Thursday, May 17, 2007

First Oboe Lessons

I have to wonder about naysaying. Why do people do it? Is it that they're setting things up so they can say "I told you so!" later? Is it that they have no faith in you? Is it that they can't tolerate the idea of imperfection or failure, like those things are the end of the world? When I told people I really wanted to learn the oboe, I almost invariable got, "Whoa, that's a REALLY hard instrument." I'm re-learning Syriac too, which I think is a hard language -do they think I should quit? Obviously not if I don't want to. I'm just wondering why people do this. Why do they acquire a tone of discouragement just because something's not going to be easy? Ooooh, you might fail. So? You might look bad. And?

Anyway, I've been mulling this over a lot because I was seriously beginning to think that signing up for lessons was this outrageous, impractical, unrealistic, crazy move. Am I glad I didn't listen to the naysayers (kind of like the way I ignored all the folks who were horrified I was applying to med school with a husband & kid after NOT majoring in a science). I LOVE my oboe lessons. I am having the time of my LIFE. I don't care if I'm terrible right now. This is FUN. Last week I was all sputters and squawks. This week my teacher said I was actually producing good long tones. I gotta admit, I am impatient: at the end of my practice sessions last week, I put away the exercise book and tried playing things by ear, and though my technique was completely horrendous (having had only one lesson at the time), still, it was tantalizing to see what MIGHT be if I really work at this. I got out a couple of phrases of some folk songs, hymns, & carols. Someday they might even sound like they're being played on an oboe. :) I've resolved to be more patient, though, especially since after my second lesson I have a better idea of HOW to work on things like tone & tonguing (which I find so much harder than just slurring notes smoothly together; my teacher says it's often the opposite in children - wish I had started younger).

Now I just have to figure out what to do about my left fourth finger, which tends to lock and get stiff when I press on the G key. I think it's weak, and it may not be pressing on the key properly either. Hope I can fix that problem.


Anonymous said...

(Originally posted 5/23/07 5:52am)

Hi T,

I'm another of Kyoko's adult students. She has mentioned your zest for the oboe to me because I am also deliriously affected with an incurable case of "oboeitis enthusiasticus". I've had it for over three years and it seems to be incurable. The only antidote is to give up your day job and PLAY!!! Good luck with your studies and keep enjoying. I've suggested to Kyoko that she have a recital one day for all her come-to-the-oboe-later-in-life-students!!!

T. said...

(Originally posted 5/23/07 1:29pm)

Thanks! I am so glad to know there are others out there with the same "affliction" - it's hard to find folks who understand! You're brave to suggest a recital - I have terrible stage fright, but maybe the oboeitis will mitigate its effects some. Good luck to you too! I hear you're doing great!