06. February 2012 · Comments Off on Am I Really Listening? · Categories: Ramble

Yes, I’ve written about this before. But here I go again ….

I posted a photo I took of a crazy looking flower on my pattyo blog the other day. When I saw it on one of my walks I was just astounded by it. I still am.

But here’s the (sad?) thing: I realized, in going over last year’s photos, that I had taken photos of it last summer! I just hadn’t really seen it clearly when I snapped the photos back then. Sometimes, with a camera in front of my face, I’m not really looking. It’s similar to how I read sometimes — I might read an entire page of words and realize I didn’t get the content at all. Sad, but true.

And so it goes with music. For me. For my students.

Sometimes after a student plays something I’ll ask, “What did you hear?” I can’t tell you the number of times a student will confess to not really hearing anything. We get so busy working on fingering, or breathing, or making the darn reed work or something else that takes our concentration that we forget to listen! When I get new students who have been taking oboe for quite some time they frequently have missed hearing “glitches” (notes between notes) the entire time they’ve played the instrument.

When we practice it is always a good idea to ask ourselves “What am I hearing?” on occasion. It may sound crazy, but we need to be reminded to listen.

Oh … and that crazy flower? Here you go:

This new and exciting photo hobby of mine is teaching me to see more, see more clearly, and see differently. It’s quite fun!

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