Free stroke, or, the problem with repetition targets

This is just a brief lesson recap. We did:

  1. A scales, some with single notes and others with i-m-a on each string
  2. Steady Hands
  3. Free stroke — tried to start Book 2 Twinkle, but it didn’t work out
  4. Two Twinkle variations (Run Kitty and Strawberry Popsicle) at 60 bpm (but not with metronome)

I tried out having her pick her own rewards (blank cards or little sticker dolls she made). Didn’t seem to make much difference.

The A scales were very successful. When descending, M kept playing a D# instead of a D natural, and I coached her toward noticing it. She then did a few scales where, as her 3rd finger aimed for the D#, she was able to see it happening, intervene, and switch to a D natural. I talked about how, once you’re aware of a problem spot, you can design an exercise to fix it.

Steady Hands shows benefits from the new listening program. She made it through everything but the very last A2 section with great focus and very few mistakes. She even did the tosto shift once, and she occasionally noticed and adjusted her right hand when it got out of position (her pinky side tends to fall down, toward the guitar top).

Free stroke, which we haven’t done in a while, was a bit more of a problem. Basically, she was intent on doing fast, mindless, technically flawed repetitions, and I had a hard time getting her to slow down. And when I said we would do 10 more, that was a real mistake: next thing I knew, she was doing the same careless repetitions and rapidly counting to ten. I decided that further practice wouldn’t get us anywhere. I’d say she’s probably 80% there in terms of her form.

We didn’t have time to pick a review song out of the bag.

The Twinkle variations went well. She’s still not doing great dynamics in the A sections, but her rhythm and note accuracy are excellent.

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