Thursday, March 15, 2001

Erin's Violin Blog 19

Big news, of a magnitude that I wasn't even aware of until I realized my last contribution here was just two months ago. Erin's left hand has gone snap! into a wonderful neutral position, her fingers are flexing gently and accurately from the base joints and her intonation has improved astronomically as a result. I have no idea why it suddenly happened, but it did. Perhaps it was related to the early introduction of position-work and the daily exercises utilizing rapid back and forths to harmonics. Or perhaps she just decided it was time. At any rate, she's now rollicking through Book 3 (she'll be starting the Gavotte in g minor next week), is comfortable in third position, is working on shifting and beginning to get ready for vibrato. Her tone is also miles better, her shoulders are half-way relaxed and her general appearance of comfort with the instrument is an order of magnitude better.

She's also become a highly motivated and skilled sight-reader in the past couple of months. She started Joanne Martin's I Can Read Music book 1 just before Christmas and is now confidently completing it. Every day she does a full lesson and there rarely seems to be any teaching, explaining, reinforcing or practice necessary. The new rhythms and notes just seem to roll off her fingers.

Practising has become, in the past few months, a reasonably comfortable part of our daily routine. It's still very hard to get it initiated, but once we're going she's attentive, motivated and enjoying things. Review makes up almost 70% of our time, and she's been very diligent about consolidating recent pieces with continued daily work, especially considering how quickly she's acquired them. We now have five big "recent pieces" that get daily polishing work, in addition to her regular rota of review repertoire.