Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Almost a Routine

A few weeks ago I was gearing up for one month of teaching my violin students, getting them ready for summer institutes and festivals and camps. The plan was to teach two days each week for 4-5 weeks, spending one morning each week in Bible study, and working fervently other days on smocked clothing for Gracie, Em and Roo as well as plans for music club programs for monthly meetings in fall and spring 2009. After Daddy became ill I lost my momentum and ambition. Last week I promised that I would teach this week, no matter what happened

After 40 years of teaching students of various ages I might have grown weary, but most all the days I have taught someone a lesson, I am invigorated. Today I taught five families-a total of 12 students ranging in age from 3-13 for a total of five and a half hours. Although I’m tired (I was tired before I ever started the lessons) I feel a sense of routine and accomplishment and fun. We did lots of fiddle tunes—Dill Pickle Rag is my favorite title. Bear Creek Hop, Cripple Creek, a few traditional folk songs and waltzes always help the classical techniques by strengthening the 4th finger and improving string crossings. One or two students really wanted to play classical pieces altogether and they played really well. Another family is playing for a wedding in October and they worked hard on duet arrangements of Trumpet Voluntary, Trumpet Tune, the traditional Bridal Chorus and Wedding March, and Ode to Joy.

I am always inspired by the efforts in concentration, motor skill coordination, and listening. If you have never tried to play a stringed instrument it’s surprisingly complicated with very small motor skills requiring even more repetition to master control than larger muscles involved in athletics. Plus, throw in the real problem—left hand does something entirely different from right hand—and you have a difficult challenge. Even after practicing and learning the skills to play notes, the bowing techniques remain a challenge. Producing beautiful tone is lots of work! Ever notice how solo performers sweat when they are on stage? It isn’t just the heat from the lighting.

I snagged a venue for the December meeting for our club (Score!) at last year’s rate. After one more load of laundry and checking on the Nannie, I dragged myself to the gym. Although I was too tired to do a great workout I spent almost an hour doing some cardio and resistance training. Feels more like a routine from the past somewhere. Only thing missing was my evening visit with Daddy.

No comments: