Friday, June 29, 2007

It's My Cello Anniversary!

It was eight years ago today that I rented a cello for my daughter and me to share, as we started cello lessons together, she giving me the courage that I don't think I would have had on my own, to start the cello at 52. She stopped after two years (at 12), but I continue to to believe.

I don't usually tell people how long I have been playing. It took me months before I added that information to my blog. Why? Because I think I should be really good by now. Eight years is a significant chunk of time.

I actually thought I was pretty good until I recorded myself a month or two ago. But that recording has also jolted me into concentrating on intonation and expression. The new cello has helped a lot too. And the people I play with, especially in the early music group, have been very helpful and supportive. My brother (banjo) and his business partner Doris (fiddle), who called yesterday, have been wonderful from a distance. We played fiddle and bluegrass music to each other over the phone. My teacher is terrific, ever patient and encouraging. I do need more discipline to follow-through on all the advice she gives me though.

So, all in all, I am making progress, though far less than I would have wanted, by this point. When I started, I thought I would be playing competently in a couple of years. I am glad I didn't realize what was involved, or I might not have started. The [endless] journey continues to be uniquely satisfying.


Guanaco said...

Happy cello anniversary! You are an inspiration for me to keep on playing my cello.

cellodonna said...

Your reason for not usually telling people how long you've been playing the cello echoes mine. I've been playing 5 years now (yikes, that's actually 5 and 1/2 years on July 4). My progress is much slower than I'd anticipated. But I still wouldn't trade this experience for anything else. And although the journey does seem endless, I too find it "uniquely satisfying."

Gottagopractice said...

It's good to have a trigger for reflecting on where you are going and from whence you came. Happy Anniversary! I can't think of a good reason for focusing on the years, though. When's the last time you heard one pro cellist ask another how long they've played?

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! I think it's just great that you've stuck with it for eight years. It's really something to be proud of.

The belief that one can master the cello in a year or two must be pretty common. I thought that initially, and my boss, who has a tiny inlination toward taking up cello, recently said he thought it would take a year to master it. Ha! I guess it does look a lot easier than it is.

Guanaco said...

PFS sure has that right. When I first started the cello, I (secretly) assumed I would be reasonably good within two years. It didn't take long for me to abandon that fantasy.

I wonder, though - if I had known at the start how much larger a challenge this was going to be, would I have even started?

If teachers were brutally honest about this with their new students, wouldn't they discourage too many potential cellists before they had a chance to get hooked? (Not to mention the impact this would have on their own livelihood.)

Hey, this might be a good topic to bring up in our new Adult Learners' mini-group on Cellobloggers.

Maricello said...

Thanks for all the good thoughts!

When I started cello, I expected the teacher to lay out a roadmap of sorts: these are the different ways of bowing; these are the different positions; articulations; shifts, etc. I figured she was not mentioning all the variables because my daughter and I started out sharing a 45 minute lesson, and my daughter got the first 30 minutes. I thought we were keeping it simple for her. :-)

Ah, well, it is good to know we are all having fun, despite, or maybe because of, the challenges.