Friday, February 09, 2007

Need to find my path again

Hi everyone! I hope that the new year is treating you well.

Though I haven't been writing as much as I'd like I do think about my blog on nearly a daily basis. I spend time thinking of posts that I would like to post, but never seem to get around to actually typing them. *sigh*

I'm afraid that things have been going slowly for me and Luna the past month. That's part of why I've been reluctant to post. I wish I could be saying that I can play the Schumann Romances now, but alas, I am still working on my Marcello. None of it is really ready yet, but I have recently started working on the third movement at half speed. By the way, what is the average amount of time that people spend on any given piece?

This past month has been my absolute worse in terms of practicing. I have been struggling majorly to practice every day. I never had this problem before. Yeah, I did procrastinate but I'd eventually get it done. Now I am taking off way more days than I'd like to. I fear that other things are distracting me from my oboe studies. Hopefully I can get back on track soon. I've had two decent practices in a row last night and tonight. If I can manage to do a few more consecutively then perhaps I can fall back into my previous rhythm.

I think that part of my problem is that I am still unhappy about my embouchure and sound production. Try as I may I can be consistent about it. My corners tend to creep up when I'm tired or too concentrated on difficult music. A part of me doesn't want to allow me to play anything fun until I GET the embouchure. Another part of me feels this is unreasonable and feels that I should continue to play music and have faith that eventually all the pieces will start to fall together. Isn't that how kids learn anyway? No child would play an instrument if they were only allowed to do long tones and slow scales for YEARS until the embouchure was perfected. Am I right or wrong about this?

I guess it's just frustrating because I am pretty sure that my sound has taking a few steps back while other aspects of my playing improved somewhat. It's tough to take a hit in the sound department since that is the whole reason I am playing this instrument. I am trying to re-commit myself to my practice because only through that will my sound get back on track. And once that happens I can give all of myself to practicing my music. Right now my Marcello feels like a guilty pleasure and I think I am holding back and purposely not studying as well as I could/should.

Any thoughts?


Waterfall said...

Only this: I think we've all been there. I don't know what's going on in your mind, but my experience has shown that the music-learning process has its ebbs and flows, and that even the ebbs are necessary sometimes. I've had to back off several times from my C# fugue. Sometimes it's necessary to step away from something in order to let your musical mind and heart regroup and figure things out on their own, away from the intstrument.

I don't know much about embouchure, but I think it's good that you're so intent on getting it just right. At the same time, remember why you're playing: because you love it (and it's fun ... usually, at least!).

If you were a piano student, I would say to work on a combination of technical-exercise-type pieces and easier pieces that can let you relax and enjoy them.

But as I know nothing about oboe-playing, my $0.02 is worth about ... $0.02. :)

Guanaco said...

I think I'm about a year or so behind you (on my cello), but I've found it takes me at least three months just to get the fingering right on a new piece. Then I'll spend several more months working up to tempo and trying to introduce some quality. I've got one or two pieces that I've spent almost nine months on and only just now can play comfortably.

I am very obsessed with my quality, and frustrated that it is taking so long to improve. My teacher tells me to be patient. It will come.


oceanskies79 said...

Yup, I agree with Waterfall.

Start small, and set very achievable target?

But I think one thing helps for me, listen to recordings and concerts and be inspired by others who play well.