Friday, April 08, 2005

Conversations with my teacher

I had a lot to say but now I'm a little tired. This may come out a bit convoluted.

I had a nice, long class tonight. I was able to talk with my teacher about most of the things that were bugging me this last week.

Thankfully my reed, which had been acting up, starting behaving last night and was decent tonight.

We talked a lot tonight but I did get to play the Telemann concerto in F minor. In its entirety. It wasn't pretty but I made it all the way to the end. I had been feeling kind of bad, like I hadn't improved in a few weeks. But after mangling through the piece I realized I have. Also my teacher reminded me of the stuff I was playing just a month ago and that helped me feel better.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

* I am going to bid on the oboe I saw earlier this week. What I realized, and my teacher confirmed, is that no matter how much I spend on an instrument right now I will want to upgrade it later on for something else. Who knows what my taste will be like in some years when I am playing better? So if I have to upgrade anyway later on then I may as well go for this instrument which is in good condition and at a good price. So wish me luck on the auction.
* I get to work on the Telemann now and can put Ferling aside for a bit. He didn't say that I could put it away altogether but I should focus on Telemann instead.
* Pati was right. I've probably been practicing too long. Sounds weird, right? But anyway tonight I played enough that I was starting to get tired and I admitted to my teacher that I tend to play even beyond that point. I was told to break up my sessions. I have to give all those muscles time to get stronger.
* The best development is that it's ok for me to spend more time on repertoire. I tend to always want to do things the hard way and was approaching music the same way. Unless I was doing long tones or scales I was feeling that I was wasting my time. I didn't want to allow myself the enjoyment of playing actual music. It was like I was punishing myself for being a beginner. I wouldn't let myself play any pieces until I went through my "technical" regimen. I think I took it a bit too far and have now been given permission to play more music! HURRAH! Now I understand why my teacher hasn't been recommending any method books to me beyond the Gekeler and Ferling. He feels that the things that I wish to learn are all found in the literature and I should just start exploring that. Want to play long tones? Play some nice slow movements. Want to practice some articulation? The Telemann concerto has a lot of stuff going on with that. One of the things that had been bothering me was that I was feeling like I was making a lot more sound but not a lot more music. My teacher agreed that I need to work on phrasing and said the only way to do that is by playing real music, not exercises from a book. So I think I am going to give myself a break for the coming weeks since I will be stressed with the end of the semester anyway. I am going to allow more time for repertoire every day. Once my phrasing catches up a bit then I will go back to a stricter regimen. By that time school will be done (for now), I'll have time to make reeds again, and I will have broken into the oboe I *should* be getting tomorrow.
* I think he found my practice plan and sample sessions more amusing than anything else. But seriously he agreed with the things I said and we chatted a bit about scale practice. As I already mentioned I was probably going for too long in one sitting before. I think he's starting to see the depths of my oboe obsession. Mwahahah! When I was leaving I was talking about how I spend most of my day at work surfing the web for oboe stuff. So he said that now all I need is a place to play while at work. I admitted to considering playing in the parking lot but that it's usually too cold. So he says "It's warming up now, you know". Haha, it was pretty funny. He said it wouldn't surprise him at all if I found a way to play during work and I wouldn't be the first musician to do so. Yay, I'm a musician again!

All in all, a good night.


dulciana said...

I've been told more than once to practice less - by teachers and even priests. I was overwhelmed by my first church organist job, and would go to the church and practice for hours and hours. The priest would come in and say, "It's good enough! Go home! Have a drink!" Seriously, sometimes, a piece needs to stew in your head and fingers a little and you find when you come back to it, it's improved. At least that's true for me... I'm enjoying your posts!

Hilda said...

Hey Dulciana. Nice having you around! I'm glad you're enjoying the posts.

I've taken it easy with the practicing since that lesson, but am hoping to get back to a stricter regimen this week. I feel like a slacker now! But it's been nice to just have fun and play tunes the last few days. Now I will go back to my practicing with more energy.

Happy practicing to you!

By the way, your daughter is incredibly precious. God bless her!h