I am unfortunately not on hols, still here in wet and sticky London working hard!
As it's a bit quiet in here at the moment I thought I'd give a quick(ish) update on my progress, for those that are interested!
So I've been having lessons since the end of April now, which I guess is about 12, what with breaks for holidays and everything. I'm really enjoying it but getting frustrated at my lack of opportunity to practise which is really holding me back in developing my breathing and support technique. Getting home at 8 p.m. and being away for lots of weekends is really not helping!
The main things I need to work on are: putting a faster air stream through, relaxing the breathing so that it comes naturally from my diaphragm instead of my chest, and a lighter tonguing action (I usually disturb the air stream too much so that the sound is interrupted. I think I have a fat tongue!)
My sound is improving, sometimes it approaches acceptable! The higher register is better when playing scales as I can focus on producing a rounder sound. In pieces the high notes tend to be quite thin and the intonation is more of a problem.
The lower register is best when played legato. I have been really struggling to maintain a good sound in non-slurred passages lately due to the tonguing issue. The second half of the first movement of the Corelli is my nemisis at the moment!
In terms of pieces I am working through the Hinke book (sticking to the simple, early ones to keep working on basic techniques, trying to set some decent foundations!) I also have the Corelli of which I've looked at the first movement the most but am now playing through the third and fifth.
I have been asked to pick up Nielsen's Two Fantasy Pieces this week to look at the Romanze so I'm looking forward to seeing what that's like and having something new to attempt.
My teacher made my last reed for me and after a shaky start (much shorter scrape, very hard to play at first) it's now working well and I find I can no longer use my old reeds as I'm overblowing and the sound is much worse. I don't want to think how much money is sat in redundant reeds in my spare room!
My rented S10 is going back, along with the brand new S40 Howarth's lent me on approval. I am going to buy the second-hand Cabart as I have got very attached to it and think of it as mine. (It's not a bad instrument, either..!)
So I'm getting there, slowly, at times painfully, more often frustratingly, but all the while thinking "one day... one day I will sound like that!"
That's it from me for now, hope everyone else is continuing to feel the oboe love!