Sunday, December 14, 2008

4th year anniversary!!

Holy moly! How did this happen so quickly??

December 9th was the 4th anniversary of my starting to play the oboe. *applause* Because I ended up taking about a 6 month hiatus after the baby, I technically haven't been playing for 4 years. But 12/9 is an important day for me regardless. It matters less exactly how long I've been playing for and more that I found that enraptured me.

Though I am disappointed in what I have lost over the 6 months that I didn't play, I should still celebrate how far I've come since that rainy December evening when I brought home that old Selmer oboe and attempted to blow into it. I have definitely gotten down all of the basics of the instrument and was starting to make way into more intermediate/advanced territory. I am studying with an AMAZING teacher, made reeds, am exploring the repertoire, and have even managed to play with others, including in an orchestra and now in a woodwind quintet. I can take those off my music bucket list (even though it's only the beginning of my playing experiences).

I like to make my musical resolutions for the new year on my oboe anniversary. So here are some of the things I wish to work on for 2009:

* First and foremost, I have to get back to a regular practicing schedule. I suspect it will probably take another month or two to happen but the sooner the better. I need to not be super ambitious and just aim for 15 minutes a day to start with.
* Revisit scales. My fingers are completely clumsy these days. I want to work on ALL the scales again (not only the easier ones).
* Revisit long tones. For sound. Enough said.
* Work on getting the pieces I was studying back under my belt: the Marcello concerto, the first part of the Mozart, and Schumann Romance No. 1
* Continue playing with the woodwind quintet on a regular basis
* Possibly audition for the wind ensemble my flutist friend plays in. This is a big maybe because it's out in Brooklyn.
* Work on sight reading! If the quintet stays active I will get to do this through them.
* Pray that the quintet stays active. :-)
* Start to think more about phrasing and expression. I thought I was getting good because I could finally play things. But I was only scratching the surface. Once you are technically sound enough to tackle major works, then is when the real work begins. I do still have a lot to work on in terms of dynamic control, but I think do need to start thinking about expression. During the last quintet meeting I was able to read through the Reicha more easily, but after listening to a recording of the piece (Op. 88 No. 4, by the way) I realized that I was way off in terms of feeling. I wasn't even on the bandwagon. I am aware that that is advanced territory but I see no harm in starting to work on it now.

Hmm, ok I guess that's a lot of stuff. But basically I just need to practice again to get myself at least back to how I sounded at my best, so that then I can continue to improve from there.

Go go oboe studies!! May this coming year be better than the last!