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Mouse’s Viola Blog
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Mouse
July 21, 2021 - 10:48 am
Member Since: July 8, 2021
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I will be creating a lesson plan for my viola. This blog will help me stick to it. Altola Viola  will guide me and keep me out of the mouse trap.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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JohnG
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July 21, 2021 - 11:49 am
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Beware the cheese and avoid the clock, to maximize your practice time.

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Mouse
July 22, 2021 - 7:30 pm
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Sorry, Altola, I could not write up the lesson plan to get started yet. I have not forgotten.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 15, 2021 - 10:18 am
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This was actually posted Dec 9 on the sister forum.

It has been a while, but i am back.

I made progress on my viola yesterday, after I put my tapes on the fingerboard. I just have problems knowing the general vicinity of where the fingers go. Once I get more comfortable with that I will remove the two middle strips. 

I love the sound of my a soloist Viola. It has a lot of fullness to the sound. 

So, we donated the two cellos to the neighboring school district earlier this week. I have a lot more room in the room they were in! They were in my sewing/machine knitting room. I am sure the school will find a couple students who need one at home, or keep in the school. I don't think the students haul their instruments back and forth. I can't imagine the students hauling a cello onto the bus. This school district buses everyone. So, I think there are orchestra instruments in the school for use, and they their instruments t hime? I have no idea. 

Back to my playing. See? Life got in the way! 

I am also loving the Fiddlerman carbon weave fiber viola bow. I opted for that bow. It has a great weight for me, and feels really nice when I hold it. I like the stability, for lack of a better term, of it. 

I use the Strad Pad on my viola chinrest. It is the same one I use on the violin. It is so comfortable and covers the hardware at the end and protects the neck. 

I got the geared pegs. They work nicely. I have to get used to using them for fine tuning, also. I usually get the fine tuners on the tail piece and geared pegs. I have a hard time reaching the pegs and playing the strings to fine tune, so the fine tuners on the tail piece help out with the fine tuning. So far, it is working just fine, no pun intended. The A string does have the fine tuner. 

I am paying more attention with my bowing: pressure, angle of the hair on the strings, placement between bridge and fingerboard, speed, etc. I believe a lot of my sound issues are bow related. It does seem to make a difference when I actually get it right, so I am concentrating on that. I am concentrating on that with my cello and viola, also. I am moving along slowly, but it suits my learning ability. When this COVID gets under control, I will think about just getting a few lessons to deal with bowing, if I am still not secure with it, then maybe some lessons just for vibrato. 

Well, Ms Blog, I have things to do. Be back another time. 

Anyone visiting, Welcome To My Home. Feel free to leave a message, ask a question, or just ramble about must about anything, My home is open to you.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 15, 2021 - 10:19 am
Member Since: July 8, 2021
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This actually posted on the sister forum at u:38 am. I am going to use this blog for my viola and cello in the future

Ms Blog,

Today will be a viola day. I need to figure put bowing. I think I have to learn about pressure, the amount of hair that touches the strings (angle of the bow). My lessons -pretty much just covered the reading of the music and where to find the notes on the fingerboard. Bowing, proper holding, etc was not really covered. Maybe, they would have come later? Not sure.

I have been away for a couple days. Life got in the way. One thing was that I made a special holiday card for my granddaughters. I also made an ornament that I was able to insert into the card so they could remove it to hang on their tree.

One card made it, the other one did not. I waited a few more days and it still did not arrive. I had to make another one and sent it off yesterday. Guess what? The other one was delivered yesterday, after the new one was picked up by the mailman from our mailbox. I received a video of them opening them (they waited until the other one arrived before opening any of them). What fun!

Today, I will do my viola. I am looking forward to it. Again, I need to figure out the bowing. I have a hard time paying attention to Youtube videos. I can't sit and watch Youtube videos. I am going to check Fiddlerman learning tools and see what I can find. I do find his videos helpful. I think it is the way they are done. They are to the point. 

