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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Travels Begin

It is finally time for my two-week vacation - and for five weeks of non-home, non-routine life. I love my well-established patterns and I love being comfortable in my own home - I already miss my early morning coffee and journal time alone at my porch table - but I really think that this next month will be fabulous for me. I was needing a shakeup to restart my productivity.

All last week I was teaching at the Dake Academy - the SBSO's summer chamber music camp for highschoolers - and it was completely all-consuming. Monday I devoted every spare minute to preparing for my Tuesday seminar and solo performance on the faculty recital, and Tuesday after the recital I spent a couple of hours preparing food for the faculty party which I hosted Wednesday after the camp. Thursday was the long day which included the big performance at night, and Friday I was the bus leader as all of the chamber groups toured South Bend. During the camp I was busy coaching my chamber trio (in which I wa…

Listen and Learn

I've been enjoying these past few weeks of relative leisure, and I'm finding myself in a new part of my creative cycle. This week I am seeking outside inspiration. I am reading other people's blogs and listening to recordings and watching videos. I'm still doing my own work, of course - plugging away at the early stages of preparing my next sets of music - but I want to hear how other people turn their phrases or what kinds of sound and color choices they are making or what they are thinking about.

I believe, deeply, that listening to music is an important part of growing as a performer. You can learn so much from hearing what others do. I think I am not alone among musicians, however, when I say that by the time I finish my day or my week filled with orchestral rehearsals and performances, my own personal practice time, and my focused attention to the playing of my students, the last thing I want to do is to seek out other oboists or hear one more note of classi…

Tapering

I'm tapering for my BIG RACE, which is tomorrow morning. The taper makes a lot of sense - I obviously want to start my run feeling as fresh as possible, and not risk being tired or sore from a recent hard workout. So this whole week I have been resting - or at least, not running - and eating heartily. After all, I have to do something with the hours I'm not running, so I might as well cook. As a result, I feel fat and sluggish, which is not making me confident about racing 13.1 miles tomorrow. My mind knows that this is smart, but my legs aren't quite as sure.

Training for this race has been interesting - I have been more structured about it than I had been for previous, shorter races. I had expected that the distance would feel overwhelming, as I had really never run more than an hour at a time before. I built up gradually though, adding just a mile each week, and it really turned out that the distance was not a big deal. As long as I go nice and slow, which is m…