My current challenge is memorizing my music. I’m told that the instrument is easier to play if I’m not engaging my brain in reading music at the same time. My festival piece is sort of memorized. There’s a bit of a slip happening in the transition that still needs work. My last concerto is memorized except for about 9 lines. Considering that the thing is three pages long, that’s pretty near a miracle.
What I’m finding with the memorizing is that I can concentrate more on my bowing, but my dynamics pretty much disappear. Everything is ff (that’s fortissimo, or very loud, for you non-music folks). So even though the notes are in my fingers, I periodically have to check the page for dynamic notation. I hope that it gets in my brain in the next 10 days. It would be amazing to walk out on stage without having to carry the score. I think it always looks more professional when people can play from memory.
My teacher is also eager for my vibrato to come on line. I can only do it if that is my primary focus, and sometimes it doesn’t really work right. It’s terribly frustrating. Lots of drill for very little progress so far. I have been working on it over a year now. *sigh*
Still, we’re focusing now on the 3rd movement of the Vivaldi A minor concerto, and I have lots of music to work on for string ensemble. Practicing second violin parts is a challenge because lots of it is just playing the oom pa pa bits. It’s great counting practice. I’m really learning a lot and working on my lazy reading skills. By the end of this, I’ll be a much stronger sight reader.
Memorizing, on the other hand, is still open to negotiation.