On learning music

A guy I know is a professional musician. He has about a dozen kids or something. He plays the whatever in the something theater in Vienna. On the radio this morning, when I turned it back on after running out of songs to sing on my morning commute, they said something about how they were now playing something there that they play every year at this time.
I figure for him, and those in his orchestra, it must be like blocks of Legos by now. For the next few weeks we will play this again, they say, and reach into their music bags and take out preassembled blocks of Legos already all fit together. They might rearrange a couple plastic bricklets, but everything is basically already in place.
Yesterday I practiced the cello after slacking off for a couple days. I practiced the LeClerc piece I like so much and even it was hard. I did a couple scales and my hand cramped right away. The stuff for the orchestra was horrible.
Overall, it wasn’t like Legos. It was like stacking ball bearings.
It was like, here, stack this pound of ball bearings into a single column, in the dark, and then you can have some Legos.
On the plus side, I got a red GEWA hard case for my cello for Christmas and it looks very, very cool. I am most pleased with it. The luthier gave me a good deal. First he gave me a discount because I was a regular customer. Then he gave me a good price for my old cello bag. I kept going, geeze, I really want this but it’s just… expensive. I wasn’t trying to negotiate with him, I was just being honest. He kept talking himself down further and further. Finally he was taking out his catalogs and showing me how, this is what he pays for it, he has almost no profit margin left. Showing me the actual figures.
Maybe he felt sorry for me. Maybe he likes me as much as I like him, who knows. Maybe he’s a good guy, he seems to be.
He even gave me a pencil when I left. It has a clip attached to it by a string so you can hang it from your music stand and annotate your music. He gave me another one for my cello teacher.
I didn’t tell him about the ball bearings.

3 responses to “On learning music

  1. My old flute teacher played in pit orchestras for the musicals and operas that came through town (being Vancouver in Canada, so we’re not talking loads and loads). She said Les Mis was okay to play over and over because it had interesting music – but if she had to play Phantom once more she was going to lose her mind.

    So I imagine some of the lego blocks are more interesting than others.

    Nice case, I’ve heard they’re good. I’m currently negotiating a backpack kit for my Hiscox because the default straps are slowly tearing my arms off. I’ve got some padded GeWa straps I bought by mistake in my quest to make my case more comfortable – I’ll post them to you if you want.

  2. A pencil for your teacher… nice touch!