After last night’s festivities I had a bit of a lazy morning, but needed to get in plenty of practice in preparation for the coming week of classes. Rather than having a repertoire class on Thursday, we’ve got Juliet Edwards coming back for the last time on Friday 27th. I’m playing the first two movements of the Copland Duo for flute and piano, and am keen to perform a lot better than last time! I’ve spent quite a bit of time already studying the score, and focused today on making sure that all the tricky fingering passages weren’t going to come as a nasty shock later in the week. Though a bit boring, I decided that some good solid lots of repetition with the metronome was the best solution.
My other big focus this week is articulation, since I didn’t do a terribly good job with the Moyse studies in class on Monday. I know that articulation can’t be totally fixed in a week, but am keen to show that I can make some improvement and have strategies for making it better. Trevor’s advice was not just to focus on the things I’m finding hard, but to work all aspects of articulation, which was my mantra for today. Every ten minutes, I’d stop what I was working on and do a bit. Some of the things I worked on were:
– Articulating with the abdominal muscles alone and no tongue. Reichert No. 2 is ideal for this, and I’m still not totally happy with how F major (my starting key) sounds. The middle F and E in particular are likely to crack, and I need to increase my air speed as well as making the hole in my lips a little smaller to stop this. I do not need to move my lips or head to achieve the articulation!
– Dotted rhythms, which are my own personal difficult patch. The second variation of no. 16 from Moyse’s 25 Melodic Studies is giving me particular grief, and I spent quite a bit of my time today trying to make short sections of it sounds as clear and crisp as possible. It needs to sound almost over-dotted (definitely preferable to sounding like triplets!), but at that speed my tongue still isn’t moving fast enough.
– Double tonguing, in particular playing k-t k-t so that the weaker back stroke of the tongue gets a work out. Interestingly, I can do this really quite clearly for a bar or so, and then it totally falls apart. There seems to be no middle ground at all! Definitely in need of more work.
Perhaps thanks to the rainy weather I’m now just over halfway with my flute history project. After the last one, I’m making sure to write in short sentences and non-academic prose!