This week, we’re talking scales and etudes. Are they the foundational blocks on which your entire technique is built? Or more like raw vegetables that you have to choke down if you want to stay healthy?
Akiko actually had a scale class as a kid, while I got a crash course in scales from my Curtis teacher Felix Galimir (who had studied with Carl Flesch himself).
Etudes were a different story. Both of us went through a progression of Sevcik, Schradieck, Kretuzer, Dont, and all the rest. But back then, we just played without knowing why. These days, we like to know the point of an etude before we dive in: the key that unlocks each etude’s benefit.
Developing my Virtuoso Master Course has given me a chance to reevaluate my relationship with the classics, but I wanted Akiko’s take on the topic as well. Enjoy a roll in the hay of fundamental violin techniques!
- Akiko recounts her distaste for practicing scales at Juilliard
- Scales: more like meditation or workout?
- Akiko’s time at Juilliard pre-college with Ševčík, Schradieck, Kreutzer, Paganini and Yost
- Why Akiko stopped practicing scales after a Paganini concerto got her down
- Scales and etudes as prep for challenging pieces
- Nathan’s first scale, at the end of Suzuki studies
- How Ivan Galamian adjusted a three-octave scale to give it 24 notes
- Akiko’s scale class
- Nathan and Akiko’s take on Simon Fischer’s Warming Up
- The times in life to discover etudes (i.e. bachelor freedom)
- Thirds for 20 minutes a day, thanks to Ruggiero Ricci
- Nathan’s first lesson with Felix Galimir, and the four-hour-a-day scale workout
- Every etude has a key to unlock its benefit
- How to practice scales so they lead to confident performance
- Akiko’s feeling of impending violinistic disaster, as inThe Godfather.
“I feel like the goal for the Delay students was to get to Paganini ASAP.” — @Akiko Tarumoto [0:10:31]
“I think that’s the real argument for learning skills in scales and etudes, so that when you get to them in in the repertoire, you feel like you can say, ‘I’ve got this.’” — @natesviolin [0:14:43]
“Opening up an etude book, trying to play one and just – whether your reaction is just stopping and closing it or breaking down crying, it is actually a pretty common thing.” — @natesviolin [0:26:56]
“Great strides are made when there is not a lot else going on.” — @Akiko Tarumoto [0:29:17]
“it wasn’t like I was sitting here watching TV and you came up to me and you said, ‘You need to work on your arpeggios.’” — @Akiko Tarumoto [0:47:04]
Links from the episode
The Virtuoso Master Course
Jacques Féréol Mazas
Curtis Institute of Music
Suzuki Violin Books
Mozart Fifth Concerto in A Major
Mozart’s Fourth Concerto in D major
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
[0:00:00.7] NC: Hello and welcome back to Stand Partners for Life. I am Nathan Cole.
[0:00:04.7] AT: I am Akiko Tarumoto.
[0:00:18.7] NC: That’s it, it’s just the two of us this time. We’ve had a couple of episodes lately with some very special guests, especially cellists.
[0:00:26.6] AT: Yeah, I guess it goes along with my theory that violinists aren’t really friends with other violinists.
[0:00:32.9] NC: Well, we’re married to other violinists but just not friends.
[0:00:36.3] AT: I said friends.
[0:00:37.8] NC: That’s true, it took us a while to become friends.
[0:00:39.8] AT: Yeah, right?
[0:00:41.7] NC: Because of that, I thought that maybe this episode could be a little bit more violin centric, you know, we talk a lot about the orchestra life, playing in orchestra, obviously Stand Partners refers to the orchestra life but sometime we can nerd out a little bit on violin stuff so I thought – I think you agreed, we could talk about scales and maybe even etudes today.
[0:01:05.7] AT: Yeah, I’m probably mostly going to be your sounding board because you’re such an expert in the theory and this is so your thing to talk about technical.
[0:01:12.9] NC: You say that but you practice scales too.
[0:01:15.9] AT: We’ll get on to it but yeah, not like you.
[0:01:18.0] NC: Yes, we will. A lot of times, people think of scales, especially as kind of like eating your vegetables, right? It’s something you have to do, you feel like you should do, you’re going to get sick or die or something if you don’t.
[0:01:32.4] AT: Yeah, well it’s like going to the gym. It’s like doing your squats or something.
[0:01:37.0] NC: I think it’s like going to the gym used to be, right? Now, going to the gym is fun, right? You do fun classes and you have awesome exercises with ropes and –
[0:01:46.8] AT: I mean, I wouldn’t call it fun.
[0:01:49.7] NC: That’s true, we should ask you because you’re the one that actually goes.
[0:01:52.9] AT: Yeah, maybe it’s fun. Maybe I’m just taking it for granted or something but it kind of reminds me of that like yeah, I feel like if I don’t go and do that stuff or something, vague health threats start hanging over your head so it feels like that with scales.
[0:02:07.0] NC: Yeah, that’s a good point actually. I mean, do you often think of the benefits of going to the gym or is it more like, “Yeah, if I don’t do it, something bad may happen.”
[0:02:16.9] AT: It’s both. I think anybody would say it’s a little of both. I mean, you hope – I think, actually – I think as you get older, it is more like staving off some unseen disaster because your body doesn’t respond sort of immediately the way it used to and might take like months of doing the stuff instead of weeks or whatever, to really see results.
It takes such a long time that I feel like on a day to day basis, you’re really thinking, you know, “This is one more day that I’ve postponed my untimely death.”
[0:02:45.0] NC: Yeah, I guess there’s a parallel to the violin. Every day you practice scales.
[0:02:51.5] AT: Scales but maybe.
[0:02:53.5] NC: Your listeners will die. You’ll die of shame on stage. I think it’s a good thing to talk about actually because it’s hard to do anything if your only motivator is guilt at not doing it.
[0:03:06.5] AT: That’s the problem.
[0:03:08.4] NC: We’ll talk about what the benefits of scales are and maybe even how to put a more positive spin on them. Etudes, we can lump those in there too. Don’t you think some people think of scales almost like a kind of therapy too? Almost like a meditation or something that they need to do to start the day
[0:03:27.4] AT: I think so, I mean, I’m not really one of those people so I think I’ve heard about those people.
[0:03:33.6] NC: But usually I do hear you play a scale to start the practice, right?
