My glorious discovery of how Dorothy Sayers put together one part of her plot in The Nine Tailors was only the first of many similar experiences. At some stages of my cello practice, I’m showered with nearly continuous revelations about technique, and they all sparkle with the same enchantment of “I found this for myself.” Thus, when I recently stumbled on Cradle Bowing, a pristine image of exactly how to switch from a lower string to a higher or vice versa, I was so dazed that normal thought was impossible.
Cradle Bowing is so simple that a beginner can grasp the concept, and all string players should be taught it. If I’d learned it at the beginning of my musical life, I’d have been years ahead of where I ended up.
Therefore why didn’t I insist on teaching Cradle Bowing to my two children, who have been taking cello lessons from me for more than fifteen years? Because they both prefer to make their own discoveries. This has been the foundation of their cello lessons since near the beginning.
Knowing this, I also realized that only one thing would be better for their cello playing—and their whole development—than for me to deliver information, even if I think it’s the best possible information: for them to puzzle out and solve their own problems of how to play better.