Aaron Hill has started recording the wonderful Ferling etudes. Not knowing him, I will be honest and say I didn’t know what to expect. After hearing a few I admit I’m highly impressed! I hope readers (and listeners) here will enjoy and learn from them.

Here is the first etude:

Mr. Hill had posted some on a Facebook page and an individual wrote some amazingly impolite and unkind words about the etudes and, thus, was quite dismissive about Mr. Hill’s work. I was quite shocked … very seldom have I encountered such blatant rudeness in such a public way. If you don’t like something (like the Ferling) it’s not always necessary to tell the world! Ah well.

The same poster wrote to say that videos are not a good way to learn and was quite dismissive about that as well. Would I interpret each etude as Aaron Hill did? I doubt it. We all have our take on things. But we can all learn from watching and listening. It doesn’t mean we must mimic someone. We learn to write by not only writing, but by reading. We learn to play by not only practicing but by listening. Yes, private instructors are important. Live performances are as well. But in this world we live in now, why limit ourselves to that?


  1. Thanks, Patty! We’ll see if the next Ferling Friday will produce another lively conversation. I’m almost disappointed that none of the negative comments were directed at the quality of my performance. They were all about how much she hates the Ferling book. If she took issue with how I played, I would have enjoyed hearing a recording of her playing the same piece. Since all she did was attack the dead composer, all we can do is shrug, right?

  2. I’m so happy you are recording all of these, Aaron. Quite the project!

    I honestly couldn’t figure out WHAT she was criticizing, to be honest. My take on it, after re-reading, was that she probably could never play them, thus they weren’t useful to her. In any case, it was quite the puzzlement, and so darn rude I finally had to jump in. You were the wiser one, just ignoring the comments. Someone who posts as she did clearly wanted to get attention and I fell for it.

  3. I found Aaron Hill’s YouTube recordings. I’ve been looking for professional level recordings of the Ferling Etudes for such a long time. I love Ferling and am working my way through the book with the guidance of my oboe teacher who plays with the local symphony. He will play excerpts for me, but we don’t have time for him to play the whole etude. These are wonderful melodic etudes that have taught me so much about phrasing and technique. They have really helped me develop as a player. There are so many of the etudes I really love. I go back to replay them again and again. I can’t understand how someone could not appreciate these. Anyway, these recordings of Ferling by Aaron Hill are both great for listening (beautiful playing) and learning, and I for one appreciate Aaron Hill posting these very much and find the recordings inspirational. I look forward to hearing all of them.


  4. I am in complete agreement, KJC! I think Aaron’s playing is absolutely wonderful. The person who wrote so negatively is a complete puzzlement to me!

  5. Susan Kundert

    Yes, Aaron, I am also impressed with your project, and your playing. I happen to enjoy the Ferling etudes –sat down a few summers back and more-or-less learned them all. Barret, on the other hand . . . not so much.

  6. Thanks so much, KJC! I’m glad you’re enjoying Ferling and that the recordings have been useful. I’m sure we’ll cross paths at some point.


  7. Thanks, Susan! I enjoyed meeting Sam the other day. I’ve already talked to a colleague who wants to do a Barret project parallel to my Ferling project. Better her than me! I’m looking forward to hearing them. She’ll do a wonderful job.