[0:03:36.2] AT: It’s true that you know, I probably feel like yeah, the first thing I play should probably be a scale. I mean, even when we have our six-year-old daughter in the habit in our age, she launches right into the G major scales and then she picks up her violin just to get it over with but yeah, it’s funny, it’s like some kind of ritualistic like, “Hey,” it’s like you’re setting your brain up for practice.
[0:03:57.7] NC: Yeah.
[0:04:00.0] NC: I’ve gone back and forth on that but definitely I think it can serve that function too so we’ve got a fitness aspect, a meditative aspect, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot this whole year actually, this whole calendar year because around the new year, I actually sent out a survey to you guys and if you’ve been getting my emails since then then you would have gotten the link to the survey and especially to those of you who went ahead and filled that out, that was awesome, thank you so much.
More than 1,400 of you did and yeah, one of the things I wanted to know was topics you wanted to hear more about and maybe even topics you wanted some help with and consistently, you know, no matter what repertoire you were working on, no matter what playing level you felt that you were on, everybody want to hear more about scales and etudes and you know, you wanted videos. I don’t know if you wanted podcasts but you’re getting one now.
That really spoke to me because first of all, it impressed me. I thought, “Wow,” you know, “It’s not just me that thinks this stuff is important.” You know, I did resolve to put that into action and yeah, spend some more time looking – well, examining myself too and how I relate to scales and etudes and so I can’t believe it’s taken this long for me to get you on record.
What’s your relationship with scales and etudes? You’re shrugging your shoulders already.
[0:05:27.1] AT: Well, you know, you probably – we’ve covered my insecurities about my sort of technical solidity and I think this is one of those things that’s contributed to that insecurity because I never – I mean, I scales, I did and I had a scale class when I was at Julliard pre college and then Aspen, you always had to sign up for scale class. I did that. I almost feel like I remember Robert Chaton teaching one but don’t quote me on that but you know, it was the older, like the delays older students who would do it.
I guess they would get paid to teach the kids. Not even teach, just take us through them and maybe show how they would do it or – so yeah, I have a pretty distinct memory of being on the fourth floor at Julliard where the practice rooms were, meeting up with a bunch of other kids my age and doing a practice run with somebody and then playing scales and we’d be all be able to play scales or something like that.
[0:06:20.7] NC: I am going to come back to that because I want to hear more details about that. I actually never had a class like that so I think that’s really cool.
[0:06:27.7] AT: It could have been really cool. I mean, I think if we were all like super dedicated to it? It was just at that age, it was just like, “uh” –
[0:06:35.1] NC: It’s a tough sell.
[0:06:35.7] AT: Yeah, there are probably a couple of us who were into it and then the rest of us are just like checking it off.
[0:06:42.1] NC: Yeah, I’d say that describes me for much of my life.
[0:06:45.2] AT: Which is hard to believe because now, you’re like the scale guru like you know, you were the person who started to inspire me to try to get back into scales and you know, thirds and sixths and octaves and stuff.
[0:06:56.8] NC: Well maybe it’s like you said: a realization that I want to stave of the inevitable decline of playing, decline of career. But it’s been a lot of fun too and it’s a journey for me that started years ago, not just this year, but 2019 is when I finally put it more into action in terms of working with a lot of other violinists on it so that when I had the chance to design my dream program, The Virtuoso Master Course, and we’re winding down the first one of those that started back in May with a group of 20 really dedicated violinists and we’ve been having a blast working through scale routines and the different etudes.
I really based that program around scales and etudes because in that program I teach a whole practice framework, you know, starts with the right mindset and then teaches tools, kind of like yeah, you open up your toolbox and your tools are those scales and etudes and different techniques on the violin and then finally the practice methods – that’s the third part of the framework but yeah, those tools being based around the scales and etudes because once you hone those, you can really play anything.
[0:08:12.0] AT: Sounds like I should probably go do that right now.
[0:08:17.1] NC: I won’t even make you pay. No but the 20 violinists I’ve been working with, and violas I should say, that have been getting some fantastic results. It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of great breakthroughs, and if you want to know more about, because I’ll be offering this again with a new group of players. It’s going to be a lot of fun starting in the new year of 2020. Just go to standpartnersforlife.com/vmc, that stands for virtuoso master course. Standpartnersforlife.com/vmc and you’ll see a lot more about it and we can have a talk about how you can work with me on it.
You know, I say it’s been fun but definitely wasn’t always for me. Let’s go back to – I guess back to that scale because I mean, was that the first time you had played scales?
[0:09:08.5] AT: No, certainly not.
[0:09:09.4] NC: Okay, because you know, for me, I didn’t play scales till I had been playing a lot of years.
[0:09:13.5] AT: I say that. I just can’t imagine I was – like I said, our daughter’s doing scales now and she’s only six and a half. I’m sure I must have done scales before. I’m talking about like when I’m 12 or 13 or something at this point.
[0:09:26.9] NC: Right. You know, I was – I would say yeah, nine or ten before I played any scales.
[0:09:32.1] AT: It could have been for me too but you know, scale class was probably not the first time.
[0:09:36.9] NC: Okay, well what do you remember from beginning? Playing scales or doing any kind of studies or etudes?
[0:09:42.4] AT: I just did some etudes. I didn’t do nearly as much as you, I’m assuming. I have my old copy of Kreutzer somewhere. What was before Kreutzer? What comes with Kreutzer?
[0:09:55.3] NC: I mean, sometimes Schradieck.
[0:09:57.7] AT: Schradieck, I had Schradieck. I think it was pretty minimal, which sounds strange and probably any other Delay students out there would really contradict me but I have a feeling it’s mostly Ševčík, Schradieck, actually, mostly Ševčík, some Schradieck then Kreutzer and then, of course, Paganini.
[0:10:17.1] NC: What about Wohlfahrt. That’s another really –
[0:10:18.9] AT: No, we never did that.
[0:10:21.3] NC: Or Mazas.
[0:10:22.3] AT: I mean, I feel like I saw other people carrying it around. I remember like what it looked like but I don’t think I ever did them.
[0:10:30.2] NC: I didn’t do those either.
[0:10:31.0] AT: I feel like the goal for the delay students was to get to Paganini ASAP, everything else was sort of like detour. Jost, does that count? I think Jost at some point, yeah.
[0:10:41.9] NC: I might venture to say that you did actually more than me at that age and in fact, I’m almost certain.
[0:10:47.5] AT: Yeah, but I staged my revolt like right around when I was supposed to be learning Paganini.
[0:10:52.3] NC: That was the breaking point.
