Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summertime Practice Blues

For anyone having summertime practice blues (you know who you are!),  I thought I'd paste a handout that the venerable Christopher Weait (retired bassoon prof from The Ohio State Univ) used to give to his bassoon students.  I think all of these things can apply to oboists as well.  So,  read,  learn from it,  and get off your duff and practice.  Time to go "get awesome!"

Here's a copy of the handout from Professor Weait:


School is out: classes, lessons, rehearsals, concerts are finished. Sounds and feels good; we all need the break.

     Summer can pose real problems for music majors.   The absence of lessons and rehearsals often means the absence of motivation and inspiration from those sources.  Maintaining progress on our instrument may become difficult.  While a rest from your instrument is important, it is too easy to slack off, get lazy, become a couch potato.  The “summer situation” is similar to the conditions you will encounter after graduation when all of the motivation will have to come from you, the musician. Summertime is a good time to get used to this reality for your future.

Here are some summer suggestions to assist you to maintain progress and motivation:

•  chose and learn recital repertoire

•  learn important orchestral excerpts

•  learn to read a new clef or to transpose

•  form a small ensemble for weekly rehearsals

•  perform solos or ensembles in church, at a park, at a music camp, at a day care or retirement home

•  work on your high register (one octave scales)

•  learn new scales: whole-tone, octatonic (diminished), blues

•  play melodies in styles you have never played

•  make enough reeds for the new school year

•  take lessons (it doesn’t have to be with a bassoonist!)

•  teach some lessons

•  compose music for the bassoon: etudes, solos, ensembles

•  listen to recordings: bassoon solos, chamber music, music you DON’T know

     If you are not taking lessons, make your own assignments: scale of the week, etude of the week, reed of the week.  Keep moving through material, do a variety of stuff, not just one thing.  Don’t get hung up on one scale or etude.  If you are working at a non-music job, try to practice before work so you are fresh and alert.  If you get stuck send me an e-mail message.

     The first week of school in September looks like a long way off right now.  It will come all too soon for all of us!  Stay in shape so you can make a good impression at those first week auditions and lessons.

Good luck and have a healthy and safe summer.  I look forward to seeing you in September. 



I hope you found something interesting in there for you! 
Oboe and out,


No comments:

Post a Comment