Sunday, September 18, 2005

My Saturday

JC and Mabel have class on Saturdays so when I got up today no one else was home. I took it easy in the morning. I made myself a parfait of nonfat yogurt, granola, and strawberries. After breakfast, I washed my hair and did my rollers. While I sat in the dryer I did some Organic Chemistry problems. And then I did some more problems. My people got home at around 3 PM and I continued to work on Orgo problems. They're kind of fun actually. We're still doing easy stuff. Eventually I took a break to go out to get some food to make dinner. I cooked three nights in a row! I think that's a record for me. Tonight we had rice and fried steak and snow peas. After dinner JC left for his gig. He's playing with like 79 groups right now. Ok, maybe just 4 or so. At that point I put some clothes in the washer and went back upstairs to finish my chapter 3 Orgo problems. We're already on page 100 in the textbook after three lectures. The text is nicely written though and not overly dry for a Science textbook.

I realized eventually that I was procrastinating about practicing. Why do I always do that? It's becoming a daily struggle. When I first get up I want to play. But as the day wears on I start procrastinating. At around 9:45 I finally made my way down and ended up playing past 11. That always happens too. Once I star I'm fine with it. But something about actually starting it freaks me out. I think I get lonely in the basement or something. I am surprised I managed to do it especially since I was home alone (Mabel went out with a friend). When JC is home and playing his piano down there I have less trouble getting down. Anyway, my Jacob "Interludes" are moving along. I feel better about all the movements except for that naughty Scherzetto. It's almost all staccato and also very chromatic so when I'm not playing sharp I am playing the wrong note. And this is at 2/3 tempo. Woah.

My practice session went well today. I didn't do as much technical stuff as I usually do. I think that's what had me in a slump. I did some long tones and then dove right into my music. I think that my embouchure is definitely improving and looking more like this (see young girl at the bottom of the page). I don't have to look at the mirror ALL of the time anymore; I can kind of tell when it's right and when it isn't. I'm trying to employ all of the elements of a good embouchure now: the corners of the mouth, flat chin, non-biting. We'll see what my teacher says on Wednesday. I'm excited about having an upcoming lesson!

I recorded myself again tonight. The last time I had done that was July 21st. That time I recorded myself doing a C major scale and Cui's Orientale. Tonight I did the same thing again for comparison. I was pleased to hear modest improvements in both sound and technique. Though I had been feeling as though I had no endurance and all kinds of breathing issues I managed to keep the lines of the music better this time and paid more attention to phrasing. I also didn't get as tired as the last time that I played the piece.

I was so inspired after my practice that I went upstairs and started two new reeds!

Now I'm here blogging. What a productive day! Did my hair, lots of studying, washed a load, cooked dinner, practiced, made reeds, blogged. *phew* No wonder I'm sleepy hehe.

Let me ramble some more though.

My oboe anniversary is coming up (well, in December) and I keep wondering how I'm doing overall. Maybe I will ask my teacher to assess me at that time. Maybe it's my Type A coming out, but I would really like to know if I am doing below average, average, or above average for a one year amateur. I don't know why it's important to me, perhaps because I'm so school oriented and am always curious to know where I stand in terms of ranking. Well, regardless, I still love playing my oboe and will continue even if I'm in the bottom of the pack.

Last week they had auditions at school for the orchestra. *sigh* It would be so cool to be able to play there some day. They are going to play Brahms's 4th this season. I'm so jealous!! Oh and they have 5!!! oboists on the roster this year. Damn. Last year they had to get people from outside which was a good sign because maybe some year they'd be desperate and would need me. Hmmmm.

I found out about yet another school orchestra with open auditions. There's something called the BMCC Downtown Orchestra (at Borough of Manhattan Community College). There was a flyer about them up at Columbia. I wanted to get more info on them but when I called the director his mailbox was full. I guess it must be really popular which means I'd probably not ever get in.

I also got an email about chamber groups forming up at my old school. Temptations, temptations. But I rather our quartet pick up instead. So for now I will stay focused on that. We're on hiatus right now because "Fututo" (the bassoon) is at the shop.


patty said...

No one can procrastinate bette than I, Hilda. Honest. I've finally accepted this as part of my bizarre personality. Once I pick up the oboe I'm more than happy to practice (as long as my reeds are happy). But I first find myself cleaning the house rather than pulling out the oboe. After that I find something else I simply MUST do ... it just takes me eons to get to what I really need to do, which is pull out the oboe and practice. Go figure.

dulciana said...

I'm still impressed that you manage to get your practicing in on top of everything else! I have an oboist coming to play with me at church next Sunday. You can bet, I'll be thinking of you!

Hilda said...

Oh thank goodness! I was feeling somewhat ashamed about my procrastination. How could I love the instrument and music so much yet still procrastinate? Now I feel more normal! And yes my house has been a whole lot cleaner ever since I started playing oboe!

Dulciana, I'll be there in spirit then. :-) How fun!

It *is* difficult to fit practicing in and I am feeling like my sessions are disjointed. But I think that as long as I can survive these first few weeks I will fall into a nice rhythm and be able to keep everything up. It's very easy to get swept into the whole premed thing and have that overrrun your life. But as long as I listen to music I remember what life is really about for me. And if I ever want to play with other people on a regular basis I have to keep practicing every day.