[0:10:55.2] AT: We often talk about like what was the point where I just thought, “Can’t do this anymore,” and definitely the Paganini concerto – this is really sad. Paganini concerto was one of those moments where I was like, “I can’t take this, like this is nonstop things that I can’t do.” And the caprices were just mini versions of that obviously.
[0:11:16.7] NC: Yeah, actually, I had that same thought, I mean. I think the way I kind of phrased it to myself with the Paganini concerto was yeah, nonstop stuff that’s really hard.
[0:11:28.6] AT: Yeah. If it was just really hard that would be one thing but for me, it’s like nonstop I can’t go on playing –
[0:11:34.7] NC: Well, partly I think it’s because your attitude is, if it’s not perfect that means you can’t do it.
[0:11:41.3] AT: Yeah, but you know, I mean, my teachers weren’t like, “Oh, keep going, it sounds good!” They were like, “That sounds horrible and you need to fix that.” like every other measure so.
[0:11:49.1] NC: Mr. Gallamier at Curtis was like that for me but other teachers of mine were a little bit more, you know, the keep going variety and I knew it didn’t sound good and it was difficult so yeah. I agree that often times what happens is we get tossed this repertoire as we’re growing up that contains things that we can’t really do at that point, and so looking back –
[0:12:13.2] AT: I mean, I was surrounded by kids who could, and that was the other discouraging thing.
[0:12:17.6] NC: Yeah, you know, I didn’t really have that so – and there was no Internet back then so I couldn’t very well – luckily I couldn’t go online –
[0:12:24.8] AT: You couldn’t find out about those people, yeah.
[0:12:26.7] NC: I know. It was great, I had Pearlman and –
[0:12:30.8] AT: Another way the Internet has ruined our lives.
[0:12:33.9] NC: I really wonder about if Hannah keeps playing violin, what’s she going to do when she is able to do a search and find what the other six-year-olds are doing.
[0:12:43.8] AT: I mean, watching her parents play things much harder than Minuet One doesn’t seem to discourage her so.
[0:12:51.4] NC: That’s true. But you know, I think that’s the real argument for learning skills in scales and etudes so that when you get to them in in their repertoire, you feel like you can, you know, “I’ve got this.” Yeah, you have to put it into a musical context and all that but it’s no fun being thrown a piece where you’ve got six different things you can’t do and you’re expected to play it in tune and fast and all that.
[0:13:16.8] AT: I mean, to keep the gym analogy going, it does sort of feel like when I go to the gym and they’re like, “Okay, today’s the hundred workout!” and you’re like, “Uh oh.” Like yeah –
[0:13:24.8] NC: That sounds terrible.
[0:13:25.9] AT: It does, like hundred pushups, hundred jump lunges. You’re like, “No, I can’t do that” That’s how I felt like any time I tried to get super technical on the violin.
[0:13:38.1] NC: Right, you’re still learning how to do a lunge or a pushup and then they say do a hundred of them.
[0:13:44.0] AT: Yeah, or I can do like five that I can’t do a hundred.
[0:13:48.7] NC: You need that pushup etude.
[0:13:50.1] AT: Right, what is that? We’ll get to that later.
[0:13:52.9] NC: Maybe its just doing pushups. Building them up.
[0:13:56.2] AT: While playing the violin.
[0:13:57.9] NC: Maybe pushup is as far broken down as it can be, you don’t need that. The baby steps of the pushup. Yeah, I think as violinists, we sometimes forget about the violin exercises that are like the pushup or always wanting to do the clean and jerk and the.
[0:14:14.0] AT: The clean and jerk.
[0:14:15.9] NC: All the combination exercises.
[0:14:18.3] AT: Did you go Google that?
[0:14:21.8] NC: Yeah, scales for me – I have a vague memory of when I was finishing the Suzuki books. You know, I grew up – Suzuki did all 10 books and those who know those books will remember that book nine is simply the Mozart Fifth Concerto in A major and book 10 is Mozart’s Fourth Concerto in D major.
[0:14:41.6] AT: That’s the whole book?
[0:14:42.2] NC: Yeah.
[0:14:42.6] AT: Isn’t that plagiarism?
[0:14:43.8] NC: Well, the whole thing is. He wrote some tunes but all the rest are.
[0:14:46.7] AT: That’s true but I mean, part of the method is supposed to be like his curation of the pieces but I mean, just shoves the concerto and don’t you felt like it’s a bait and switch.
[0:14:55.9] NC: It does smack a little of laziness to –
[0:14:59.4] AT: Or maybe it’s like you’re lazy, you shouldn’t be playing Suzuki anymore.
[0:15:03.3] NC: I think maybe yeah, maybe that’s partly the message.
[0:15:06.3] AT: Go out and learn some real music.
[0:15:07.7] NC: I think you’re all grown up. If you want Suzuki book nine fine, here it is, it’s called Mozart. How about Suzuki book 11, Brahms? Yeah, that’s why I wonder what percentage of Suzuki kids have completed books nine and ten.
[0:15:28.2] AT: You must have gotten like a gold trophy or something.
[0:15:31.5] NC: My reward was a graduation recital.
[0:15:35.7] AT: That doesn’t sound like a reward, that sounds like a punishment.
[0:15:40.5] NC: My Suzuki teacher did a fantastic job Donna Wihi. She really kept things fun and engaging and you know, one of the things I’ll mention is that although Suzuki doesn’t have etudes as such, although there’s a piece in book one called Etude.
[0:15:55.6] AT: I heard it tonight.
[0:15:56.5] NC: Yeah, tonight. Very nice. Thanks for practicing with us by the way.
[0:16:00.9] AT: It’s my way of telling you.
[0:16:02.1] NC: You know, part of a great Suzuki teacher’s job is to device these games and fun things that are basically mini etudes to keep students engaged and to work on weaknesses which is really what it’s all about. Yeah, by the time I got to books nine and ten, the Mozart concertos. There was a lot I couldn’t really do well on the violin and certainly not – there were tools for making music that I didn’t really have or just hadn’t developed.
Even though scales aren’t exactly part of the Suzuki books in any organized way, my teacher did introduce the D major three octave scale for when I was working on the D major concerto. You know, when I went to my second teacher Dan Mason, I was really –
[0:16:45.8] AT: Three octaves? That’s a lot.
[0:16:47.7] NC: Yeah. Because you kind of need that to play all of the Mozart fourth concerto. The Joachim Cadenza goes up to a high D for example.
[0:17:00.2] AT: How old were you at this point?
