17 September 2009

The cello

I may or may not have mentioned this, but I've been learning to play the cello for the past 5 or 6 years. I got started because when Helsinki was ready to learn to play an instrument, she picked cello, and the cello teacher followed (loosely) the Suzuki method, which recommends that a parents learn to play along with the child. I was quite happy to do it -- I had always harboured dreams of learning piano or guitar, but needed a push to get going and if it was cello instead, so be it. Well I loved it, I loved the vibrations and the pitch and the way your entire body gets involved, kind of like yoga, and how you have to be relaxed and yet alert at the same time. And it was easy to practice with the girls around, even young Clover, unlike writing, which was too hard to do with them around, I felt I always had to keep one ear cocked and couldn't let loose entirely.

We have just started up with lessons again, Helsinki and I, after the summer. Our teacher, Y., is back after a year's sabbatical and although I loved our interim teacher, and felt I learned a lot from her, I could see right away the difference with Y. and am excited about progressing all over again.

Helsinki has no shame about telling me how bad I am but I choose to take this with a grain of salt, as any time I ask her "does this look OK" or something like that, her answer more often than not these days is "weird, Mom", along with an eye-roll.

Slightly frightening, however, is the idea that we may actually be at the point of buying a cello. It would be for Helsinki, ultimately, though in the meantime I could play it, until she is ready for a full-size. Cellos are expensive -- "why are they so much more than guitars?" asks the BF, and I don't know why, I am turning to the net for answers, and not getting many. One thing's for sure, there's an art to making cellos, and not even a big name is a guarantee of a gorgeous sound. It is worth it now to buy instead of rent, but it's a bit daunting to think of scraping the sum together, even if I can pay in a few big lumps instead of all at once.

It makes me glad that all I really need to write is a pen and some paper.

Image: Lady with Cello, from 'Le Morte d'Arthur', a painting by Aubrey Vincent Beardsley.

1 comment:

  1. Playing an instrument is one of the finer things in life. Admittedly guitars are cheaper than cellos but Bach never wrote music for a guitar. Managed to play a one-off show at a small party last weekend - had forgotten about about the flow of making music with friends.