Day 175 – March 24th – History

Today was both the last Tesco trip and the date for submitting the second part of our flute history projects. Trevor made sure that we got in a full session of composers in the car, and we made it through to S. While it has definitely been a good exercise – my knowledge of flute repertoire has increased dramatically – I won’t miss the awkward silences as everyone thinks of what to say!

I spent a few hours in the afternoon proofreading my project. This time round it had much more accessible language for fifteen year olds, no tables and no sentences longer than a line. However, I’m not expecting any glowing feedback, or even any good feedback for that matter. At this point in the course, I think Trevor would actually give each of us the same feedback no matter what we submitted to him, which is a pity.

That same feeling continued through my practice time, which is a pity as I really like both the pieces that we’re preparing for Thursday. I didn’t know either the Vasikenko Suite – Spring or Muthel’s Sonata in D major before coming, and both are really lovely. I spent quite a bit of time on the Muthel, which is very decorative Baroque sonata. I feel like I’ve got the skills and knowledge to really get into this music now, but yet am lacking any confidence in my ability to play it in class on Thursday.

My mum’s arriving tomorrow, and I’m heading up to London to meet her at the airport. I’m looking forward to it!

Day 173 – March 22nd – Baroque

Just a short one tonight, as it’s all of a sudden late and time for bed. I spent the day alternating productive flute activities and semi-productive procrastination! Along with Syrinx tomorrow we’re playing Telemann sonatas in F major and F minor, and I had a lovely time this afternoon practising them. My time here has really rejuvenated my love of playing Baroque music.

This evening, I bit the bullet and did a good session proofreading my flute history project. I’m making sure to use language suitable for fifteen year-olds this time, and have been sure to include some nice clear pictures. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it all off after class tomorrow.

As for the procrastination….I went for a run, did some sorting in preparation for moving out, and baked bread again! It wasn’t as good this time unfortunately. It seems like I got the one good kick from the out-of-date yeast when I opened it a few days ago. This time it didn’t activate at all, and I had mostly self-raising flour to use up. The result was a pair of rather pretty but solid loaves that have the consistency of scones rather than bread. Oh well, I just enjoyed kneading the bread! And it didn’t taste too bad with my carrot soup either.

My rather solid bread

My rather solid bread

 

Day 108 – January 16th – Bits and pieces

To be honest, today doesn’t feel like it’s been a terribly special one. Despite the chill in the air when I woke up I decided that a clear sky was a good excuse for a run, and really enjoyed myself. Rain, coupled with no walks for the last week, has really made me crave the outdoors and some exercise. Of course, it started raining again within an hour of my getting back!

This afternoon, Trevor sent round an email reminding us of all the things coming up, and all of a sudden there is a lot of extra music to work on! Our class with Juliet Edwards had now been changed to January 30th, but piccolo class with Patricia Morris is back on for next Saturday. I’m also heading up to London with Roya and Shannon this Sunday for a concert (and for me a lovely catch-up with some Aussie friends!), and we’re spending the whole day up there on Tuesday for William Bennett’s masterclass. Then there’s another class with Juliet in mid-Feb, and all of Trevor’s regular classes to prepare for as well.

For the moment, I’m still feeling buoyed up by the positive feedback in class yesterday, and the most frustrating thing in my practice today was arriving at the five hour mark and realising that my lips had definitely called it quits for the day. I’m motivated to work more than I can physically play, and so need to keep remembering the benefits of mental practice, score study and listening.

I should also perhaps start doing some serious work on the second part of my project some time!

Day 83 – December 22nd – Christmas break

Today was our final class before the Christmas break, and I have an hour to finish packing before I’m off on the train to Grimsby to stay with my grandparents. As ever, the class had some ups and downs, though not quite the ones I was expecting!

I fared quite well with warm-ups – it seems that Trevor was being a bit kinder to us because one of his former students was visiting for a few hours. As I’d guessed, he did get us to play scales, and for some reason I’m much better at that than all the exercises we usually play.

Then can feedback on our projects, and Trevor was not happy with mine in the slightest. It turns out that he doesn’t like academic papers, and went on a small rant about how verbose mine was and how tables aren’t accessible to young students. Fine, but maybe if he’d told me beforehand that the project was supposed to be written for fifteen year olds I could have chosen my language more appropriately! He couldn’t find much I was missing in terms of content, though wanted me to talk more about how the instruments sound rather than their construction, and thought my pictures were lovely. So next time I just need to write it in a different style, which I probably should have guessed anyway. Oh well, I learned a lot about flutes and flute history, which is the most important thing in the end.

As for playing, we all agreed that Moyse 24 Melodic Studies were the only things we’d go through today. Mine were “rather good”, I just need to keep remembering to be expressive from the start rather than warming into it after five minutes. And my high Ds are still flat. Anyway, I have ‘finished’ the 24 Melodic Studies and will be starting on the 25 Melodic Studies (more of the same thing, but more notes and look harder) after the break. As I said a few days ago I need to keep revisiting the 24 as well – there is still a lot I can learn from them.

Right now, though, I need to go and finish packing. My flute is coming along with me, but mostly to play Christmas carols. For the next five days I’m officially on holiday, and will not be tempted to go anywhere near a scale!