To Make A Beautiful Sound

Like most other cello families in our studio, we experienced our first ever Cello Institute this week with Dr Alice O'Neill. It was a humbling experience to have spent all 3 sessions working on starting with and maintaining a beautiful bow hold and in working with the bow to make a beautiful sound for each and every note. It was also reassuring to know that all students continue to work on bow hold and best position throughout the books, so as to be able to draw out a more complex repertoire of beautiful sounds in the advanced pieces.

We barely got past the opening bars of ONE piece, which was not what my child and I had expected. But perhaps, especially when working with young children, we truly only need to be ignited with ONE lightbulb moment that we can together remember and apply to all our pieces to make beautiful music.

My daughter's assignment from Dr O'Neill was to create one question as a reminder to herself of her lightbulb moment. She came up with her own question and as a bonus, captured her second takeaway from the institute. Her cute cartoon shows a very busy bow working hard at music - to the extent that he's dropping some (bow) hair.

At the start, watching the older students working on the many hard and tricky spots in the Book 5 repertoire got her really worried about how hard it would be. "I don't think I want to do Book 5," she said. But if you look closely at what she had drawn at the end of 3 days, you can see that she's squeezed in tiny text 'Book 5 Survival Guide'

Anyone can make a sound. But it takes work, discernment, sensitivity and maturity to make a beautiful sound.

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