Ok, I have been horrid at keeping up with my blog. The problem is that these days I am NOT at the computer all day long. In fact, many days may pass by before I have a chance to sit down at one. I also have my MIL at home for the summer and it's done a number on me.
Oboe is going well, thankfully. As well as it can go when you're only practicing an hour a day. My repeated attempts at working up to two daily practice sessions have been fruitless. I am not sure why it's so difficult. God knows I want it badly enough. I have never in my life wanted anything as much as I want to get good at the oboe. So why then am I lazy? Maybe lazy is not the right word. I mean I am practicing. And I do see improvement at this rate. It just seems very slow. Perhaps the reason is that as you progress it gets exponentially harder to get to the next level. Trying to beat my scale times was sort of fun for a while, but now I am kind of bored of it. Plus I was starting to focus too much on speed and not enough on clarity, sound, and evenness (is that even a word?).
In the last few months I have made improvements in the technique front. I am able to play faster and clearner than before. This is good because it was one of my weakest areas. Now I feel that my weakest area lies in the air stream. I need to focus on breathing and on how I am using my air. I think that once I do that I will be a more even player. Both of my teachers have now told me that I am ready to learn vibrato but neither of them have taught me it yet. We keep getting distracted by other stuff at lessons. And since I don't really want to rush into vibrato I won't push for it. I really want to feel more confident with my air before I get into vibrato anyway. I wonder if a week is enough time? My next lesson is on Sunday.
I am nearly done with my initial studying of the Correlli concerto. I can play all the movements now close to tempo. My intonation has been good, at least when I am being careful about my embouchure and not biting. I need to just work more on expression.
I am also starting on a new piece. We've decided that it's still a bit hard for me but we'll go on with it anyway. It's an oboe version of Ravel's "Piece en forme de Habanera". Technically it's not all that bad except for two scaley runs. The problem is playing it beautifully. It will be a challenge but I really love Ravel and the Tombeau de Couperin is still years away! I must admit, however, that I've been practicing the intro to the Prelude at 40 (real tempo is 92) as a way to warm up the last few days. I also dabble at the Minuet intro and the Rigaudon solo. I can't help myself! Gimme my Ravel! *giggle*
I passed the 1.5 year mark a few weeks ago. Though the Type-A part of me focuses on everything that needs to improve I think that I should feel pretty good with my progress thus far. I seriously thought it would take YEARS to play scales on the oboe. Everyone had said it was so hard that they had freaked me out. I can't do scales lightning speed yet but I can certainly do any of them slowly enough. And who would have thought that I'd be playing the Habanera piece at 19 months? Now if I could only make myself walk down the stairs for a second practice session tonight!!!