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 15, 2021 - 10:21 am
Member Since: July 8, 2021
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I worked on my viola. I decided to use Suzuki's Perpetual Motion to practice my bowing and fingering. I am also working on one octave of the G scale for fingering and bowing.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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JohnG
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December 15, 2021 - 11:34 pm
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I prefer the sound of the G and D strings for quality of sound. The C string never sounds "clean" to me, but rather a little raspy. Not sure if it's the string or more likely, me. As far as the A string, my big problem is reading the notes above the staff which is a problem I have with piano music to this day.

G scale, one octave is a good exercise and I should do more of it!

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Mouse
December 16, 2021 - 11:17 am
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I wonder if that is just the way the "C" string is, @JohnG? The C string on the cello never sounds good either. But, on the other hand, more experienced players sound better, but I wonder what it sounds like to them under their ears? I can't set up for recording all the time. Oh, I could just use my phone on the table next to me. I am not after the video part. I could just set to record and listen. It would still be close to my playing, though, but better than right under my ears.

Yep, it is hard to read above the staff. I think it is a matter of doing it and remembering key notes. Working from those spots instead of like from remembering where the A is on the staff and working up to an F would be easier. Like remember where the D is above the staff. If you have a note higher, figure it our from there, don't go back to the open A on the staff and work your way up. 

If I can figure an easier way, I will let you know. For me, that makes it quicker to figure them out. I don't usually play beyond 1st position yet, on the A string, so notes above the D on the A are not used by me, but I look at music higher up and try to figure it out, to be prepared.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 16, 2021 - 11:18 am
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I did my viola for a little while early last night. I was playing around with bow pressure, speed, hair/string contact. I do believe that is one of my many problems, bowing. I could notice differences, depending on what I did.

I have issues concentrating on more than on issue at a time. If I concentrate on intonation, bowing goes out the window. If I concentrate on bowing, my fingers are all over the place. I thought I was able to multi-task until trying bowed string instruments, ?.

Cookies today. Viola later. I think I will do bowing again and work on that. I also have to watch what I am doing with my right arm/wrist when bowing. I think that, doing Perpetual Motion and one octave G scale for a while, while I get comfortable with proper bowing, will pay for itself in the long run.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 17, 2021 - 12:10 pm
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Ms Blog

I did some work on the Violaman forum this morning. It is coming along. 

I will be doing my violin this afternoon. I am going to do the same as I am doing with my viola, Suzuki's Perpetual Motion and the G Scale. I will do my viola later.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 18, 2021 - 10:45 am
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Ms Blog,

I played my cello this morning. I say, "played" because it wasn't really lesson practice, although I did one scale one time. I basically just played 3 songs I know I can play. I want to smooth them out before I add any more. I was watching my bowing more than normal. Hmmmm, maybe that does constitute as "lesson practice". ?

The Bumble Bee Flies

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JohnG
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December 18, 2021 - 1:13 pm
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Mouse said
Ms Blog,

... I was watching my bowing more than normal. Hmmmm, maybe that does constitute as "lesson practice". ? 

Enough for me to count it as lesson practice!

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Mouse
December 18, 2021 - 2:31 pm
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Ok, works for me.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 23, 2021 - 11:18 am
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So, this morning I practiced my viola. I swayed from my lesson plans. I did a two octave C scale and D scale, s well as the G scale. I have not ventured up to tne G on the A string, yet, so the one octave is it for now. I have to get the D on the A string down pat, first. Hence, the two octave C and D scales. 

I also played a couple of songs. I did not do Perpetual Motion. I was in a mood for some older songs that I have memorized. They are not as intensive for fingering, etc, but I was working on the bowing with familiar, simpler songs. 

I tried doing the songs without looking at my fingers on the fingerboard towards the end. I am not there yet, so the tapes will be on for quite a while longer. I really don't mind. If I need the tapes to sound ok, then tapes it will be. I do not perform or play in front of anyone, so I do not see the point in rushing it. Been there, done that, a few times. Tapes are back.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 26, 2021 - 6:16 pm
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Ms Blog,

Today I did bout an hour on my cello. I played some scales. I also found some songs that require position changes and one is in B flat major, a new key to work with.