[0:17:00.9] NC: 10.
[0:17:02.1] AT: 10, no wonder, okay.
[0:17:04.0] NC: But that was the only – wait, no wonder what?
[0:17:07.3] AT: I think – that’s young – I don’t remember – I suppose I was playing three octave scale then?
[0:17:11.2] NC: I bet you were, considering what else you were playing.
[0:17:14.5] AT: Maybe.
[0:17:16.2] NC: Are you thinking it was just a two-octave scale?
[0:17:17.5] AT: I didn’t play Mozart four or five, you know? I’m not even going to say one, it’s so embarrassing.
[0:17:21.7] NC: Well, I probably shouldn’t have.
[0:17:24.5] AT: But I didn’t have to, you know, I didn’t need those notes, yeah.
[0:17:29.4] NC: But yeah, I was doing it in that one key and that’s all – the only scale work I had done when I came to Dan Mason and that’s, I think a better answer now is what Han is doing for example, playing some scales right from the beginning and getting used to it and even building habits like she is of leaving fingers down as you especially – you’re laughing already.
[0:17:53.4] AT: Actually, I think this episode is just about all my shortcomings as a violinist.
[0:17:57.6] NC: You don’t play a scale by putting every individual finger down and lifting all the other ones up.
[0:18:02.9] AT: Not everyone but –
[0:18:07.1] NC: But, you know, I think that’s great to do much earlier on. Would you go back to that scale class now and tell me what you remember about that? This you said was when you were 12 or 13 and at Julliard pre-college?
[0:18:19.5] AT: Yeah. I guess I’m also thinking at Aspen we had to do it, you know, because it was still a Delay thing.
[0:18:25.1] NC: Similar teachers, a lot of the same group of students, right?
[0:18:28.7] AT: Yes. I mean, basically the same people. Yeah, another one of my – I definitely remember having – this guy’s now in the Vienna Phil. He was one of our scale teachers and yeah, I don’t really – I think we just hung out and he was fun. Think I had a crush on him.
[0:18:44.7] NC: I was going to say, slowly more the studies.
[0:18:48.0] AT: I don’t remember anything about the scales.
[0:18:52.3] NC: Okay.
[0:18:53.4] AT: This is when I watched the Vienna Philharmonic broadcast and it was my scale teacher.
[0:19:00.1] NC: My scale crush.
[0:19:01.4] AT: Yeah, I was 14 so –
[0:19:03.5] NC: Now, did you have a crush on him because he was so good at scales?
[0:19:07.4] AT: I don’t think so, no offense.
[0:19:08.8] NC: Maybe that’s one of the hidden benefits.
[0:19:11.5] AT: That’s right, having a bunch 14-year old’s – I think he was 26 so he probably didn’t consider that a real bonus. I was trying to come up with a memory that’s more relevant to actually playing the violin. Sorry, no, I don’t. I really think it was just – I think we mostly just tried to kill time by distracting teachers’ stories, just talking to each other and you know, it’s not terribly helpful but you know. I think that we were all – of course we all did Carl Flesch.
[0:19:37.6] NC: Okay, you kind of skipped to that part.
[0:19:41.2] AT: Well, the Carl Flesch scale book. I mean, that’s what many people consider the standard and it’s also a very complicated book I would say. What do you mean, you all did Carl Flesch?
[0:19:52.5] NC: You know, that was assigned to us.
[0:19:55.0] AT: You mean, you hadn’t done it before you got to this class but –
[0:19:58.0] NC: No, I mean, that was a scale book that Delay students used. That’s what we used in the scale class.
[0:20:03.5] AT: Okay.
[0:20:03.9] NC: What can you remember if you back up from that, to your first exposure to playing Carl Flesch scales?
[0:20:10.0] AT: I mean, I just remember getting yelled at about how to play the beginning of the scale because it’s like the weird thing about it, right? To get the third and come down and then go back up.
[0:20:19.5] NC: Okay, that’s the Galamian. This is kind of interesting by the way.
[0:20:22.4] AT: You know what? Maybe you’re right, maybe it’s not in the Flesch. Maybe it’s not printed in there but like, maybe I would like make a mistake of trying to do it as printed and I get yelled at and like no, we always do the third and then come down.
[0:20:36.3] NC: You know, if you’ve done the scale method before, you’ll know this but this interesting trivia, especially since Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay, they used to be tight and then they had somewhat of a falling out and went their separate ways but it sounds like maybe she retained this bit of scale work from him. So he discovered or at least promoted the idea that if you added a couple of extra notes to a three octave scale going up, you’d have 24 notes and 24 divides very neatly into two, three, four, six and eight so that you can –
[0:21:12.0] AT: I’m so dumb. Just like sitting here listening to him like, “Oh that’s why I added those notes.”
[0:21:18.8] NC: Well.
[0:21:20.2] AT: And then anytime I’d try not to do it that way, it would be like, “Why am I ending up with like this weird number of notes?”
[0:21:24.8] NC: Extra notes. Now I don’t do it, I mean, I guess it’s clever enough but I don’t really like playing scales that way anymore so now you think you either tried to do it that way or tried not to do it that way but whatever it was, you got yelled at.
[0:21:40.5] AT: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of yelling and sort of – yeah, then that’s how I –
[0:21:47.0] NC: Well that’s the Galamian scale beginning. It’s possible that we start to be doing –
[0:21:50.9] AT: Starts with yelling.
[0:21:52.7] NC: Extra notes and yelling. Maybe we started playing some three octave scales around the same age. For me, it was only in that one key until I had Dan’s help with it.
[0:22:04.1] AT: No wonder you look sort of like not particularly impressed and basically start every day with a D major scale. I graduated to E major. I feel like I used start every day with like any time I would start playing like D major scale and then I feel like you’d always have this look on your face like I probably should be doing something else.
[0:22:24.4] NC: I can’t believe I had any look on my face. When am I standing around watching you play scales.
[0:22:30.1] AT: Yeah, had the feeling. Now I understand it’s because it was your go to when you were 10 years old.
[0:22:34.0] NC: I mean D is the most resonant key. I think if you’re going to practice one, it’s probably the best one to do.
[0:22:40.8] AT: I like E. Puts me in a good mood.
[0:22:45.5] NC: You can’t remember anything else from that class?
[0:22:48.3] AT: I’m sorry, I’m sorry that my memories are so stunted.
