I’m looking for an used english horn or a cor anglais. It doesn’t have to be in top shape, even broken is fine.

Hmmm. Maybe someone is planning on making an English horn lamp?

Really. Sometimes people purchase old awful instruments and use the instrument for a lamp stand. Actually maybe I should have one of those. Hmmm.

(& I’m not sure what the person said english horn or cor anglais. They are one and the same. Just like oboe and hautbois are one and the same. Yes?)

28. August 2009 · Comments Off on Frustration, Practicing, & all that Jazz · Categories: Ramble, Videos

Last year, trying to learn the oboe, the kid was struggling so much she was getting embarrassed in music class, hated practicing, was having no fun at all. Midway through the school year, she asked if she could drop out of music. I made her a deal: If she practiced at least five times a week for a month, she could quit; but if she missed just one week she’d have to play the entire year. She wanted to quit so bad she put more into the oboe than she had all year, and of course she became one of the best in the class and no longer wanted to stop. At the end of the school term she switched to clarinet, but she loves music now, gets it in a way she never would have — and plays a killer “Mexican Jumping Beans.”

I read that online and thought that might not be a bad idea … just make a deal for a while and see what happens.

Here’s a discombobulated ramble (I’m near to having to race out the door so I don’t even have time to edit, so please excuse all the typos and poorly constructed sentences. Heck, I don’t even know if this will make any sense at all! …?):

Oboe isn’t for everyone. (And, as a reminder, it is NOT a college entrance ticket, even if some parents are still counting on that.) It’s a frustrating instrument, to be sure. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I find it frustrating at times. Dealing with the frustration has become easier, so I hang on to that.

I have some students who, I can tell, aren’t practicing. Are they frustrated? I’m not sure. They might just be too busy. They might be lazy (although most are so darn busy I can’t imagine they have any time to be lazy!). The other night I heard Carlos Santana say something interesting when he was asked about practicing. He said, “I never practice. I take my guitar for a walk. I take my fingers for a walk.” Hmm. What if parents just suggest to their child, “Why don’t you just take that oboe for a walk for a while?” I know that when I start my practice on the fun side, I can more easily get into the work of it all. When I begin with something that is especially difficult, I tend to get tired more quickly, and I look for any excuse to stop.

But, of course, one does have to hunker down and really work. My students know about my “dissection method” and “opening the curtain” and the “5 X Rule”. They know ’em, and don’t particularly care for them, but sometimes we do those during lessons and I promise you that every time we do they wind up playing so much better. Funny how that happens.

Oh dear … gotta run! So I’ll just post the first movement of the Mozart Oboe Quartet below for your enjoyment:

28. August 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: TQOD

Played an oboe for the first time! It was easy! Super wicked!

28. August 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: BQOD

Today my band director wanted me to learn the OBOE, since I mastered the trombone.