When I arrived at my teacher's home for my lesson two weeks ago, I was extremely nervous. My group lessons had ended in December, and for various reasons, I hadn't practiced much since then. When I finally did attempt to practice a few days before my lesson, I discovered that my cello was hopelessly out of tune, most likely because of the weather and because I hadn't played in a while. Over the past seven months, I've gotten pretty good at tuning, but no matter what I did, I couldn't tune it this time. So, after about an hour of trying, I gave up, hoping against hope that I hadn't broken my cello.
A few minutes after my lesson began, my teacher re-strung my A string and tuned all of my other strings, and my cello sounded better than when I first got it. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to have a teacher. A cello is a majestic instrument, not a toy, and a good teacher is imperative.
My teacher has seen me struggle with this beautiful, daunting instrument since last June. She can see the minimal progress I've made, and little by little, she's pushing me forward. During our first private lesson, we spent a majority of the time practicing playing while keeping my bow at a 90 degree angle and relaxing my wrist, which are two of the things I struggle with most. My homework is to practice scales and J.S. Bach's Minuet in C, which is supposed to sound like this:
My version is not recognizable yet, but it will be, because I'm not giving up, and because somehow I was fortunate enough to stumble across a fantastic teacher, who lives and breathes cello, and who isn't giving up on me either. And for that, I am eternally grateful.