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!


emilyoboe said...

congrats and good luck! that's some pretty impressive progress. I just have to chime in to say that it's never, ever too early too start thinking about musical expression, since that's the whole point of why any of us does any of this :) the entire purpose of technique, as I'm sure you understand, is so that a lack of it doesn't get in the way of what you're trying to say. It helps me to remind myself of that. again, congrats, have an excellent 2009!

Hilda said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting!

Maybe what I am afraid of is being "wrong" about the expression, since that is more personal.

I am going to do my best to stop putting it off and to make my music actually say something. I think that's what my teacher was getting at when I first went to her and she weaned me off the technical exercises and forced me to play actual music.

Have a great 2009 too!