Only the third day, and it feels like we might be starting to get into the swing of things. I went for a run again in the morning, and took some lovely pictures of the sunrise over the downs. There is a rather nasty hill that I need to get back up on the way home, and I’m hoping that in the coming week I can make it up without stopping. Both mornings so far, I’ve had a little breather by the field of cows.

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Running at sunrise

Yesterday, Trevor casually dropped that he wanted us each to play both an Andersen study (op. 15) and one of the Moyse 24 little melodic studies in class today, which sent us all into a bit of a practice panic. I decided to go with what I knew, and picked Moyse No. 3 and Andersen No. 3. We started class at 9am, and spent the first two hours playing an easy tune (from memory, transposing it up by semitones) and then exercise no. 2 from Seven Daily Exercises by Reichert. I’m keen to get this one off the book as soon as possible, but then ended up spending quite a lot of time doing a ‘solo’ because I wasn’t being expressive enough in my phrasing!

Studies started after the morning tea break, and everyone managed to play a different one from each collection. My Moyse wasn’t too bad, in that we didn’t go into it for half an hour! I need to remember that staccatos are always espressivo, and not to do funny things with my rhythm because I’m trying to be expressive. It rather sounds like I’m never going to win! My Andersen was less pleasing, and we spent a long time talking about the use of appoggiaturas in simple tunes – starting with Three Blind Mice. I’ve now been given a selection of basic tunes to practise so that I can “stop doing funny things all the time”. All in all, nothing too harsh in terms of comments, but I do rather think that we’re being broken in gradually! Proper lessons (including the walk across the fields to get there) start Monday, and from then on it’s two Andersen studies a week plus scales, exercises, excerpts and repertoire.

At 3pm we headed for Tescos, which is a drive away and so a weekly trip only (usually on Tuesdays). It felt like a return to civilisation! In anticipation of all the practice to come, I bought plenty of tea.

In the evenings, we all join Trevor on walks round villages and surrounding countryside. It’s nice to get out, and to talk with the others about things other than the flute. We’ve been issued with torches and high-vis vests for the laneways at night, and the air is crisp and delicious. Trevor knows all the cats in the village by name, and makes a point of feeding them all. This evening, he brought along a set of binoculars and we looked at the craters on the moon. I’m sure that once there is a little less light moonlight, there will be a huge number of stars to see.

 

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