Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Joy---is it in you?

While on a 22 mile bike ride this morning, I got to thinking. Everything we do is better when we bring some aspect of joy to it. Take for instance the ride: while we were physically exerting ourselves and tackling some sizable hills, it was a great chance to notice and enjoy the beauty of the countryside. Bringing the joy of the moment to those hills made them an exhilarating experience instead of an exhausting experience. It's all in the perspective we bring to things.

So when practicing through my scale exercises today, the same idea struck. (And YES, I still practice my scales and daily strive for a bigger range, work on fluency, pitch, upper register ease, and tempo. Some days are definitely easier than others!). For some reason the A# and F# harmonic minor scales were particularly difficult today. Instead of focusing on them thinking "ugh, I gotta get through my scales, " I turned them on their head and brought a playfulness and joy to the practice, singing them, imagining how they should and *could* sound, then created the best scales I could and repeated them until satisfied.

Take the hard stuff and play with it. Find your sense of joy and bring it to your music. You'll be glad you did!


  1. Christa,
    I have spent much of today off and on reading and perusing your blog. As an oboe player who stopped playing for over 30 years (ouch!!) I have found my desire for reading about and contemplating the oboe, playing oboe, thinking about music, and striving to learn more, to be pretty intense. Anyway, I just want to say thanks so very very much for all your blog entries. As I read this particular one about joy it resonated so much with me because I need to remind myself that at this point in my life a primary reason for playing the oboe should be joy and enjoyment.
    Again, thanks so very much for your willingness to share your expertise, thoughts and ideas.
    Best to you.

  2. Awww, thanks, Donna!!! Consider coming to our Summer Camp for Adult Amateurs and High School Students next year----it's GREAT way to get back into playing or learn new things for the first time with others who enjoy the oboe just like you! The dates will be June 25-30th in Eau Claire, WI. Check for updates or just shoot me an email.