So....the masterclass with Jorge Caballero.
As always, my performance could have been better, but realistically it is where I am and I had hoped with all the concentrated work that I did that I would get through the piece without major slips. That was not the case, unfortunately. I got through section A, the repeat, section B, section C and its repeat. Then came section B again and somewhere in it I just blanked as to where I was and where I was going. Deer in the headlights time!
Jorge, who I could see over the fingerboard to my left, gestured toward himself with both hands, which I read as an indication that I was on my way down the fretboard. I grabbed a chord down from where I was and then managed to get to the end of the section and played the final repeat of section A to finish.
The time for me to recover was way longer than I would have thought from how much time I have spent on the piece, but there it was.
We then talked about my slurs and consistency of note quality. All really great information.
He thought that really the biggest thing he sees in my playing that needs attention is inconsistent technical execution. Sometimes I play something and it is beautiful, then the next time I play it there is a problem. I told him that I do notice that but was unsure how to go about fixing that. He told me that he was not worried about me musically because I had a really nice sound and it was clear I had musical ideas...my problem was inconsistent execution, and he thought I needed to work on being able to play all notes the same in a short phraselet and *then* make alterations to it only after after all notes could be equally clear and consistent. He said this isn’t really the fun part of music practice, but for us to get to the point where we can express ourselves in the music we need a place of consistency in which to start.
Most of the comments I heard from others was that I had a beautiful sound and that they heard and liked the musical ideas I had; those ideas came through in spite of the glitches. Everyone thought I complied well with his instructions. So it was a good masterclass...I learned a number of things.
One of the other students who played said, “we all wished we played better in one of these performances, it just goes with the territory.”
When I feel I can stand to listen to my performance (in a day or two) , I will try to see what derailed me in the B section repeat. Jorge said that even with a slip, I did finish the piece from beginnng to end. He says in performance, that is the main requirement. Obviously, I need more practice recovering better.
When we were about out of time, he asked if there was a part of the piece that was particularly troublesome. I went right to a particular measure in the C section where I have a problem with series of slurred notes and an ornament. He smiled when I went right to it and played that passage and said that he could see that I had identified that as a problem and had worked on it specifically. “I applaud you for that, since many students often ignore focusing on a problem area. But of course we must always address the problem and not ignore it.” Whereupon he gave me some possible solutions to practice.
This is what I remember from my session. I am glad I recorded it so I can go back and be reminded of other things he told me.
The other two students played and his comments during their sessions were very insightful and I learned a lot from what he told them as well.
A good time was probably had by all!
When the sun shines, bask.
Classical Guitar forever!