It pays to take a break

M’s left-hand index finger finally healed enough that she could use it again. M  worked on three things in tonight’s lesson:

  1. Played Strawberry Popsicle until I got a satisfactory take;
  2. Did some note reading off the instrument;
  3. Played With Steady Hands for the first time since her private lesson last Saturday (almost a week ago); and
  4. Played French Folk Song for the first time in probably six months.

I posted Strawberry Popsicle with the rest of the Twinkles.

I expected With Steady Hands to be rusty — she hasn’t played it in almost a week. (I would have brought it back into our lessons a few days earlier, but her injured finger threw things off.)

But far from being rusty, it was better than ever. This is a good reminder that significant breaks are sometimes helpful (as long as you’re still doing lots of listening during the breaks) — they give the mind time to process things.

I have posted below her performance of With Steady Hands, along with our post-song discussion. I’m getting in the habit of asking her to self-evaluate, and she can pretty reliably identify key areas to work on. Today, she forgot to introduce dynamic contrast — but she knew it.

French Folk Song was very rusty, but in playing it M did two things that I loved:

  1. First, just to sound serious, she asked, “What time signature? 2/4? 3/4? 4/4?”
  2. Second, when (about 1 minute in) she couldn’t find a particular note, she listened her way to the right note (with only a little help from me).

I’m posting the French Folk Song portion of our lesson below too.

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