Summer fun skill builder August 30th, 2017

Dear Oboists, IMAGINE what you wish to create before you create it, to take your oboe playing higher. Hear the note, phrase, piece in your head before you actually play it with the oboe.

This skill of imagine first, play next, can be developed.

If necessary, play a note first, then imagine it, then play it.
" " phrase,..."" piece.

 Imagine as much detail as you ultimately wish, in the sounds and expression you wish to create.


Improving phrasing

Dear Oboists, PHRASE even better to take your oboe playing to higher heights and deeper depths.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Technical practice.
1) Play the entire phrase, all slurred and on one breath ff.
2) " " pp
3) Play the first note of the phrase mf and hold it out in a long tone while you hear the entire phrase in your head imagining it exactly as you would ultimately want to hear it performed.
4) SING the phrase as you would want to hear it performed.
5) PLAY the phrase " "
6) Play only the highest and the lowest notes of the phrase.
7) Play only the tonic and dominant notes of the phrase.
8) Play only the mediant and submediant notes in the phrase.
9) Play the phrase 4X in a row each time as if a different character with a different psychological disposition were singing it.
10) Play the phrase using all the wrong articulation and dynamics.
11) Play the phrase correctly!!
12) Imagine the phrase as if it were a sound track for different atmospheres.
13) Pretend you are playing the phrase with an oboe made out of gold,
repeat " " silver
repeat " " crystal
repeat " " bone
repeat etc....
14) Play the phrase so that the antecedent is p and the consequence is mf.
repeat this pattern using different dynamics and/or as if 2 characters were in conversation.
Using these above approaches, have fun taking a movement, then entire work of repertoire up a notch or two.
Be musical, listen to your heart and HAVE FUN.

Musically yours,
Kathryn J. Potter

Summer playing enrichment - SING

Dear Oboists,

SING to take your oboe playing to higher heights and deeper depths. If you don't already do this. If you do - then do it more!!! or just appreciate the reminder :

Sing a note - then play it on the oboe. repeat x times
Sing two notes " "                                    " "
Sing three ....  " "

Sing a scale - then play it - sing/play/sing/play
" " another scale ...."
Sing a phrase of a piece you are playing - the play it...sing/play/sing/play
Sing the entire movement....entire work - as best you can....sing/play/sing/play

Stretch the embouchure endurance by playing a phrase, singing the next one - then "leap frog" singing/playing your way through the work.

You can start out with humming if you're shy or need to warm up your vocal chords.
If you are a teacher - then SING WITH YOUR STUDENT - or play your oboe while your student sings or SING while your student plays. Be encouraging!

INDEED - get yourself comfy with singing and sing regularly as a part of your own private oboe playing practice. It will take you higher musically. It will improve your playing and relationship with music. It might also increase your appreciation of the instrument.

Remember - the oboe reed is a set of substitute vocal chords. Substitute vocal chords are an extension of yourself. SING through your oboe. The oboe is an extension of your body.

Best wishes for fulfilling and musical oboe playing<
Kathryn Potter
August 17, 2017

Oboe Playing enrichment ideas August 9, 2017

Dear Oboists,

Hello and welcome. In this blog, I'll share with you some ideas you are welcome to use to add to your private oboe playing - or other instrumental playing.

Warm ups:
While the reed soaks - practice the 5 step focus (see prior blogs in Oboe Brilliance)

Warm up: Echo half notes.
Play a low note 2 seconds forte, rest 2 seconds, repeat note 2 seconds piano.
(repeat pattern with increasing lengths of time as you wish)

Technical elegance: Crescendo 8th notes
Select one pitch, starting piano, play repeating 8th notes as you gradually crescendo to forté
 (repeat using another pitch..."" repeat exercise as many times as you wish)

Pentatonic improvisation.
Select 5 pitches and improvise playing only those 5 pitches. Feel free to think of each pitch as a color and decide to create a sonic portrait of the idea of your choice using those 5 colors.

Repertoire polishing:
Select a movement from the repertoire, and play each measure 4X in a row, each time with a different dynamic level. Feel free to breathe and rest in between each new measure as needed but strive to play the repeated measure on one breath.

Rhythm study: using any notes of your choice repeat the following rhythmic pattern:
1/2 note, triplet, dotted half note

Kathryn J. POTTER

P.S. (SKYPE lessons available with prepaid appointment.)




Summer oboe playing fun July 26, 2017

Dear Oboists,

Welcome back to summer fun oboe blogs. Here I offer some ideas each week to incorporate into your summer oboe playing.

Warm ups:
1) Play low note long tones bordering on uncomfortably pushing your endurance.
2) Play a low note for only 10 seconds, then slur up one octave for 10 seconds, then back down the octave for 10 seconds. 
3) Play a low note for only 10 seconds, then slur up one octave for 10 seconds, then slur up another octave for 10 seconds. REPEAT with another note.
(variation - do the above exercise rapidly repeating each note on one breath)

Play a note, slur up or down a Major or minor 3rd
then slur up or down an octave
slur up or down a Major or minor 3rd
Keep pattern going on one breath as long as you care to do so

Pick one movement of an old favorite work in the oboe repertoire that you can play well, or have played well in the past. Play it once or twice each evening - or preferred time of day, for a week. Express yourself differently each time you play it. Imaging a different person you know singing it. and play the movement as you would imagine how they'd sing it. Keep honest to the page.

Imagine and improvise:
A flower of your choice. You can choose to portray the appearance of the flower with sound, or you can imagine the life experience of the flower and portray the flower in keeping to the flower's unique reality. In other words, portray the flower objectively or imagine you have become the flower and sing it's being.

Best wishes for enjoyable oboe playing.
Musically yours,

Summer oboe playing fun 3

Dear Oboists,

Welcome to the weekly summer blog for oboists where I post an idea or two to toss and add into your oboe playing for fun.

Week 3:
m3, M6 warm up

1) Hold a mid register note, then as smoothly as possibly, slur down a m3 (minor third)
(A minor third in an interval. For example, if you think of the note you selected as the 8th note of a Major scale, slur down from the tonic, or 8th note of the scale, down to the 6th note of the scale you, create a minor third. C third space down to A for example.)
2) Repeat the first note then slur up a M6 (Major 6th) such as C up to A or the first note of a Major scale up to the 6th note of the Major scale.

Apply spot light on tonic (first scale degree) and submediant(sixth scale degree)

First, select a melody. Play aloud only the tonic and submediant notes of the melody and hear/imagine in your head in proper time, the other notes of the melody.

Next, do this exercise in reverse by imagining tonic and submediant and playing aloud all the others.


Improvise a melody of your own by playing mostly (51% or more) minor thirds and major sixths.