Monday, October 08, 2007

On to saxophone!

Not me, goodness no. My oboe tech class had their last class today, and they were even considerate enough to schedule their final playing tests back-to-back starting right after class. I don't have to go to the college three separate times this week!

The general concensus was that clarinet was much easier but oboe was more fun. Of course I'm generalizing here. That's what I heard from the only students that offered up an opinion. It just so happened to be the right opinion. :) They'll move on to saxophone on Wednesday. My job is done for the year! Five classes in which to learn the oboe is a bit crazy, but most of them survived. I always stress in these education classes that they are not there to learn how to be great oboists (although if I could pick out a few to continue on the oboe, they'd do pretty darn well!), but to learn to be great educators. Are they going to remember their two-octave chromatic scale fingerings five years from now? Probably not. But they WILL remember a few key points to help their little oboists get off to a good start (including: require private lessons!!).

One particularly funny moment in today's playing tests: Student plays their chromatic scale without me interrupting. I then ask, "which notes use side octave key? back octave key? half hole?" (Student hadn't played these correctly.) Student: "Side octave key is from high C down to somewhere around F-sharp." Me: "Somewhere around F-sharp?" Student: "F-sharp." Me: "No." Student: "F?" (no) "G?" (no) "G#?" (no) "Are you sure?" Me: "Yes, I'm sure." I just loved the way they asked me if I was sure about the oboe's fingerings. As though I would say, "hmm. You may be right. Let me check my fingering chart..."

As the students go on to saxophone, I'm on to practicing for Scheherazade (CRSO) and Camelot (Des Moines). Not that I mind being paid for playing so little, but I'm foreseeing these next two weeks being particularly exhausting. I only play in one movement of the Scheherazade and nothing else on the concert. That's 2.5 hours of driving, 10 minutes of playing, 2.5 hours of driving. I know, I know. I'm being paid the same amount for 10 minutes that I would be for a 2.5 hour rehearsal. I'm just going to be soooo tired. Camelot on the other hand...I think I have one tacet movement? They sent a CD with the part book, so I'll study and listen while Dave's away this week. I just dropped him off at the airport--he'll be in Fargo until Thursday. :(

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