Thursday, July 5, 2007

Brief Oboe Update

Yes, I've been practicing even on vacation. It's hard to find a good time and place in a hotel, but I managed to practice every other day last week, and a little more this week at our cabin.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is actually getting a little faster. I now have recognizable trouble spots I can work on amid more fluent runs, instead of every measure being one messy trouble spot.

I can sight read most things I like out of our church hymnal - D and G major better than E flat or F# minor, not surprisingly.

I can play Gabriel's Oboe all the way through.

But I'm unhappy! Why? Because I sound like !$^&*@#!!

No, it's not my reed. No, it's not my trusty little student oboe. It's ME. If Mr. Kolyenkov from the play You Can't Take It With You were my teacher, he'd be pulling my husband aside and saying, "Confidentially, she stinks." I feel like my whole family thinks it sounds awful but they just feel sorry for me and don't say anything. *Sigh*

I won't have another lesson with Kyoko till August. Then I have to go on this trip with my husband's family...then what? Should I just keep taking lessons even though I feel like I'm gonna sound like stink for the rest of my life? Poor Kyoko...


Patty said...

I really doubt you will stink for the rest of your life! I've found that adult students get so easily frustrated because you LISTEN to yourselves better than the young'uns. (They "hear" differently; they hear what they THINK they sound like. Many -- though not all -- adults hear the reality or, and I suspect this might be you (?) hear more harshly than reality.)

In any case, I do hope you hang in there!

One thing that -- well, who knows if it'll help -- but you are a part of your instrument. From your toes up. Think about the "all of you" when you play.

Hmm. That isn't easy to explain. I wish you were here to "show" you what I mean.

In any case, I'm certain that 1) you will improve 2) you aren't as bad as you think.

Really. :-)

T. said...

Thanks, Patty! What you wrote reminded me of a comment from Caroline Plamondon on the Oboe BBoard (I wrote about her a few posts ago). She tells her students to support from the floor, not the diaphragm; I've also heard of aiming air beyond the key I'm playing, and in ballet, lifting my leg not with my thigh but "with" my I think I understand what you mean, about playing from BEYOND or to BEYOND the expected places. I'll keep working on it!

Hilda said...

Don't give up your lessons. Though the progress might feel slow, you do become better and better. In my case, I have to stop focusing so much on what I want the end result to be and remember to enjoy each moment that I am playing.

Caro said...

Hi I am an adult student and I find that regular lessons despite how I feel about my progress is essential. I tend to be too critical of my playing so lessons are very grounding (for better or worse) but lessons give the short term goal that is necessary to motivate the "good" practice sessions rather than just playing when ever there is time.

T. said...

Hi, Caro - Thanks for your comment! You are so right - during my teacher's 1-month absence I feel I've been floundering quite a bit, whereas when I had more regular lessons the path had a surer rhythm to it, so to speak. Should be better by summer's end! Glad you visited.