Auld Lang Syne in B flat major. This is in my Cello Playing For Music Lovers With a Play-Along CD book. I love this book, but put it aside when I was going to create lessons. Today I decided that I need songs other than lesson songs to learn from. Lesson songs are great, but these songs actually use what I am learning in actual songs, not songs edited to use those learned items. Know what I mean? 

The other song I will be using is also from the above book, You'll Never Walk Alone. This is a lovely song. It has shifts and is a song where dynamics will mean a lot. I am sure you have heard of this song.

I also will be using, Berceuse by F. Schubert. This is a simple key of G. It has some 8th notes, but not too many, to where I am just flying all over the fingerboard and getting frustrated with too many notes. It is a great one for me to use to have to pay attention to my beat count. This is because of the assortment of the half, quarter and eighth It ends with a whole note the first go round and then ends with 4 measures of a whole note each of the 4mmeasures. This is good because I tend to cut whole notes short because of counting too fast so I don't run out of bow ?. I will be paying attention to that.

The book mentioned above, also has lessons and tips. But, it is a song book and has some terrific songs. It is just not structured like weekly lessons as other lesson books that have a series of levels. I have not listened to the CD. They tend to frustrate me. They are always too well played, and that is depressing to me. The CD's that come with books also usually have flourishes that the student is not a level to be doing, and therefore the songs are not really played as written, which is what I want in a CD. That, also frustrates me. I need to hear them as written, no flourishes, no background music. Just the instrument and the notes. I have not wanted to take the chance of being disappointed with the CD, so for now, I have not listened to it.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 27, 2021 - 4:02 pm
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Ms Blog,

I did an hour on the viola this afternoon. I feel like I did pretty good. I found an old lesson book, mostly in German with English translation. I found a song in it that I can add to my lessons. I can't remember where I got this book, or when. 

I actually found a song in Book 2 of the main lesson book I am using that I have added, also. 

All in all, my session went well. 

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 29, 2021 - 12:13 pm
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Today is cello,day. Well, I am waiting for my new chinrest before doing my viola, so it may be cello day for a few days. I worked kn the pieces mentioned in post 15 above. I also did a 3 octave G scale. That was fun.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
December 31, 2021 - 7:21 pm
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Ms Blog,

Yesterday, I did the songs in Post 15. I also played with sime scales.

Today I searched through the internet for cello info. I found that for cello, the flurth position follows first, logically. I was going to order a fourth position book from Amazon and it said I already ordered it quite a few months ago. I went to my books and found it. I will be trying it later this evening. I was looking through the first thee exercise/pieces. I was imagining doing them on my cello. Looks like this is my speed. 

I did order a book written to go with this book, by the same author, along with another book. I will bet them around Jan 7-8. 

I also did some searches for cello info to reference on this site. It was quite helpful for me, in my learning, also. 

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
January 1, 2022 - 11:10 am
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Ms Blog

Yesterday evening I played my cello. I did the pieces in post #15. But I also,started positioning songs.

I am working on 4th position. I am using, Fourth Position for the Cello, by Cassia Harvey. I really like this book. It is nicely thought out and presented. I have ordered the study guid for this book. It will provide additional pieces. Since the pieces in this book are good selections, I am assuming the study guide will also be good. I have her Study guide for a Bach Suite, and it is really nice.

I feel I accomplished a lot in my trying to slide up to 4th from 1st finger in 1st position, 2nd finger in first position, 3rd finger in 1st position and 4th finger in 1st position on each string. The pieces accompanying the lesson really are appropriate and not forced to use the 4th position when tou normally would not, as a lot of books do to just use a particular song.

I will continue today by repeating these lessons.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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Mouse
January 1, 2022 - 3:25 pm
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I played my cello this morning the lessons discussed earlier. I am really enjoying, and so,gar, benefitting from the Cassia Harvey book. My first 4 pages of the 4th position were much better today. I will stick with these for a while. I do have a harder time with the G and C strings. No sur-rise, I have more of an issue with the bowing on those strings, too. 

I have added some shifting to my "You'll Never Walk Alone" that I am working on. I would not have felt comfortable doing that if it had not been for the Cassia Harvey Book, I think.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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