Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Improv in Cello Class 9/26/06

In our cello studio class at DePauw yesterday, we started out working on shifting. In particular, using the ear to control the left hand by playing scales and arpeggios with just one finger. The game, so to speak, is to slide/siren/glissando between the notes, stopping the movement of the hand when the desired pitch is reached.

Then it was improv time; our first group cello improv session of the semester. Using pizzicato open strings, the six of us created our own individual ostinato patterns, listening to compliment each other. Then we took turns playing an arco (bowed) solo over this background. First, just jamming on one note. Then sirening, bending pitches. The idea was to have fun, to be creative, with the newly-introduced skill of playing with one finger. These solos were more creative, more free, than those on just one note.

Then came the improv work. After this pretty free, loosely structured activity, I taught the students how to do a one-octave dominant seventh arpeggio, and to use a standard fingering for it. Then we went through the circle of fifths, doing this arpeggio with the same, consistent fingering. Some got a bit confused or lost at times; but this is part of learning a new vocabulary.

And then, poor things, I made them work on orchestra music!


C-Fat said...

Were gonna be rich!

Sounds good Doc. can't wait for my free copy hehe

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