I was so ready to play my “difficult excerpt” and we never got around to it! Shoot. I didn’t realize we’d be playing every student’s work for flute, oboe and clarinet in the orchestration class. So I had about 5 minutes to talk (at the end) about the oboe and English horn, and no chance at all to demonstrate. Such is life.

It was fun to read the student’s works. Some were very pretty. Some were inventive. One sounded as if the student was in orchestra where they are playing New World Symphony because I could easily have played the English horn solo from the second movement right over what we were playing. Hmmm. Some students didn’t realize that we have to be able to see notes and accidentals and that we also like dynamics and articulations. They are, of course, just learning. So we play what is on the page, and if we can’t see the light pencil marks, play some wrong notes, and never do anything but tongue every note since there are no articulatons marks they learn. I hope.

But anyway, I really enjoyed the class. I only wish we could have more time with them!


  1. So, what was the difficult excerpt you were going to play?

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Hah! It was something terribly “easy” … except in the moment. Can you guess what it might be? Think Puccini’s La Boheme.

    I just wanted students to understand that so much depends upon the context. I’ve played Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale and I can tell you that as difficult as that solo is, I get more scared for some of the “simpler” things. 🙂