It is so lovely to be playing music with other people again.
My lessons with Jennifer are a weekly pleasure; she is such a nice young woman (young enough to be my grand-daughter!). I feel less pressured than when I had the occasional lesson with the more formidable and well established Sophie Hautier, andand try to take away one useful technical tip each week. Sadly I have not even returned to the pathetic level I was at when I stopped just over two years ago, but I am making some progress.
Next weekend pupils from the Ecole de Musique, including me, are playing a concert jointly with the Orchestre Chambre des Cévennes. Last weekend and yesterday we had two all-day rehearsals. Exhausting but very stimulating. It reminded me of the music weekends we used to have each summer at St Abbs.
As it happens the other half a dozen cello pupils are not ready to play in an orchestra yet, so I am the only pupil – the other three are all professional teachers and performers, led by the redoubtable Sophie.
I should therefore feel less pressure. But there was a moment yesterday when I played a note out of tune (I knew it – but too late). Sophie turned round and said: “Your E was too high”. “I know,” I replied, “but I had hoped it was drowned by your three in-tune Es”. “Oh no.” she said, “it is the one out of tune note that everyone hears”. Thank you, Sophie, for that reassurance.