Sunday, June 17, 2012

John Mack Oboe Camp

It’s been awhile since I’ve had Internet access/time to write!

I had an absolutely fantastic time at the John Mack Oboe Camp. It was my fifth year attending, but I think it might have been my favorite. The camp seems to get better and better, and I left feeling unbelievably refreshed and inspired.

One of this year’s teachers, Linda Strommen, recommended putting together a summary of what we learned. Here is my list of the ten main ideas that I took away from the first half of the week, during which Ms. Strommen taught:

  • We as musicians can create pain, but we can also take it away.
  • Ignorance is not stupidity. It is an opportunity to learn.
  • Articulation is only as good as the tone on which it is produced.
  • Become your own best teacher.
  • Sing! Even if you don’t have a great voice, it will help you to define your concept.
  • Evaluate your music. What was Barret trying to teach in each etude? Why is each orchestral excerpt an excerpt?
  • Going slow is not remedial. It’s professional.
  • Predestination: You must play each note like it must go to the next note.
  • Make connections between etudes, solo repertoire, and excerpts. For example, the circular motion of Barret Articulation Study #10 is similar to that of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin.
  • Dream big, work hard and smart, and enjoy your colleagues.

I will try to post about the second half of the week in a day or two.

I’ve been at Interlochen for three days now, and although it has already been incredibly busy, I couldn’t be happier to be back. Stay tuned for updates! :)

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