Hello and welcome to the Oboe Brilliance blog which today offers a few ideas to toss into your present summer practice.
While your reed soaks, I invite you to practice the 5 step focus.
Step 1) Sit in a manor perfect for yourself to meditate and with eyes closed, focus your attention on your breathing and posture. Notice what you can about your breathing. Just observe.
Step 2) Continue step one and add to your attention, all you can hear.
Step 3) Continue step two and add to your awareness all you can smell. Also, at this time, deliberately deepen and slow down your breathing while you also deliberately relax muscles where necessary while improving posture.
Step 4) Continue step three and add to your awareness a specific focus of your choice. For example, you may choose to pay extra attention to the quality of air - hot, cold, dry, humid etc...
Step 5) Continue step four, but with fingertips together (thumb to thumb, pinky to pinky etc.) and open your eyes.
Each step can be practiced for any desired length of time. I suggest 30 to 90 seconds approximately - without aid of timers or counting for best results - for the duration of reed soaking.
(Note to teachers, I have found doing this at the start of each lesson enables the student to retain more of the lesson, learn more, feel more relaxed and feel emotionally more alive and open.
It also enhances the student/teacher rapport. Either the teacher OR the student can lead the 5 step focus. If both the teacher and the student want to lead the focus, I suggest flipping a coin. If neither - don't do it.)
Play a succession of 6 notes of your choice, how you choose. Repeat as identically as you can.
Repeat assignment with 6 a new pattern.
repeat pattern as desired
Select one movement from your repertoire. Play it through start to finish non stop deliberately with only one select articulation and one dynamic level. Repeat 3 more time using a different articulation dynamic combination.
Enjoy your oboe playing!
P.S. (International Skype lessons available to oboists or oboe teachers who are studying the Oboe Brilliance work. Request appointment.)