I began the journey of learning how to speak German (probably about 30 years ago) and I have always gained more in pronunciation than Grammar. I know a decent amount of vocabulary. However, grammar has eluded my understanding for the whole time—excepting the nominative case.
Embarking on yet another side project might seem ill-advised at first glance. And in some ways I agree. However, this has been a thorn in my side for years. While I can learn vocabulary quite readily, the putting it into logical (grammatically correct) sentences comes with great difficulty and mostly just doesn’t happen.
So, to kill two birds with one stone I have begun reading my way through Heberlein’s Self Instructor for cello, Op. 7. It has many words and points that are fundamental to expressing what cellists do. Admittedly, this method uses old style language (I know enough to recognize some of those things). But at least it is all in the public domain so I can also use it in my podcast.
To another point of why I felt prodded to make a study of it rather than a casual read through.
I recently began teaching a native German speaker. But, this student does not feel comfortable in English and expressed that quite clearly. I thought, “here goes, I will use my German and stretch my abilities to their breaking point.” That’s precisely what has happened. Communication is rough and any explaining is clunky at best. I am very hard on myself and when it comes to mistakes and am trying to give myself some kudos for making the effort in the first place. That usually improves my grammar and vocabulary a bit.
So, with the study of a cello method and the recording of a podcast (not to mention studying certain concepts that elude my understanding) there should be some gains. Although I only get to speak German once a week I already hear myself saying things a little more smoothly.
Podcast: Special Series
So far, there already three specials up on my podcast channel involving me reading, playing, and taking about the process, my intentions. I have not gotten the courage to speak in an exploratory fashion, that is, extemporaneously. German is tough and comin up with the correct grammar on the spot is a challenge.