I have one particular adult pupil who’s pushed the envelope to its limit. He sends me demanding “new” pieces he wants to learn in short order. Not that I necessarily approve of the rapid turnover of compositions, but I have no choice but to ingest them quickly and THOROUGHLY so I can be of help to him. While my baby-step advances may be greater than his, we’re really on the same page, mapping out fingerings, analyzing harmonies, finding sequences, imbuing the singing tone and more.
The Bach Little Fugue in C, BWV 952 is a case in point. If I turn back the clock two weeks, I see myself in a sea of notes, wondering if I’ll come to the surface with a raised consciousness. Those hand switches, where a voice or two is suddenly interrupted mid-stream, definitely posed the biggest challenge in navigating the composition. Therefore, I knew instantly that I’d take a few nose dives before playing it through with a degree of fluidity.
The turning point was my handi-cam blow-up on Thursday, fleshing out the crazy hand-offs mid-voice. Not to be redundant but the mega-magnified, hand-made video was more for my benefit than the student’s. (If only he knew)
In any event, an accelerated but deeply layered learning process brought me to the point of rendering the Bach Fugue without interruption.
And here, thank goodness, is the BLOW-UP tutorial that was my reminder of the nit-picking work that had to be done along the way.
I always say what’s good for the geese is good for the gander. If my students and I understand this thoroughly, then we’re bound to be partners in musical growth and development.