Holy cow, it's REALLY hard to not grip the violin neck or bow with a death grip AND try to bow AND try to finger! I may be having that problem...
But what fun!
Yesterday's lesson was great. I played my practice stuff, hot cross buns, my Mississippi Quickstep, my fingerings, and I got help holding the bow and violin with less of a death grip (I need to consciously think about this).
Last week, Strings put two pieces of tape across the neck, under the strings, to indicate where I put my first and second fingers down on the string/neck to go up a full note. And she put two pieces of tape around the bow to show where I should focus on bowing (though I'm allowed to go outside the lines a bit). Yesterday, I got a new tape on the neck, for the third finger, but a half step up.
And then I learned to play three scales, and the first bit of Twinkle Twinkle (bow), and another bit of Twinkle Twinkle (pizzicato for now), to work on. And, Strings showed me something called "broken thirds" which, if I'm remembering correctly, you do by playing on a scale: note one, then the third, then note two, and then the third if you were starting the scale on two, and then three and its third, and so forth. It's REALLY hard.
The perfect thing was, when I left (after writing stuff down), I was just on the verge of feeling overwhelmed with stuff to learn. But when I practiced last night (after the lesson and dinner), I wasn't overwhelmed, and was able to at least do the basic stuff okay. And I was able to do some of it a bit better than okay (for my level). So it was a really good balance, because I have plenty to challenge me this week, but not so much that I'm frustrated.
I practiced last night until my muscles were tired, which seems funny, but it's harder than it looks holding things just so.
I really like scales, somehow. I want to try to remember arpeggios, because I used to find them satisfying, too.
The other really super thing is that when I sit down to practice, it's a total break from all the other stuff of the day, and I just think about trying to hold the bow right, and trying to hold the neck right, and trying to finger on the tapes, and trying to get a good sound (it's not the best, naturally, but I'm working on not getting that squeaky string-not-vibrating sound). And then I practice a bit, and I feel tired but a bit refreshed, too.
Strings wants me to work on playing each of the exercises well five times in a row. That's so hard!