Monday, May 2, 2011

A lesson from Yo Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin

Check out this link.  I find it inspiring and a liberating way to approach performing, practicing, and exploring our art.

The Penny Game

I use this "game" with students of ALL ages as a way to work through difficult sections.

  Gather 5 pennies and put them on the left side of your music stand.  Play the difficult passage.  If you play it correctly,  then slide a penny across to the right side of the stand.  Play the passage again.  If you play it correctly once more, then slide another penny across to the other side of the stand.  If you make a mistake on any of the passage,  then ALL pennies go back to the left side and you begin again.  Once you can play the previously difficult passage 5 times in a row well,  then try at a faster tempo, etc. This a a great study in patience,  focus,  and most importantly...accuracy.

Or,  if you REALLY want to LEARN a passage thoroughly,  put 10 pennies on the stand. :)

This is great preparation for orchestral excerpts and scales.  Maintain awareness of good body use at all times and you'll really build positive habits for a life of great playing.

So, check for spare change in those couches and get practicing!

Oboe and Out,

The Oboist