Thursday, November 29, 2012

AIR Assignment #1: The Pavarotti Sing Along

We've covered lots of pedagogical topics so far,  but now comes the really, really, big one. Probably the  most important aspect of playing the oboe:


For the first steps,  we aren't going to use the oboe at all.  Stick with me here!  By now I hope we've developed some trust,  so we will get to the oboe eventually.  :)

Your first assignment is to sing.  REALLY sing! Full-throated, uninhibited, vibrato-laden, over-the-top,  FUN singing.  Be that person singing at the top of their lungs in the car next to you.  Or maybe you'll find your perfect resonance in the shower,  or if available, go out to the woods/remote area near you and really belt out some great tunes.

For practice,  here's are some folks you can sing with. I think they're pretty good. I've included both Youtube clips and Spotify recordings.

or even this for those wanting to be in the holiday mood:

Hopefully one of these will suit your tastes.  Sing along,  but REALLY SING.  Lots of air!! Less tension!  Produce the biggest sound you can!!  Practice this over, and over, and over,  and over, then we'll be in touch soon with another assignment.   

Until next time,  I wish you blissful singing!  

Oboe and out,

The Oboist


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  2. Greetings, Dr. Garvey. I just came across your blog today through Patty Mitchell's (of oboeinsight). I actually met with her once back in 2007 when I visited CA. I'm an adult amateur who started playing oboe in 2004 at the ripe young age of 30. I wasn't completely new to music though, which helped a little. I had been playing saxophone and was also a music theory/history major in college. I studied pretty seriously for my first 3-4 years (with Jaqueline Leclair and Toyin Spellman) and then got side-tracked with two little people who joined our family. Even though I haven't been practicing regularly or taking lessons since 2008, I've continued playing occasionally in a local woodwind quintet. More recently I joined an amateur orchestra and am now reinspired to really study again (it helps that the babies aren't quite so babyish anymore). So I started writing in my own blog again and reading Patty's and that lead me here. Thanks so much for all of the amazing information you've put out. Now that I'm starting again but with some experience under my belt, I had realized that embouchure and air are what I most need to focus on in order to gain the expressive power I'm still lacking. So your information was pretty much exactly what I needed. I'd be very interested in the method that you are working on. Many thanks and I look forward to future posts and perhaps connecting with you in the future. Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Hilda-
      Thanks so much for the comments! Great to hear that you're playing oboe--an easy, yet forever challenging change from the saxophone. I'm glad that the information is helpful to you; feel free to write with questions you're having or for clarification on any ideas. The book is slowly making its way into the world and I'll be certain to write a blog post when it's finished, likely this summer! :) Right now I'm still organizing my thoughts and will soon begin work on video demonstrations that will be part of the book. Keep up the good work playing in your community and stay in touch!
      Best wishes for 2013, CG.