First full day of normal lessons, and I can’t say that I enjoyed myself too much. After the exhilaration of yesterday, as well as my practice over the weekend, I was hopeful that my playing might please Trevor a little more than on Friday. Fat chance – today’s theme seemed to be ‘let’s point out all Naomi’s flute failings’, which can be summed up as follows:

– “You play with absolutely no expression”

– My vibrato sounds like a goat

– I don’t have an innate concept of musical line

– I can play neither loudly nor quietly enough

On the other hand, my intonation has been pronounced ‘not bad’. That is still quite a list to be starting with, and certainly not aimed to improve my self-confidence. And this entire list was based on my performance of warm-ups and three lines of the Andersen Op. 15 Study No. 1!. Considering that this is only day 6, I think that the question is not whether all this is as bad as Trevor makes out (I know I need to work on aspects of my playing, that’s why I’m here), but how to deal with his teaching methods themselves.

I’m not for a moment saying that I was the only one to cop it today, criticism was dealt out to all in some form or another, but I did seem to get something of a special treatment. So, here are the things I’m keeping in mind for the moment:

– I do come across as quite self-confident, which I’m not sure is the done thing here. Both that and the fact that I’m a bit more ‘settled in’ that some of the others (language and culture-wise) perhaps means that Trevor thinks I’m ready for the weightier criticism straight away.

– I’m into new music, which is not Trevor’s cup of tea.

– Trevor’s motto as listed in his practice books is that one must “play in time and in tune with a decent sense of line” to get through orchestral auditions. If my intonation is ok and he has yet to pick on my rhythm, then the decent sense of line is clearly what he’s going to go for big-time.

– Hopefully I can only improve from here! Tomorrow is a new day with plenty of hours in which to practise (and now a clearer direction), I’m a hard worker, and I want to play the flute beautifully.

Otherwise, we had a lovely walk across the fields to class this morning before the rain set in. I think it’s going to be wet for a while to come…

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