[0:22:51.4] NC: This concept of a scale class but I mean, now that’s what I like to teach so I’m just madly curious about what yours was but maybe we’ll need to put you under hypnosis or something to –
[0:23:04.9] AT: Get the Dilbert creator in here. I think it was mostly because the lessons were supposed to be for – lessons of masterclasses were supposed to be for repertoire. I think this was sort of to remind us that you are not to overlook scales. That they’re important not to have their own class. I mean, that’s a great message in and of itself that we all basically just ignored.
[0:23:25.7] NC: Right. Incidentally, I feel like that’s a good point you make, that lessons, mainly for repertoire. Learning and polishing repertoire and you know, that may be, especially if you have a scale class on the outside or one of the old world systems was kind of, the main master teacher would be for the concertos and all of that and maybe sonatas. But then the assistant would handle more of the yelling, the scales, the etudes.
I find that’s a problem that a lot of music schools you know, of course, where you only have one teacher and –
[0:24:02.5] AT: You mean, there’s not enough division of labor teaching?
[0:24:05.5] NC: Well, there’s just not any attention paid at all to scales and etudes, you know, I think it’s –
[0:24:11.7] AT: I think you know, personally, I’m shamefully ignorant about what technique, what bow techniques, what left hand techniques line up with which etudes.
[0:24:20.3] NC: Well, I think you’ve. Fortunate is not the right word because you’ve worked super hard for a long time. You have great instincts but I mean, you don’t necessarily have to know that if those techniques work for you as they do for you.
You know, I think when it’s a problem is when you have a problem in a piece or when something comes up in a piece that there’s a technique that you just haven’t learned or you haven’t done in a while, and then, you can get a little stumped as to how to go about it. I think then, and certainly if you’re a teacher, then it’s necessary to know how to go about it or what etude you can assign someone to strengthen that for them.
But yeah, most music schools, the teacher basically has to default to getting someone through repertoire so that they can play juries and recitals and competitions or whatever and there just isn’t time in those whatever you get, 12 lessons in a semester, there isn’t time to go over etudes.
It’s almost kind of – I remember I had a friend when we got into Curtis, you know, that this guy’s first lesson with a different teacher from my teacher. First lesson, the teacher said, “You need to go and study this Gavinies etude book. I want you to come back and bring that next time.”
I remember thinking, “Thank god that’s not me. I’m glad I’m past that.” And little did I know, it would have done me a world of good but at the time, yeah, the stigma was like, your etudes, yeah, that’s what you did when you were like a teenager or 12-year-old.
[0:25:51.7] AT: Yeah, I guess there’s some of that, I mean I never would have thought of doing Kreutzer later in life even though it’s certainly – I mean, that’s ridiculous. Then there’s a lot to be gained from those, you know what I mean?
[0:26:03.1] NC: Yeah, I know that for sure now. I mean I worked through the great deal, I would say the majority, of the Kreutzer book with Dan as well as Ševčík and Schradieck, a lot of the others we named I didn’t do, Wohlfahrt, Johst, Mazas,[inaud].
[0:26:18.2] AT: [inaud]
[0:26:20.4] NC: Yeah and all of this now I have since gotten to see and I have enjoyed working through some of those too.
[0:26:29.9] AT: And Simon Fischer, it is not etudes but it is like –
[0:26:34.0] NC: Right he doesn’t have a straight etude book. I mean he has written a number of weighty books that deal with a whole number of topics and I love Simon Fischer and his books and yeah –
[0:26:45.7] AT: I think we already talked about the time I broke down crying when I was trying to do his warm up.
[0:26:49.7] NC: Warm up, I love the Warm Up book. Yeah, hold that thought too because opening up an etude book, trying to play one and just – whether your reaction is just stopping and closing it or breaking down crying it is actually a pretty common thing.
[0:27:07.9] AT: Have you seen that at all, people start crying?
[0:27:09.6] NC: Well, I haven’t seen a lot of crying in lessons. I have seen some.
[0:27:13.5] AT: I think I started crying during a Moszkowski the other day.
[0:27:16.3] NC: Oh the duo?
[0:27:18.0] AT: Yeah and we were rehearsing and I was like, “My god.”
[0:27:20.5] NC: You and me.
[0:27:21.2] AT: Yeah, remember I got carried away with that one spot and couldn’t come in right. I was getting really mad. These are double stops. I think I was overwhelmed by a double stop or something terrible.
[0:27:32.4] NC: Oh well I should have suggested an etude right there on the spot that would have made all the difference. I think – I am guessing that was a hard day with the kids and then we tried to rehearse at the end of it.
[0:27:47.9] AT: Or I just couldn’t play it.
[0:27:49.4] NC: As far as the etudes yeah, I worked through so many of those with Dan Mason and then promptly forgot, I think, the work that we had done on them and the ‘why’ basically and I kept the books as you did, you know, tattered copies of etude books and you know, then – and this is before we knew each other, I had a job in the orchestra in St. Paul and you know at that same time I guess you would have had your job in LA, but I remember just encountering some orchestral pieces.
And thinking this is really hard and I don’t feel the word that came to my mind was equipped. I don’t feel equipped to play these pieces as fast as they need to go. I think that is what bothered me, you know? Conductors would set these tempos and I would think, “Yeah, this tempo seemed a little ridiculous but still I should be able to play it.”
[0:28:43.9] AT: It is hard to imagine you having a problem.
[0:28:47.2] NC: Well but I don’t like to admit that even now. Sure I mean the same thing might happen now but it happened more then and I started realizing, “Yeah there is some weaknesses here,” but at that time my idea was just practice harder or practice more and may make you laugh to think now but there were a lot days in a row where I would actually lock myself up and practice four or five hours a day. I just didn’t have much else going on so I thought –
[0:29:15.4] AT: That is when great strides are made.
[0:29:17.3] NC: What’s that?
[0:29:17.9] AT: That is when great strides are made when there is not a lot going on.
[0:29:20.7] NC: Yeah and you know it worked of course, if two hours is good then four hours is going to be somewhat better but actually I didn’t feel like those –
[0:29:30.3] AT: It sounds very Orwellian, “Two hours good, four hours better!”
[0:29:35.7] NC: That’s Animal Farm, or? Okay.
[0:29:39.3] AT: Yeah, I don’t think it ever goes the other way around. No one decides that you know for four hours good, two hours is better.
[0:29:44.7] NC: Right.
[0:29:45.5] AT: Although I started to feel like that described – I mean, you have become so efficient at practice that for you actually two hours is better.
