Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Holding the Flute in Balance

Recently I ran across something talking about "the Rockstro Grip." I had never heard of it, so went digging around on the web. The result of my research is this excellent article.  Go ahead, read it, or at least skim down it, save the link and come back to read it thoroughly later.

It has changed my position! There isn't really anything in this article that my teacher hasn't told me before. But it's all together in one place, and maybe I have come to a point in my development as a flutist to apply it.

I started playing flute with tendinitis, or maybe arthritis, in both thumbs. My hands would often ache, and that had nothing to do with playing the flute. So I have struggled because it seems my hands just don't go the way they should. 

But today they did. My balance was lovely, my tone was awesome, and I felt a freedom in finger movement that I have never had before. Wow.

Now, go check out "the Rockstro Grip," revolutionize your performance!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Summer Challenge!

It has been a while! I have been focused on healing from knee surgery for the past 3 months. You can read all about that in my blog on that subject:

Now that I have two strong legs to stand on, I am back working on my flute performance. I am going to be taking the CM Test, Level 7 next winter, so there is work to be done!

My teacher has decided to focus on daily practice (for herself) this summer, and I like the idea, so am taking up the challenge. We each post our daily progress on her Facebook Page: Stephanie's Students

                                     ****     ****      ****     ****

On another front, I am working on music theory again. We have been going through "Basics of Keyboard Theory" by Julie McIntosh Johnson. I am doing Levels 5 through 9 simultaneously. Sounds funny, doesn't it?

Here is why and what I am doing. These are really just workbooks. Each book is arranged in the same order: Key Signatures, Scales, Intervals, etc. I worked all the way through book 4, and when I opened up 5, it was frustrating to me to go back and re-learn everything. I felt like I was getting a sample of each subject area, then moving on without really learning it.

So I took Book 5, Key Signatures, did the worksheets, and then moved onto Book 6, 7, 8, and 9. By that time I had actually learned the key signatures, and felt confident with them.

It is really working well for me, except with intervals. My slightly dyslexic brain just rebels at grasping intervals!!!

Since I have been not working on much of anything music-wise for 3 months, this is a good time to step back and attack intervals again. I found a website with great exercises, all very customizable. I first found this site when I wanted a way to quiz myself on key signatures. 

Now I discover they have an app which I can keep on my iPad, so I don't have to be at the computer, or internet connected to study! Sweet.

Now I have the app, and am doing daily practice on intervals. This website is really terrific, and the app is a good deal at $3.99 so I recommend you check it out!
Click here for the website.