Tag Archive: feedback


Not much to report today, as it was a rather confusing class. Having prepared a whole lot of studies, Trevor only heard five of the Drouet. They weren’t note perfect, and while I agree that they should have been, they also weren’t terrible. Trevor then went on a long rant about playing written dynamics and accents, then said that was enough and he didn’t need to hear any more.

While I know that I could have playing with greater dynamic contrast, once again, I didn’t think I was doing a bad job. The class has left me feeling rather frustrated and deflated because I’d done a huge amount of work over the week, and it wasn’t acknowledged at all

There were only five of us for class today, as it seems like colds are doing the rounds. So far I’ve been ok, and I’m hoping that it’ll stay that way!

As I said in my post yesterday, I was feeling a little trepidation about today’s studies, particularly the two Altès that I’ve spent a lot of time on. By contrast, I’d spent very little time on the Moyse studies, and (unfortunately) not as much as I should have Andersen No. 12! The results were interesting:

Moyse #5 and #9: Good following of notes with my lips, though both could have been faster. After no. 9 we talked a little about my needing to open up the tone in my top register. When I played the study again I did it with a lovely full tone, but need to be doing that all the time rather than just when prompted.

Moyse #8: “Lovely” – just get rid of a few wrong notes. I’d practiced this one a lot at the start of the week, but not in the last few days, and so just decided to go for it.

Then Trevor was a bit mean and made me sightread the next three studies so that he could show everyone what needed working on with them! It seems that he wants me to prepare all these in time for Monday which isn’t going to be much fun.

Andersen #12: Started out well but then I fell apart at the end of the B section where there were some particularly nasty leaps. Trevor didn’t seem terribly perturbed though, which was a bit strange. He just said ‘thank you’ and asked what was next – it seems he could tell I just hadn’t spent enough time on it. Looks like that’s back on for Monday, along with no. 13 which is a whole lot of chromatic scales.

Altès #18: “Some good things about this study, but you’re not bringing out the tune” sums this one up, and I agreed. I had spent so long on the notes and making sure that the articulation patterns were right that I hadn’t thought enough about musical direction. I need to play it again on Monday, which is a bit of a pain, but I do think I’ve learned a lot from this study.

Altès: #19: Fine, though I think Trevor would have liked it a little faster. I can play segments of it up to speed, but my tongue still feels like it’s going to fall off when I try to do a page of triple tonguing at crotchet =100!

Bach Variations #12 and #13: Ok but not tight enough…. I need to being doing little bits of this every day for a few minutes to get it tight enough.

Bach Variations #14 and #15: Trevor seemed quite pleased with these, but then tried to push and see how expressively I could play. The challenge with all these studies is achieving the articulation challenges as well as making them sound musical, and I was almost there with both. A case of attention to detail and then forgetting it and letting the music come through.

With regular class as well as the two masterclasses, we still have five to prepare for in the two weeks. Trevor’s solution to this is to set us even more work, and has asked us to write a cadenza for the first movement of Mozart’s G major flute concerto as well for next Thursday. Looks like I’m spending the evening working!

Today has been a busy one, and I’m definitely ready for an early night! It was also a day of ups and downs, and of trying to figure out whether a few of the downs were just in my head.

Class this morning went well for the warm-ups. IfI trust myself and don’t get flustered, I can play a lot of the exercises, and now I’m also trying to use mental practice a bit more to help strengthen things and avoid learning in mistakes. At the end of the warm-up session, Trevor announced that some of us were “absolved” from using long Bb in our studies, and that I was one of them. To be honest, I almost fell of my chair!

Studies, however, didn’t go as well as I wanted. For some reason a combination of being really cold and some funny nerves made me jittery, and I made silly mistakes. Andersen No. 9 (including the double-tonguing variation) were quite good, but my selection of Moyse studies earned quite a lot of criticism. Altès No. 10 just felt uncomfortable, as I hadn’t learned the accompanying part well enough, and my 50 Variations No. 5 was not in the correct rhythm. However, when I later mentioned to Trevor that I’d been feeling a bit off colour, he looked surprised and replied with “oh, I thought you did quite well today”. I must keep focusing on the learning process rather than the day-to-day.

This evening’s short concert for the village Gardeners Society Christmas party went pretty well. We played three sextet pieces, Alyssa and Roya did The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise for flute and spoken voice, and I played Ulpirra by Ross Edwards. I’m not totally sure what the audience made of my final performance direction to ‘stamp and shout’, but they seemed to enjoy the concert overall, and Trevor was pleased. As an ensemble, we played well together considering it was our first concert, though the different acoustic of the hall made a few people a little nervous. I need to remember to compensate a little more for a cold piccolo!

Our flute history papers are finally submitted and the cheese, biscuits and two glasses of wine at the gardeners’ party was a nice reward.