If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth. ~Sydney Smith, English writer and cleric
Helps keep my rhythms even.
Apps for everything!
I’m working on a particularly tricky sonatina by a Danish composer in my flute lessons this summer.
Thus far, my teacher has assigned me the first two movements (I’ve peeked at the third one, but it looks like a train wreck waiting to happen!)
It’s not the key signatures or the individual notes that are causing problems. No, it’s the totality of notes, the fingerings, and particularly the rhythms that are so challenging.
When I told her I hated playing this piece and found every excuse in the book to avoid practicing it, she was shocked.
And explained that sometimes we like pieces that are too easy for us when what we should be doing is playing harder pieces that stretch and challenge us.
Hmm, she’s right, of course. Where did one so young acquire such wisdom??
Perhaps it’s true that humans too often try to take the easy way out.
The road of least resistance, you might say.
I grumble that I’ve only been playing flute two years. How am I expected to remember fingerings, notes, breathing, how to double-tongue, how to play with vibrato, and all the rest … at the same time?
She won’t let me succomb to excuses.
And when she discovered she couldn’t tap her foot to my beats, she suggested I download a speaking app onto my phone. Something that would sit beside me, much as a teacher would for a beginner, and count out loud.
I’ve got metronome apps that play with clicks, drum taps, wooden blocks, even a barking dog or a pulsing light.
But a speaking metronome? What a brilliant idea!
So brilliant that I stayed up late that night, browsing the app store for just the right download.
And maybe I’ll surprise her at my next lesson!