So there's this piece that OH and I used to play when we were noodling around for fun. I was probably murdering the music but it was fun.
Fast forwards a few months - it's become one of my lesson pieces as I wanted to do it justice. So we've been working on the piece for a couple of weeks and it's driving me nuts! It opens with an up-bow (G string) slur, B-D then a down-bow E. Can I get that smooth? Can I heck as like! It doesn't seem to matter how smooth I get it in the lesson it goes again five minutes after teacher drives off.
So last lesson we get round to the piece and I completely muck it up. Cue feelings of despair and frustration and that teacher will think I never practice and out come the tears. I'm sobbing into my hanky, when teacher says "Stop wasting that emotion on your hanky, woman, and pour it into your playing!" He was insistent enough that I did as I was told and though I say so myself there were (brief) moments where it was like someone else was playing. The last note took my breath away - it was like I had poured my emotions into the strings.
Afterwards - he apologised for being so pushy (he knew I could take it, but it was nice that he did explain his motivation for pushing me when I wanted to go and hide). But he was right to push though - when I'd stopped sniffling long enough to play the effect was amazing - I sounded like a real player who can channel emotion into a piece rather than just play the notes.
Of course I haven't replicated that and I'm still getting tense over the up bow, and maybe it wouldn't work for everyone, but it's really changed they way I view my lesson tears now. I've decided to embrace them as a learning tool rather than feeling silly.
Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble - I guess I'm just curious about how other players get from playing the notes to turning a piece into music which conveys their passion?