique. All my instruction so far has been in the Salzedo method. It seems to be the preferred method here in the US. But outside the US, people just don't use it that much. In the UK, people learn more of the Russian and French methods. So, that's how Louise plays, and she thought, just by looking at how I play that I might benefit from it.

Why am I telling you all this? It's changed everything. I was skidding on an oil slick (or so it felt like), and now everything has slowed way, way down while I rework all of the essentials. I can't just jump right into music like I thought I'd be able to, but these new approaches--I have absolutely no doubt--are going to make me a more efficient player. Yes!

What's my main concern? I just don't want to frusterate or bore the snot out of my new instructor. Tuesdays are days of fear; I never feel like I've practiced enough, and then I'm so sure she's going to drop me as quickly as she agreed to take me as a student.

But--good sign--she did give me pears from her tree in the backyard after this last lesson. Does that make us friends? And then, we started talking about "practice ruts." She said, "I know. I was practicing this piece we're doing with the symphony, and it felt like I was getting stuck. And I thought to myself, 'What would I tell Aaron to do at this point?'" Lovely! It made my day. It wasn't fake. It wasn't patronizing. It just made me really feel like her student, relationship solidified.

--Blogged on the run using my mobile.

1 comment:

k. double-u. said...

It's funny that someone as talented as you are might feel intimidated or nervous. Makes me feel reassured when even the best of us feel inadequate sometimes.

Also, I think the giving of pears is definitely a sign that you're neither a bore nor a frustration.