Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No.8

Welcome to C minor! So far, this has been my favorite etude of this book. It’s pretty and fun to play, and it’s really nice for working on keeping a beautiful connected sound throughout the faster parts. There are a couple spots where I notice my right pinky isn’t moving as evenly as I’d like, so I’ll definitely keep revisiting that issue as I keep working.

See you tomorrow!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 7

Hello again! I’ve had a bit more time off from Moyse than intended, but here’s Number 7 in E flat Major. I’m hitting the point in this book where most of the etudes have more variations and are therefore a bit longer. This one was deceptively difficult- the theme and first variation are fine, but I had real trouble with the second variation. The big challenge for me was keeping the articulation and rhythm accurate while keeping up the tempo. This is why Mr. Metronome is my best friend!

See you tomorrow for number 8!

Donjon: Etudes de Salon – No. 4 Volubile

Hey students- you know how I’m always going on about how we should aim for beautiful, accurate musicianship but how we also live in reality and have to practice how to make mistakes nicely? Yeah, this recording is that second thing.

Some nights you sleep on your shoulder funny and it makes your left hand feel weird. Some days you take shortcuts when you warm up because it’s warm and the flute is slippery. Some days are just bad flute days and today was one of them.

Bad flute day or not, this was the day I needed to record my Etude of the Week. When all the bad flute stuff happens, sometimes you just have to live with what comes out. Overall this was probably not my worst performance ever, but I will be happy to try this one again on a better day.

See you soon for more Moyse!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 6

This was done at the end of a marathon recording session for a Jolly Jones Duo project, so I’ve got the metal head joint today because of that. I had thought of doing a back-to-back recording comparing this with my wood head joint, but that will have to wait for another etude. My face was pretty tired by this point in my day, and I think that’s pretty obvious in this recording. I still love this head joint and it’s definitely the right one for some situations, but at this point I’m more comfortable on the wood one and it definitely affects my endurance after I’ve switched back to metal. Since I’m pretty much only playing by myself these days (thanks quarantine) I’m going to have to make sure to even out my practicing just a bit so I’m not totally out of shape on this head joint when I get to play with other people again!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 5

Short and sweet! This one was great for me to work on clear triple tonguing. Quite a lot of this etude is in the range where I find I have the most trouble with clear sound (D-F at the top of the staff) so that’s where I really focused my attention today. Haha FOCUSED- get it??

Stupid jokes aside, I’m really enjoying working my way through this book and have a giant stack of etudes waiting for me. See you tomorrow for another one!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 4

I’ve been using this etude at the end of my warm-up for the last couple of days to check in with my flexibility. Lately I’ve been adding more harmonics practice in my routine, but today I skipped it and really noticed a difference in how all these octave leaps felt. The current Etude of the Week selections also have lots of big intervals, so it’s really nice to see everything working together in my practicing.

Thanks for listening, friends- see you tomorrow!

Donjon: Etudes de Salon – No. 3 Le Chant du Vent

Happy Sunday! Once again I’ve recorded my Etude of the Week submission on the very last day of the week- here’s Donjon No. 3, Le Chant du Vent:

This set of etudes is new to me, but with each one I play I like them more and more. I’d love to put a few of these on a recital some day! This one, however, caused me more trouble with practicing and recording than the previous two. I’ve been lucky so far in my playing career that I haven’t had any significant trouble with my hands and arms, but something about this particular etude was causing me to feel a lot of tension in my hands. Maybe more Ab Major scales and arpeggios are in my future so I can figure out where I’m going wrong!

See you tomorrow when I go back to the Moyse etudes!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 3

Recording these etudes is really helping me to see areas I’d like to improve, particularly around my breathing. I’m gasping more than I’d like, and what is up with all the weird shoulder movement? In spite of that, this etude felt much more comfortable than the previous two. Today was also the first day in about a week that I’ve done really serious warm up and technique practice. Correlation?? You decide, dear readers.

See you soon for number four!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 2

Hello again! It’s been a quiet weekend around these parts, but since I have two etudes for you today my neighbors might disagree with that.

I’ve moved on to No. 2 from Moyse’s 24 Petites Études Mélodiques. While this one presents about the same level of technical challenge as No. 1, it also provides similar opportunities to focus on tone, intonation, and beautiful interval leaps. I’m enjoying playing these etudes at the end of my warm up to check in with how I’m doing with the expressive elements of my playing each day.

Focusing on the larger intervals in this one has been good preparation for this week’s Etude of the Week assignment. We’re working through the Donjon Etudes de Salon and I’m really enjoying getting to know this new-to-me book. Today is the end of Week 2- Serenade so it’s time to stop trying to perfect it and just turn in my homework. Last week’s etude (Elegie) was much flashier, but in a lot of ways I find this one more challenging. Those leaps! Those high notes! Those (hopefully) beautiful pianissimo note endings!

Thanks for listening!

Moyse: 24 Petites Études Mélodiques – No. 1

24 Little Melodic Studies with Variations (Easy)- let’s start with number 1! It has simple rhythms, the fingers don’t have to move very quickly, and it’s in C Major. Easy indeed!

Not so fast.

What you don’t see in the video are the first six times I tried to start with a beautiful pianissimo right at the beginning. I found that as I worked on this there was always more I could do with dynamics and phrasing and intonation and everything. I tried to keep things from getting too slow and really focused on not gasping too loudly when it was time to breathe. Moyse’s definition of “easy” is actually incredibly difficult to pull off! This etude will be a great one to revisit when I want to focus on the things around the notes- breath, posture, light fingers, the list is endless!

Thanks for listening today- I always welcome constructive feedback!