[0:29:52.4] NC: There is something to be said for that. Sure if you can get done in two hours what used to take you four hours to do then yeah, do that and spend the other two hour listening to recordings or –
[0:30:03.4] AT: Yeah but like most – I personally, it is like if I can say I practiced four hours I feel so good about it, like gives my confidence a boost, even if it was just two hours’ worth of work inflated to four but you know?
[0:30:15.8] NC: And that is a powerful thing too. Yeah, I mean if you go into a performance believing that you are the best prepared and that might be because you spent the most time or maybe you just worked through a whole bunch of doing scales for an hour a day. If that is important to you and that gives you confidence and you have the time to do it then –
[0:30:32.2] AT: You mentioned that once to me, like maybe you should try playing – I don’t know if there’s an amount of time like, “Oh, do thirds for like 15 minutes a day or half an hour a day,” or something and I tried to do whatever your prescribed time or number of keys was and I mean I still do but I just, you know?
[0:30:50.2] NC: That was straight from a Ruggiero Ricci book actually on the left hand. I somehow got it now, I can’t remember if this is what he said verbatim but I got the idea maybe he does say it. I got the idea to do thirds for 20 minutes a day. So I did that for a week and felt great. So I think at the time what I took from that was, “Oh I just have to do thirds for 20 minutes a day.”
I mean now I know the lesson was something a little bit different. I definitely had a lot to learn about thirds and that was one way to do it, and that is what the story I wanted to tell about my very first lesson at Curtis with Felix Galimir and he didn’t even want to hear the concerto I have brought in, which was Prokofiev two. He said he hated that even though that’s what I had been working on the whole summer to play for him. He had actually refused to hear even the first bar of it. He wanted to hear me play scales and because I didn’t really have a good scale system, he was greatly upset.
You know he had studied with Carl Flesch so the fact that I didn’t know Carl Flesch’s system bothered him. Again, he was 85 years old and I think that he didn’t have a lot of patience left.
[0:32:03.1] AT: And so how did you do scales before that? You’re just like…
[0:32:05.7] NC: You know I didn’t do them much. Dan had me at least switching keys but you know, I just played a scale and I think I might have played major and minor arpeggios and I would have done – I am sure if he was keeping close tabs on me then I was doing thirds and maybe octaves but certainly not every day. Not if I thought I could get away without doing it, but at that first lesson, Galimir told me, “You need to play all 24 keys every day including all seven of the Flesch arpeggios and thirds, sixths, octaves, and fingered octaves.”
[0:32:45.7] AT: I think he saved your play right?
[0:32:48.1] NC: Well I will never know because I did what he said for the first week anyway and –
[0:32:52.7] AT: Well let us assume we started in similar places, you could have ended up like me so I am pretty much sure that he saved your play.
[0:33:00.0] NC: I would be thrilled to end up like you, but I am sure he did save something but you know in that, just hearing that laundry list of stuff to do times 24. That first week, it took me –
[0:33:10.8] AT: Again I mean your at Curtis you’re, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.
[0:33:13.9] NC: I know, what else are you doing. Well and that was true. So I thought, “Well it is my first week here, I am not already going to admit defeat.” So it took me four hours to get through that but I did it that first week and I didn’t really have any repertoire that I was supposed to work on but I was kind of disgusted. I thought, “I can’t really keep this up for more than a week,” and so I came back the next week and played some scales and he seemed mollified anyway.
I didn’t ask if I should keep doing that. I just paired it down to three keys but I have done something like that ever since but yeah, the lesson again wasn’t that – obviously was not that you should be doing scales four hours a day but if you haven’t been doing them as I hadn’t then there is a lot you can get from it.
Better yet, I think it is knowing just what you should be doing and having some guidance as to what it is but yeah, I mean it really opened up my hand, opened up my ear and built a better work ethic at least temporarily. I can’t say that I always kept that. And then as far as etudes, where were you that there’s been like – let’s say at the point that you went off to, off to school. I mean you went to – you didn’t go to conservatory for undergrad since you went to Harvard but let’s say that by the time you went to Julliard for grad school, I mean, had it been a while since you had really played etudes because yeah for me by the time I got to Curtis I think it had been a few years since I have done Kreutzer for example.
[0:34:42.5] AT: You mean by the time I got to Harvard had I been doing?
[0:34:45.2] NC: Yeah let’s look at it either that or grad school at Julliard.
[0:34:49.5] AT: Well, you know, I mean of course that is a huge source of problems for me. I think when I look back because, you know, I didn’t do – I mean it was great not being so focused on music anymore when I got to college and that was the plan. I wasn’t going to do it anymore and then – I didn’t expect to enjoy chamber music. Really I didn’t know what it was but right away I had quartets lined up and then you start playing this great music and so while I was really enjoying music-making in a way that I hadn’t before, I also wasn’t buckling down with the kind of rigor and intensity. That probably would have benefited my playing.
So by the time I went off to school, I have done some Paganini but again it felt like a little bit of a sort of winnowing moment for me, like I couldn’t do it. So, I wasn’t going to be a virtuoso. I wasn’t – no one thought I was going to be a soloist where those are like the flourish on the – “You are not going to be soloist, like you can’t do this.” So I was happy to just get away from it. I am not going to worry about that stuff anymore.
And I don’t think I thought about packing any caprices until maybe when I got to grad school. Oh and of course for auditions, you know that was really scary because I had to cough up, you know –
[0:36:12.2] NC: You’re talking about auditions for grad school?
[0:36:13.0] AT: Just a couple of hairballs. Yeah, you know, I mean, because I took my LSAT’s and that wasn’t going great and I had to magically come up with audition repertoire for schools and that was semi disaster you know? And I remember at my Julliard audition they asked to hear my caprice and I forget which one I played. It’s one of those ones that starts slowly and I think I played it slower and slower because I was like please do not let me get to the fast part.
I just you know – obviously to hear me tell it, it sounds like I basically crawled under the barbed wire and all of these. It is some miracle here that I came out unscathed but – so yeah, I was really – that was scary, and then honestly I think I got to grad school. So magically, you know I was waitlisted at Julliard because they probably wanted my money and I went.
[0:37:04.7] NC: They still want your money.
[0:37:05.5] AT: They still do, it hasn’t changed and I got through grad school. I concentrated, I said I got to get a job because the plan was I got to get a job or it is law school. So you know I was really focused on getting a job and you know, I don’t have to play a Paganini Caprice to get a job so I didn’t do that and so I think once I met you – I mean maybe – and so I came to LA. I was still taking auditions, I was practicing audition repertoire but I was still very, “Oh I didn’t need to do that kind of thing,” and then etudes.
