Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A lesson!

This past Monday I had my first lesson in two months. Neither of us could believe that that much time had passed since our last meeting. She had been traveling a bit, but mostly I just hadn't been up to it. I went through a period of severe drowsiness for a few months and lost all motivation to practice (or do anything else other than sleep). Now that my appetite is back and I don't need to sleep 20 hours a day, I am slowly trying to get back to my playing.

Taking a two month break from seeing your teacher early on in your musical education is not the best idea in the world. Apparently I developed quite a few bad habits in my time alone.

The embouchure (surprise, surprise) had creeped back a little (my corners). But that wasn't the worst of it. The worst is that I was biting quite strongly. *sigh* I had gotten so used to it that I hadn't noticed what it was doing to my intonation until she played something. Ouch! So now I have to get my jaw and throat looser and more open, while bringing my corners back forward. How frustrating to have to work on that all again when I had it almost done earlier this year. Oh well. She did think that I would get back into shape rather quickly as she noted improvement even by the end of the lesson.

The other weird thing I am doing is excessive motion with my fingers. I do think this was always going on, as it was also a problem for me back in my saxophone days. But feeling clumsy due to non-practice exacerbated the problem because in my mind I am panicking to reach the right notes.

So I am going to try to keep these two things in mind (along with everything else this week) as I work on bringing my Mozart back up to speed. I am also going to start working on the 1st Schumann Romance as a "break" piece, just to not have to spend all my time and energy on the Mozart.

I think that for now the most important thing is getting back into my daily practice routine. For me what has worked the best is to tell myself that I will practice just 15 minutes a day, as long as I get it in every day, as opposed to trying for 1 hour sessions each time. By doing this it gets me on the instrument and almost always I end up playing at least 30-45 minutes, not only 15. It's going to be a slow climb back up but I finally feel the desire again. It's just weird because I am usually a lot harder on myself but I've had to let things go and just take things one day at a time.

Happy playing!


T. said...

EXCESSIVE MOTION is the pits - I do it like there's no tomorrow!!! I feel so INEPT, especially when I see the economy of motion in professionals' fingers. I really have to work on keeping them closer to the keys.

But on a totally different subject, did you see this - they need an oboist somewhere over there, for a gig! Thought of you...

Take care!

Hilda said...

Oooo! That's an interesting post. But the recording part sounds scary. I am going to contact them anyway because maybe they need someone ongoing. Thanks for thinking of me.