Wednesday, May 08, 2013

New teacher to deal with old problems

So I got in touch with a new teacher.  I guess the oboe world is very small though.  She worked very closely with my first serious teacher at the same school.  I am not at a point where I can take weekly lessons, but am hoping to see her about every third week for now.  Eventually maybe biweekly (when we pay off some debt and both girls are in school all day).

I was ultra nervous leading into it.  The idea of having to play by myself for someone who I know is an amazing player was super scary.  What will she think?  Will she regret taking me on?  But she has a very calming demeanor and I was able to get into the lesson right away.

To start she had just play from the Sellner exercise book without articulations, all legato just to get my sound to resonate.  It was a good way to get rid of the remaining nerves and warm up.  Then we talked about many different things and played a bit more.  The main theme was that I need to be in touch with my air source at all times.  Definitely something I'd heard before since it tends to be a problem area for me.  Typically I'd worry so much about the notes on the page that I'd forget many other things.  But my reading has much improved since the last time I had formal lessons so I decided to let the notes just come and focus on the actual air and sound.  It definitely made a huge difference. 

The other main topic was embouchure.  I knew going in that something was wrong with mine.  Some recent pictures of me playing confirmed that my mouth was wrong, but I couldn't quite figure it out on my own.  That's why I wanted to see a new teacher.  Because then we wouldn't get distracted by friendly banter or pieces we were working on.  She could first diagnose the problem first before going on to other topics. 

She turned out to be a great embouchure doctor.  She watched me intently and had me try several things before delivering the diagnosis.  I am basically reinventing the wheel every time I put the reed back in my mouth.  That makes it nerve wracking every time I have to start playing.  Plus there is no guarantee that the embouchure I happen to form is any good.  I needed a method.  She went over how she lets her reed rest on the bottom lip and then forms the embouchure around that with the upper lips and corners.  I was also letting my upper lip come out some and doing something strange with my bite.  I need to keep the bite even and not chomp down.  To think round.  When I do it correctly, the sound becomes more focused, less buzzy, and overall more beautiful.  She was actually surprised by how decent a sound I was getting with my bad embouchure but the correct one is a VAST improvement!!  So I need to start working it in little by little.  She stressed to not go crazy trying to change it overnight.  I need to work up my endurance slowly.  She's confident I will be able to do it eventually.

Oh, and I need to start working on a Handel piece from the Oboe Solo book.  Need to look that up.

Sorry this is poorly written.  Just want to get my trhoughts down because it's been a while!  Am still here tooting along.

Oh last thing, so another adult student went in after me and he invited me to play in his orchestra in Queens.  What to do???  I am tempted to go and see what it would be like to be in a real "section" .  But their rehearsals are on the same night as ours.  I could do it over the summer when ours move to another day, but then how about if I like the other one and want to stay on both??   #firstworldproblems