quietly heartbreaking and chock full of romantic angst

Friday has turned into what I call in my mind, “music day”. I have two adult music students who come for an hour lesson each. One is a retired primary school teacher who returned to piano lessons as an adult. I love lessons with her as we chat about all sorts of things, including piano teaching as she has students as well. We are gradually working our way towards her Certificate of Performance as well as her next music theory exam. As well as Mozart, Chopin and other standards we have been plugging away at Arthur Benjamin’s Scherzino which is a piece I adore but have yet to convince a student of its charms. My dear student is determined and each week we slowly work our way through it looking for patterns, sequences and other structural things which will make it fall into place for her.

My second student is studying externally through UNE to be a music teacher. Oboe is her primary instrument but she also plays the violin to a high level of proficiency. She came to me to gain some keyboard skills so we started at the very beginning a couple of years ago. She is extremely musical and together we are navigating the challenges the piano poses in comparison to a single line instrument. She is also working towards Grade 6 theory which can be a brain freeze for both of us at times. She’s nearly ready to do that exam which is a huge achievement in between all her uni work, res schools and a fairly demanding part time job.

Then it’s my turn. For the last two weeks my Skype violin lesson has been on Friday instead of Monday which has meant two violin lessons on a Friday. Today, in lesson one we worked on Beethoven’s Romance in G.

We got through the first two lines in the hour. Understanding how to work through the exposed double stops maintaining a legato line with good intonation is a feat in itself, never mind the rest of the piece. I love being taught how to pull something to pieces in order to put it together again in what is hopefully an easier, and more efficient way.

Then I zipped out and across town my real life lesson where we worked through the Goldmark violin concerto 2nd movement which I have fallen in love with.

It’s quietly heartbreaking and chock full of romantic angst.

And, the perils of unaccompanied Bach finished off the lesson.

This is a very stately interpretation. We also listened to Hilary Hahn who is much more direct in her attack and discussed Richard Tognetti’s version which is much lighter and dance-like.

Listen to it and it sounds simple. To get it sound like that when you are playing is a challenge indeed but I came away from my lesson today inspired by my teacher’s enthusiasm for the challenge.

And then I came home and fell asleep for an hour on the lounge.

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