Rocky but effective

Early practice today so I could go to a class. M was fidgety, which drives me nuts. At one point I threatened to practice double tomorrow if she couldn’t cooperate. She got a horrified look on her face and settled down.

I’m making it sound worse than it was, though. That was the lowlight. We actually got a lot done:

  • Watched/listened to the Fuhrman Tanz on Noteflight and talked about the dynamics.
  • M played the Tanz‘s A section through 10 times (2 groups of five; the second time, I actually asked for 4 repetitions; she did one on her own). I resurrected an old device: giving her a point score depending on how she did. She could get a total of 6 points per repetition, 1 point each for:
    • Eyes on left hand
    • Hugging the frets
    • Decrescendo/crescendo in first part
    • Echo in last 2 measures
    • Legato
    • Vibrato
  • In her first set of repetitions, the first 3 were okay and the last 2 were careless. When I went over her scores for each repetition, I pointed this out, and I asked her what happened in the last 2. She said, “I got lazy.” Which was exactly right.
    • Note: I didn’t accuse her of being lazy, and she wasn’t putting herself down as being a generally lazy person. She was just acknowledging that as to those repetitions, she had acted lazy. This is just another way of saying that she didn’t pay good attention to what she was doing.
  • That took most of the lesson, but we did work on Meadow Minuet‘s A section.
    • M and I played together 10 times a 2-measure part of the song that she was playing wrong. This was a great part of the lesson because she really focused on what she was doing the entire time. I made a point of remarking on this and of explaining that our approach — identifying a problem spot, then isolating that spot in practice — was the best way to make progress.
    • M played the melody and I played the bass, then we switched. She stumbled at first, but after I had her sing the section, she played it well.
  • Her left pinky is looking pretty good. If she can remember to watch what she’s doing, she’ll master these songs.

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