The power of the stopwatch

I have been a terrible blogger. I haven’t been posting daily, so naturally I can’t provide great specifics about the previous few days.

At a general level, the most notable event this week was the arrival of the stopwatch. Based on the notion that we change the things we measure, I decided to use a stopwatch to keep track of time M wastes during our lessons by dawdling. It drives me nuts, and I’ve tried to explain that if she wants more time to herself after our lessons, she can waste less time during them. But this hasn’t worked, so I thought to myself, “I need to show her exactly how much time she is wasting to make it real for her. I need a stopwatch.”  I got this simple one:

She responded well all week — whenever she took too long to do something (e.g., pick up her guitar, get into ready position), I’d reach for the stopwatch, and she’d almost always immediately do what I’d asked. The most wasted time I clocked in any lesson was about 1:30.  We’ll see how long it lasts.

Technically, this week our focus was big tone and a steady right hand. Some of last week’s work has sunk in, and she regularly gets a nice, loud sound. Now she needs to work on keeping an elevated wrist. I did a lot of silent correction on this toward the end of the week — and it turned out to be the main thing her studio teacher pointed out at her private lesson on Saturday. Nice to know I was on the right track.

I can’t quite decipher my notes for Wednesday the 23rd through Friday the 25th, but it looks like we did:

  • Some note reading to start every practice (most days, both fruit rhythms and the see-say note page; Friday, just the note page).
  • Scales, iuncluding a ping-pong D scale on Thursday.
  • The G scale on one string.
  • Song of the Wind with the metronome.
  • The Fuhrman Tanz, with an emphasis on playing legato.

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