Apr. 30th, 2012

new things

Apr. 30th, 2012 11:23 pm
prgrmr: (Default)

This year I've started actually trying to do some of the things I've thought about, wished about, lamented that I couldn't or didn't know how to do, and just Do It. So far I've fooled around with water colors a little, gone to a some estate sales looking for books to pick for a book dealer I know and who let me know he was always in need of new pickers, bought a digital SLR Nikon, went to Washington DC and played tourist for a few days and took a few hundred photos, and am attempting to teach myself the cello.

So far, three years of piano lessons as a kids and not ever learning to read music is coming back to mock me. I had, for a while, resorted to using flash cards in effort to fall back on my one strength: rote memorization. I don't know if it's old age or a complete mental bias against, but that didn't help.

I do think part of the issue is that I am used to working with arrays, matrices, and tables, but filled with data, not symbols. The musical staff is essentially an open-ended matrix of symbols. It's a paradigm that is really screwing with my head. And consequently, the amount of time I've spent with the cello in my hand in any given week has dropped from nearly every day in January to almost nothing by March.

When I got back from DC, I tried a new approach of working with the various beginner music books I have without the cello. So I've gone from a doing "what note is it, where is it on the string, *bow*, repeat", to being able to play on 1 string at a time, simple exercises involving 2-4 notes. It's not much--it's barely anything, but it's still much more than I'd been able to do.

It's been humbling, disheartening, and yet still a fun experience. Not as much fun as I'd hoped going into it, but still enough that I'm not ready to give up.

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