Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Summer Oboe Lesson: just the thing for a post-call day

I've had mixed feelings anticipating today's lesson - dread that I would be indescribably AWFUL and my poor, patient teacher would feel I was a waste of her time, and excitement that I would be trying out some new musical things and getting tips on how to play better.

I needn't have worried. Kyoko was as helpful and encouraging as ever. Got through Lehar's Merry Widow Waltz, a duet with her, and started working on vibrato, which is like a Holy Grail of oboe sound for me. It was a relief (not to mention fun!) to get some more insight, finally, into ways of improving my air control and of avoiding embouchure pitfalls, like biting and lip-moving during each attack.

Sadly, we decided I should return my trial instrument today. It has a GORGEOUS sound, really beautiful, but one of the notes tends to flat; it's not quite "the one."

I had an amusing exchange with the guys at UPS. One of them pointed to my bubble-wrapped bundle and asked, "What's that?" When I said, "It's an oboe," I got a puzzled, "Oooooh-kay."

The guy at the cash register asked the same thing: "What is it?" Again I replied, "An oboe." Then I got a real contraction of the eyebrows, and he asked, "What's that?!" My daughter, who was with me, had an adorable glint in her eye and couldn't suppress a giggle. I said, " sort of looks like a clarinet, but a little slimmer..." A look of recognition came over the cashier's face. "Oh, it's a musical instrument!" I keep forgetting how esoteric my choices are sometimes...

It's funny, but I feel like I have this exact same conversation, except it's about anesthesia, all the time.

The rest of the day was low-key. I watched the Woody Allen movie Scoop, which disappointed a lot of hard-cord WA fans but which I REALLY enjoyed, maybe because I love Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, the city of London, light-hearted romance, detective stories, and ballet music. The Dance of the Four Cygnets from Swan Lake, the Annen Polka, and the battle scene from The Nutcracker were all used to perfect comic effect.

Sleep is my absolutely favorite thing to do post-call, but watching enjoyable movies is a close second.

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