My New Teacher

Eight days after my first proper lesson I write this. Apologies. I have been exceptionally busy and, over the past few days, unwell.

The lesson was lovely! We spent a whole hour on scales and practice techniques (the main difference being to focus on the “slide-stop” technique as opposed to the “stop-place”.) For scales, I have new, logical fingering for my dominant sevenths, which will allow for me to play any dominant seventh in any key without music as well as support me to do three octave (and beyond) dominant sevenths next year and in the future.

The next hour (and I think that it is an appropriate time to mention that the lesson was only supposed to be one hour, yet he just kept generously teaching!) was spent working on the Fauré. He played chords on his cello, which was essentially the piano accompaniment, while I played. At first, it was off-putting, but as I listened to the chord changes, it became apparent that they were an indicator to the important notes in the piece. It was fun! We also talked about how Fauré’s Après un rêve was originally for singers, consequently discussing the timbre of the two instruments (cello and voice) and how fingering could be altered to respect the composer’s intended feel (such as going up the D string in the very beginning.) This also relates to the translation of the title: “After a Dream.”

I have been experimenting a little with the relationship between the placement of the bow, bow speed and pressure to get different types of beautiful sound. I’ve also been reading a little about Fournier’s technique and views on music. And Jacqueline du Pré! And Romberg!

Goodness! I did write so much in my cello logbook in the car on the way home!


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