I’m not sure whether it’s the cold or that everyone’s been around each other a bit too long, but things are starting to feel a bit uncomfortable here and there. I was the only one in my dairy that practised today, and for myself was feeling energised and excited to be back into it after the Christmas break. I’m not sure what’s up with the other two, though do wonder whether they might be struggling a bit with the winter weather. Trevor was certainly in a bad mood this evening, giving a stern talk about signing books out properly (one that he wants has gone walk-abouts), and then declaring that he didn’t want to walk and would just drop us home. Decidedly odd.

After a chilly shopping trip this morning, I had quite a productive day. My new goal is really getting to grips with mental practice, as I think it’s the key to improving my memory and confidence for all the technical exercises. The plan is that for every hour of practice that I do with the flute, I now do 15 minutes of slow mental practice – visualising myself playing through a passage or exercise. It’s quite tiring, especially since I haven’t been in the habit of doing it regularly. For now, it’s very slow, but I hope that with a couple of weeks it will really help me to get things going a bit faster and more easily. I managed three lots focused mental practice, but by later in the afternoon was loosing concentration.

On January 11th we have a piccolo masterclass with Patricia Morris, and so today I also started work on some studies and excerpts for that. Trevor has suggested a couple of the Moyse 24 Melodic Studies, a study from Patricia Morris’s book, and a few excerpts from the Piccolo Practice Book. I’ve chosen some good studies, but am still deciding which excerpts to do.