Yeah, I need to work on the exterior trappings of my playing, you know, that is like a separation that is somewhere I have made in my mind even until now especially back then because I was taking auditions. It as the exterior-interior functionings of what you are doing. So you know, I am extremely insecure about the interior workings because there is such a hiatus and there was a definite whole segment of things that I should have worked on in my life that now that’s probably literally too late.
So you know there is that. I think once I met you so, you know, in Chicago – I mean of course I knew you but once I started dating you and it was tough. It was like, here is this amazing player and you know I would hear you practicing. I would hear you warming up and I was like, “This guy can play anything and I wanted to be like that.” I was like, “So what? I can win these auditions but you know I am not him.” I don’t have that thing where I can – say like the cross section of your playing to be solid all the way through.
You know I am like one of those hollow chocolate bunnies so I really felt like being with you was kind of like, I need to address some of this and so that you have heard my sort of sporadic attempts that catching up, which I still haven’t given up on, even at my age, and I guess it is good. It is good that you inspire me because I think that I’ve had a little bit more longevity to my playing than I expected and I thought maybe at this point I’d be happy just sort of being able to play.
You know I can play a little bit more than that so that was your role in my development or hopefully ongoing development.
[0:39:14.0] NC: I mean I think a lot of people will be happy to hear you say that. That, you know, you figured it was too late and for someone like you to say that. The weird thing is that I looked at you that way because I felt like there was a lot that I haven’t learned in the systematic way and I actually assumed that you had done all of these etudes really young because of the way that you got around it looked so organized and it sounded so beautiful and easy.
So yeah, I actually assumed that your training had been – maybe that is the point. That everybody assumes everybody else’s, got the inside info at the right time.
[0:39:50.2] AT: I mean you know I think whatever people say about being natural looking or natural set up player probably that’s – that’s probably true of my playing. You know I am an awkward looking player probably but…
[0:40:02.7] NC: No.
[0:40:03.2] AT: But yeah, I don’t always think that translates to a real rigorousness of background and training you know?
[0:40:10.9] NC: But I think that kind of training can help produce that though if I –
[0:40:16.2] AT: Of course but I think it is like the rectangles and the squares are – I feel like just because you look like that doesn’t mean you are like that but if you train like that you will look like that.
[0:40:27.4] NC: Right. So it is like you can get there sooner or you can get that later but that is one of the ways is by studying what great players do and then –
[0:40:35.9] AT: And just imitating it. That’s me.
[0:40:38.1] NC: Okay.
[0:40:39.3] AT: You can do that. You too can be a hollow chocolate bunny.
[0:40:45.5] NC: There are kids who get very excited about that come April.
[0:40:48.4] AT: I don’t think they’ve had a solid chocolate bunny. I don’t think they make them anymore.
[0:40:51.8] NC: No they get excited about the hollow ones.
[0:40:53.2] AT: Yeah but don’t you think they’d be even more excited about it you think?
[0:40:56.8] NC: Those are too hard to eat.
[0:40:58.3] AT: No, it could be like a chocolate truffle bunny. Filled, you know?
[0:41:02.0] NC: That would be great. That is too expensive for them.
[0:41:03.8] AT: Right? You are that bunny.
[0:41:05.1] NC: Well you know, it’s always been my belief that you can come back to these etudes and scale study and get that natural looking and that natural sounding play. Some people don’t need it. I guess there is some people that don’t need to eat well to look great either but you know that’s definitely one of the fun things about working in the Virtuoso Master Course.
You know my path coming back to the etudes – well it came about because I had to record a whole bunch of them that I was, yeah, contracted to record a whole bunch of etudes in their entirety to perform them, and I was embarrassed to discover that I couldn’t really get through some of them in any kind of satisfactory way, you know, not something that was going to be able to live on in video.
[0:41:53.0] AT: And this is how many years ago?
[0:41:53.6] NC: I guess you know close to 10 years ago at this point and yeah, it really revealed some weaknesses in my playing and I actually ended up going back to Dan Mason, my old teacher, to kind of ask, “Is this supposed to be hard or why am I struggling with this Kreutzer?” And you know, I would show him a couple of measures and you know, he’d say, “Oh well, you gotta leave these fingers down,” or, “These fingers work together work as a group.” Or, “The point of this one is actually bow speed not –” and I realized that every etude had a key to it basically.
[0:42:32.5] AT: So if you just focused on that then suddenly it became more obvious how to do it?
[0:42:36.7] NC: Yeah I think –
[0:42:39.1] AT: I feel like there are physical exercises not to keep bringing up the gym it sounds like I hate it when they tell you to do an exercise and you don’t know and sometimes it is not always obvious what muscle group you are working on. It sounds dumb but I think there is a couple or –
[0:42:52.0] NC: I hate that too.
[0:42:52.6] AT: It is like what am I focusing on here now and good trainers they will come up and say, “Oh you have to really squeeze the glute to the top of this,” or something. You are like, “Okay it is a glute stabilizing exercise but yeah I mean I hadn’t really thought about it for a violin like, “Oh you know if you think about it, it is a bow speed exercise,” and suddenly you can really do it.
[0:43:11.5] NC: Yeah that is the whole thing that I wasn’t mad at him exactly that I probably – I remember making some comment like, “Did you tell me this 20 years ago or did you just wait until now to – ” and, you know, “Yeah, we went over that.” But I am sure I forgot when I was a teenager and you know –
[0:43:29.1] AT: Yeah this just doesn’t mean so much to you because you don’t see the practical applications as much.
[0:43:32.8] NC: Right and now coming at it from the other side like, okay I have worked through Paganini Concerto then I hope to work through I again but, you know, I have played all of this hard repertoire and ow I can look at the Kreutzer’s and see, “oh, yeah, this Kreutzer connects the dots from something easier to Paganini.” I mean you know Heifetz for example, he really only – Schradieck, Ševčík, Kreutzer, and don’t, and then he said besides those you need to just be – like after that just play Paganini and the concertos you know. There’s no point in playing more etudes. This covers it.
I think, whether you would want to substitute one book for another and there I think the point is you want obviously the shortest good path between beginner and advanced and –
[0:44:22.5] AT: Right and the weird thing is the Paganini caprices are not really etudes. I mean they are show pieces.
