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Showing posts from October, 2015

Playing Beautifully

Here's something my students can all do, if I remind them.  They can play beautifully.  Some more beautifully than others, of course, based on their level of development, but they all know what it means. When I ask for it, they take care of the beginnings and ends of their phrases, and make themselves sound pretty.  It's an easy add-on.

Not one of them defaults to this without being reminded. Again, the more advanced they are the better they basically sound - but it gets better every time when I ask for beauty.

The regrettable aspect of this is that I, too, sometimes need to remind myself to play beautifully.

We can all get focused on the easy, quantifiable stuff - the notes and rhythms - and lose track of the overall aesthetic point. Of course, when I'm at my music stand at home learning the music for the gig that night, I'm not really thinking about the inherent beauty of my sound. I just want to make sure I'm not caught out unprepared in rehearsal, and I can ta…

Sight Reading

I had a blast today sightreading the Joffrey Ballet's Sylvia performance. I've sightread performances before, in emergency situations, and compared to that this was a non-stressful gig, since I had had it on my calendar for weeks. I had had the music to prepare from, and I had attended one performance to hear the way the orchestra played and to practice watching the conductor's tempo changes.



That didn't mean that I wasn't a little tense about it. Being able to play all of the licks in the privacy of my room, at the tempos I set for myself, is one thing. But finding my place in the chords, picking my way through tempo and key changes in real time, and discovering in the moment just how my other colleagues were interpreting the tunes we play together is quite another.

What made this experience amazing was how nice all my colleagues were to me. I got lovely, clear, helpful cues from the principal flute, the second oboe, and of course the conductor. I felt supported …