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Status: Music (2019 - March)
(Text as at 05/04/2019 10:36:29)
(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)
Rationale for this Project
- Music is one of the few interests Julie and I have in common – so is worth cultivating on that account.
- I don’t consider myself to have any particular musical talent, but enjoy listening to music; and communal playing, provided it is with at least minimal competence, is pleasurable enough.
- I played the oboe for a couple of years at school, starting age 14, and while I got to Grade 5 within a year, I soon lost interest. I also scraped an ‘O’ Level in music.
- I started learning the piano in mid-2008, and until September 2010 I had a periodic combined oboe + piano lesson lasting an hour with my oboe-teacher in Westcliffe-on-Sea. Since then, this aspect of the project has been mostly in abeyance, though since July 2017 I’ve started to pick up occasional piano-playing again.
- Since moving to Billericay over 30 years ago, Julie and I occasionally played in a scratch quartet with a couple of friends (piano and recorder) with me on the oboe and Julie on the violin. These friends moved to Shropshire in February 2011, so this occasional pleasure has come to an end.
- However, since March 2015, we have been members of a group calling itself The Enigma Ensemble. It is rather chatty and of a rather moderate standard, but enjoyable enough and keeps me practising. I have set up its website: Enigma Ensemble.
- Julie is a member of the Billericay-based Choir For All Seasons. I did consider joining, but you can’t do everything1.
- As of September 2018 I’ve re-started oboe lessons with my former teacher. My intention is take the oboe practical exams under the auspices of Trinity College London – Grade VI and up with the possibility – if I get to pass practical Grade VIII – of taking ABRSM Theory Grade V as this would allow me to take the ABRSM versions of the oboe practicals. Grade VI Oboe is pencilled in for July 2019.
Summary of Progress during January - March 2019
Music (Total Hours = 105.5)
- I spent 105.5 hours in 19Q1 on this Project, or related work (212.75 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 92% of the planned effort (97.2% YTD). Overall, 16.9% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 17.5% YTD) - as against 16.7% planned (15.7% YTD).
- I’ve decided to learn to play the oboe properly, so have re-arranged – and re-commenced – weekly oboe lessons. Things seem to be going reasonably well.
- I failed to achieve my planned effort by some 9%, which probably means I shouldn’t have increased the plan. However, I continued to make good progress on oboe practical, and completed "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 1 (Initial to Grade 5) 2017".
- Further details follow:-
- Music - Administration (Total Hours = 6.5)
- 18Q4 Status Reports (1 hour)
- 19Q1 Status Reports (0.25 hours)
- Julie's Singing Group Concert (0.5 hours)
- Music Copying / Filing (2.25 hours)
- Music Cupboard - Re-filing (0.5 hours)
- Oboe - Enigma Ensemble - Admin (1.5 hours)
- Order & Commission Music Lights (0.5 hours)
→ See "Admin - Music - Administration" (0.5 hours)
- Music - Aural (Total Hours = 11.75)
- Music - Oboe (Total Hours = 86.75)
- Music - Theory
Plans for the Near Future
- To allow me time to practice properly between weekly oboe lessons, and to spend some time on Music Aural, I’ve maintained the scheduled hours a week at the recently-increased value of 9 on-going. This should be achievable as my stamina has much improved. Also, my oboe teacher has found me an excellent supplier of oboe reeds (Regency Reeds) which makes playing much less traumatic and exhausting.
- I doubt this will leave me much time for the piano, though I’d like to spend some time trying to learn to play by ear.
- These are the items I intend to pursue:-
- Practice the oboe for two 30-minute sessions each and every day2 – focussing on the items below and …
- Occasionally combine into an hour-long session to build up stamina further.
- Attend the four sessions of The Enigma Ensemble in the coming quarter.
- Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio, practicing the active pieces.
- Work through, and perfect, scales & arpeggios3 for Grades I-VI, using
→ "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity Guildhall Scales & Arpeggios for Oboe (Grades 1–8)", and
→ "ABRSM - Scales and Arpeggios for Oboe, Grades 1-8 (ABRSM Scales & Arpeggios)".
- Improve sight-reading by playing through
→ "Trinity Guildhall - Sound at Sight Oboe Grades 1-8", and
→ "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 1".
- Prepare Grade VI pieces, in particular
→ "Boni (Giovanni) - Sonata in G" (Prelude only),
→ "Miller (Vojislav) & Liebermann (Winfried), Eds. - Test Pieces for Orchestral Auditions (Orchester Probespiel) - Oboe" (Eroica, Aida, Der Freischutz),
→ "Nielsen (Carl) - Two Fantasy Pieces, Op. 2" (Romanze only),
→ "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 2" (Blatt - Study No. 52)
- Read and apply oboe practice techniques recommended by Martin Schuring.
- Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book".
- Piano: Try to develop some competence as an aid to theory, so:-
- Complete working through "Rhodes (James) - How to Play the Piano",
- Work through "ABRSM - Selected Piano Exam Pieces 2009-2010: Grade 1", and
- Try to play by ear, using for inspiration:-
→ "Cannel (Ward) & Marx (Fred) - How to Play the Piano Despite Years of Lessons: What Music Is and How to Make It at Home".
- Theory: Prepare for Grade 5 Theory, so:-
→ "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 1", and
→ "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 2",
- Do the exercises in
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 1",
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 2",
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 3",
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 4", and
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 5",
- Run through:-
→ "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 1 (Initial to Grade 5) 2017", and
→ "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 2 (Grades 6 to 8) 2017".
- Get a grip on the process of ear-training by reading "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material4.
- Also follow up items in:-
→ "Various - Music - Aural - Various On-line Training".
Progress to Date
The lists of items performed is cumulative, so I’ve hived off the history to a separate document5, which needs a minor update.
In-Page Footnotes:Footnote 1:
- In any case, it clashes with Chess!
- Well, maybe with the occasional holiday, and excluding days on which I have a lesson or the Enigma Ensemble.
Footnote 4: Ie. The following:-
- I don't intend to present these for the Trinity exams, as I can present Orchestral Audition pieces instead; but they are essential for technique.
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Text Colour Conventions
- Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
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