Only a few days left. Jonathan and I both feel it has been very helpful and are looking forward to the new ground we will cover at our final lessons. It has been fun to notice some analogies as we go along. Here are four of them.
1. For the first few days I needed to go back to basics and work on each hand individually to get the deepest tone. It was a happy moment to be assigned both hands together again but it was hard to remember everything for both hands all at once! So I wrote a list of the 3 most important things to remember about each hand and put it up where I could see it as I practiced. This is really helping those things become a habit. It brought whole new meaning to why it helped the Israelites to have God’s commands written on their door posts as a continual reminder throughout the day.
2. One of the things I have been told is that I’m trying too hard. There is a balance between evaluating my every move and just letting it sing. The balance is also very real in the spiritual sense between making sure I’m working out my own salvation and resting in the Lord.
3. It’s so funny how much easier you can make violin just by thinking about what comes naturally. In an effort to help my left pinky reach the string I made my wrist bend in because it feels closer that way. But in reality fingers move toward you naturally if you wrist moves away from you, not closer to you! It was opposite of my thinking just like the verse in Matthew 10, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
4. There are a lot of little things to remember. We’ve been given detailed tips and guidelines for practicing. Friday I sat in on a lesson and was amazed at how the student did everything just right. But the instructor wasn’t satisfied with the sound. Something was missing and without it the technique was no good. “Just listen to it.” the instructor said. “You’ve got to love and deeply desire that rich, quality tone.” It’s so true. All our work is important but without love, it profiteth me nothing.