Another full day of practice, and my lips and fingers are slowly getting used to playing for 5+ hours a day. Interestingly, I felt the effects of yesterday’s 5 1/2 hours this morning, when my lips were not at all keen on playing tunes with long notes in them. By the second hour of practice, though, I was feeling great.

Memorising the Reichert exercises is still a work in progress, but the more scalic ones from Complete Daily Exercises are fine. Here are some of the things I’m trying in order to get the Reicherts in:

No. 2 from Seven Daily Exercises:

– Playing only the first two bars in every key, really trying to get the pattern clear

– Thinking of the scale degrees within the pattern

– I’m also considering writing a couple of the more difficult keys out!

No. 4 from Seven Daily Exercises:

– Gradually building up the pattern, so starting off with the basic arpeggio, then adding the second semiquaver in each group of eight, then the third etc.

– The thing that I find difficult to remember with this exercise is by how much the third semiquaver of each group leaps. So I’ve been focusing on the scale degree of this note in the pattern – 6th, 2nd, 4th and 6th again.

– Each set of eight goes towards the arpoggiatura on the fourth semiquaver, so have been isolating the re-do-ti-do figure of this arpoggiatura as well.

I’ve also found that my melodic minor scales across the flute’s full range (low B to top D) are rather pitiful compared with the majors. I haven’t done enough work on them in recent months, and am consistently falling apart at the top turn around, especially when the 6th and 7th scale degrees are around B, C and D. And that’s only at crotchet = 66! My goal for the coming week is to get them up to the same speed as the majors; comfortable at crotchet = 88.

In addition to playing the flute, we have a number of other tasks on Trevor’s course:

– Two 30-page projects on the history of the flute, with the first (due before Christmas) covering ethnic flutes and the development of the flute up to 1700, and the second (due mid-March) covering flute development 1700-present day.

– Listen to three CDs from Trevor’s collection each week and write a short amount on our thoughts. As well as recordings of great players and key works, there are also recordings of ethnic flutes and world music.

– Perform a slow and fast movement of a baroque sonata on treble recorder with appropriate ornamentation.

– Perform a slow and fast movement of a baroque sonata on baroque flute with appropriate ornamentation.

– Borrow out a variety of ethnic flutes from Trevor’s collection and try them, ideally in line with listening to relevant CDs.

– Browse Trevor’s collection of flute literature, books, magazines and paraphernalia to get a ‘good idea of all important developments in the flute world’!

Based on that list, I should probably stop procrastinating and get down to some work!


View from the front door this morning, and the reason that I didn't go for a run.

View from the front door this morning, and the reason that I didn’t go for a run!