All of a sudden it’s the start of December! Following my lovely weekend away (I’ve added some pictures to the posts now), I’m back in to the swing of things here and feeling that there’s a lot to get done in the lead-up to Christmas. Here’s what the next month looks like:

Thursday 11th – Masterclass with Rachel Brown

Saturday 13th – Day trip to London

Tuesday 16th – Submit flute history project and Christmas concert for the local gardeners’ association

Saturday 20th – Christmas concert in the Hastingleigh church

Monday 22nd – Final class, in the evening I’m leaving to stay with family for Christmas

That’s in addition to the regular classes and all that needs preparing for them. Phew!

After my misgivings yesterday, I played a little better in class than I thought I would. Part of it, I think, was that each time I stood up, I committed to playing as expressively as possible, enjoy it and enjoying myself. It didn’t work every time, and I was told told off for being “too scared of making a mistake” when I played Moyse Little Melodic Study No. 14. i have to admit to getting frustrated with Trevor over this one, as he kept telling me to both not hold the first too long and to play it expressively. I knew that he wanted something along the lines of a nice shimmery bit of vibrato, but I wasn’t managed it, and so he interpreted it as me wanting to play with poor rhythm. Study no. 15, however, went quite well, as did the two Altes studies I’d prepared. Andersen No. 7, which was the one I was most fearful about, came across better than I had hoped, though did prompt further discussion of my inability to play loudly. I’ve been told anew to practice tone exercises for a really loud, resonant sound, and will have to make some time for that in the coming days!

I’ve been doing some bits and pieces of reading on different ways to practice, and saw a link to this blog, which gave me some food for thought. The article suggests that it’s better to practice in small chunks so that we are better at re-setting and (hopefully) producing under pressure. It argues that this method of practice avoids mindless repetition and gets things into the fingers and memory in a way that makes them stick a bit better. I’m going to have a try starting tomorrow, as preparing the number of studies Trevor wants a week is still tricky!