[0:44:29.0] NC: No and you know yet the thing is that the more I’ve played the Kreutzers and the more I looked at them I realized you could – of course they don’t sound as flashy and they are not as difficult as Paganini but for example many of them feature lots of octaves and they maybe octaves across like not one to four octaves, they may not be double stop octaves but they feature the octaves that you have to play fast. The thing is when many people learn those etudes they are learning them slow and they sound like scratchy studies but you can work those up to sound virtuosic and when you do, that is when you learn the real technique behind the etude and same for the Kreutzer too is the most famous one that is the one that Jack Benny played as the theme song for his program and there are a lot of bowing variations that you can do with those and yeah, you can do them slow and haltingly and they sound weird or you can work them up to really sound good as they would in their repertoire and I think that’s the key for me for scales and etudes.
Scales need to sound like they are parts of pieces, you need to play them fast and in tune if you want to be able to play pieces fast and in tune and you need to play them with different bow strokes. You know, slurred but also separate and fast. Detache and fast and off the string and fast. Otherwise your scales, your fast scales and pieces are not going to be in tune.
[0:45:56.1] AT: I remember telling you once about getting this one for an audition and I said I was just terrified of falling off the fingerboard. I forget if it was a specific thing or if it is becoming a problem like I had fallen off the fingerboard a few times, and you said, “You have to work on your arpeggios.” You were right.
[0:46:12.1] NC: Really I said that?
[0:46:13.3] AT: Yeah.
[0:46:13.7] NC: Because when you say that all I can remember is that was William Pruecel’s [inaud].
[0:46:19.4] AT: Yeah and you told me that too but yeah I remember thinking that you are totally right about that, and that is always the thing I say is nice and annoying about you is I can go to you with a problem and sometimes it feels like I am just saying it just to get some sympathy or something but you have a solution. You’re like well you need to this or you need to do that.
[0:46:41.2] NC: I think I am often described that way. Nice and annoying.
[0:46:43.3] AT: It’s like, “I just wanted you to say yeah I know that is hard.” No, it did really help. I mean on a number of occasions but I remember that being like a technical thing that you said you need to do if you are worried about that and fast. You said you need to do them full tempo or whatever.
[0:46:59.5] NC: I sound very preachy.
[0:47:00.7] AT: No I mean I asked you, right? So it wasn’t like I was sitting here watching TV and you came up to me and you said you need to work on your arpeggios, which one I probably would have not responded as normally.
[0:47:15.1] NC: No but I mean that yeah, there is a purpose for every kind of scale practice that there should be otherwise it is basically wasting time and with etudes too there is a key to every well designed etude. There is a thing that you should be striving for or in some etudes there can be multiple keys. You know you can practice it with one tempo and bow stroke for one reason. You can transform it by doing it at a much faster tempo with a different bow stroke for a different reason.
But once you know that key then the etude really opens up. I mean for example Kreutzer nine, which is just a bunch of 16th notes and really fast finger patterns. Once you know that etude is all about dropping two fingers and lifting one then not only does it become easier but then you are building that skill, which just I mean, that comes up in every fast piece that you are going to play from then on.
[0:48:12.2] AT: It sound like I should practice Kreutzer Nine.
[0:48:15.0] NC: Well…
[0:48:15.3] AT: Because remember my new, I mean not new, but my resolution, I think, I have been having more trouble with, and it is so scary as you get older because it is like – it always reminds me of The Godfather. Everything reminds me of The Godfather.
[0:48:27.4] NC: Wait how?
[0:48:27.9] AT: You know when – wait no, is this Godfather 2. I think, do you know how they are going to – it is actually Godfather 2, sorry, because Michael says it, like, do you know how they’re going to come at you right? So then he says, “Yeah, they are – this one tests you.”
[0:48:41.9] NC: Oh that is the end of one then.
[0:48:43.3] AT: That is one of course, I sound like a Godfather novice here.
[0:48:47.1] NC: You need to practice your Godfather etudes too.
[0:48:49.7] AT: I know. Instead of practicing I’ll go put on The Godfather, yeah and it feels that way with my – with your playing. I mean, probably all of us have that fear right? It is like, what is going to be the thing that is going to deteriorate, that is going to be like the ‘tell’ that we’re aging.
[0:49:04.8] NC: So what is it going to be? Tell me.
[0:49:07.6] AT: So for me at my age like I’m starting to have some trouble or some real discernible trouble with quick notes no matter what position I am in. Quick notes involve a lot of string changes. I think maybe it is like a mental thing. I am having trouble getting mentally organized about where I am, which string I am on, which finger I am on and very fast especially if exposed because then you are more aware and more nervous about it.
So it would be amazing if I could really start targeting that and perhaps stave off of that particular assailant you know? And I could maybe worry about something else. Look something else will come at me some other way but you know?
[0:49:48.6] NC: Take you 10 minutes to lose that fear, well no, I mean yeah, what your saying is true.
[0:49:53.4] AT: Well I have complained about this to you every day for the past year and now you tell me in the podcast and 10 minutes from now. This could be this –
[0:49:59.7] NC: I always tell you this could take 10 minutes.
[0:50:01.4] AT: All right, well you know tomorrow it is going to be gone.
[0:50:05.9] NC: Well I mean yeah, definitely when you have that foundation to fall back on then yeah the fears seem less scary but yeah the fears come to me too. Maybe it is foolish to seek solace in the etude books but it is what I have done so far.
[0:50:21.7] AT: It is probably more foolish to not seek any solace whatsoever.
[0:50:25.5] NC: Well it is definitely a topic we could go on about and maybe with more specific examples later on but this obviously a topic dear to my heart so I appreciate you going on a little journey down memory lane as far as scales and etudes.
[0:50:39.2] AT: That is real helpful.
[0:50:41.4] NC: Wait was – now I can’t even tell if that is okay.
[0:50:44.1] AT: I couldn’t come up with any specific scale class memories.
[0:50:47.9] NC: Oh you know but I think that is something too. At that time it just wasn’t as meaningful as it is now when –
[0:50:54.7] AT: Yeah you don’t appreciate it. Got it.
[0:50:57.3] NC: Well again if you are interested in looking closely into that with me or at least opening up a conversation about that, go to standpartnersforlife.com/vmc that stands for virtuoso master course. I would be starting that up again in the New Year and I would love to talk to you about how that might fit into transforming your playing. So thank you Akiko.
[0:51:21.1] AT: You’re welcome.
[0:51:22.7] NC: And we’ll see you next time on Stand Partners for Life.