This update is a little on the late side, but here’s what’s been happening this past week at Green Mountain:

Last week I didn’t have any lessons.  It was a good break to just focus on practicing, but toward the end my practice sessions got a bit unfocused.  I have so many things I can work on, but without direction from a teacher it’s difficult determine which are most important (or which ones to move on to) and if I’m doing them correctly.

I’ve worked on my wrist vibrato exercise everyday, and it’s getting better and better, so now I think it’s at the point where I need to start incorporating it into my repertoire, and in my other fingers besides second finger.  I’ve also been having some issues with left shoulder pain, but I’m hoping it’s nothing too serious.  I haven’t had pain until now, so I think that is a good sign that I’m practicing the right way for the most part.

Today I had my first lesson with Karen Ritscher, who is my teacher’s former teacher.  We worked on a lot of big-picture ideas, with both right and left arms.  Although with Dr. Dubois I learned how to rebalance my left hand, my lesson today further solidified this idea of creating space between my second and third fingers.  As far as my right arm goes, I seem to get stuck with my arm and shoulder collapsed in, and I need to work on making sure there’s movement back to being open again once I’m at the tip or on higher strings.  A lot of these things that were passable on violin now really have to be focused on when playing viola.  Karen Ritscher gave me some great exercises to work on to help me solidify this feeling of being “open”, and I hope my next lesson with her will be just as great as this one was!

My chamber group is going to perform on Thursday of this week in a marathon concert, and I think it will go great.  We all know each other’s parts really well and where exactly we fit in, so I can’t wait to perform it!

Happy practicing!