Mixed success in class today, though no excruciating moments. I started out well, getting through the Moyse 24 Melodic Studies nos 5, 8 and the variation of no. 4 (carried over from last week) with pretty good feedback. In the variations of no. 8, I still need to work on totally equal triplets, as well as good phrase endings (not chopping) and clear re-articulation of repeated notes. Most importantly, though, I didn’t get one negative comment about expression.

Then came the trickier part in the form of Andersen no. 4, which opened up the can of worms that is articulation. The main feedback for the study itself was that notes weren’t staccato throughout, with other additional comments being made about the relative dynamics of notes and evenness, which I knew still needed work before I played it!

Articulation has never been a strong point, and this study rather highlighted my inability to maintain a short, light staccato, let alone one that allows me a good control of dynamics. It’s my own fault, I have never been a consistent practiser of articulation exercises for single tonguing, and have tended to work on it only when required. Along with re-doing the study next week (as expected!), I have been prescribed work on Trevor’s Practice Book 3 which deals with articulation. Lots of tongue-free abdominal muscle work in store for me! I need to make sure not to move anything when doing these exercises, not my lips, mouth, shoulders or flute. Challenge accepted.

My bash through Altès no. 2 was mostly fine, although there is a rather tricky high sequence in the middle that I hadn’t done enough work on. Interestingly, the class said that the articulation was better when I played it faster. In some ways I shot myself in the foot with this study, but I really had no choice. Everyone else repeated Andersen no. 3 from last week and didn’t have to do battle with no. 4, so had more time for Altès. Oh well, hopefully I’ll be able to redeem myself on that front next week.

Finally, I played the first two movements of Handel’s sonata in F major in the recorder, which Trevor approved of. So I’ve ticked that box (with very minimal practice) and can hopefully get the Baroque flute next month.

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