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[personal profile] gracegrey
The alto workshop was AMAZING. I have photos, I have videos, I have lots of new music, and I have gained a tremendous dose of knowledge!

Highlights include:
1. I can and should use the straight head on my alto! This is HUGE and wonderful and makes me SO HAPPY. I did have to kind of start over since I've been working hard on the curved head. :/
2. My alto is a particularly fine instrument! Despite being a base model, it has a fabulous sound that repeatedly impressed folks at the workshop! I lucked out BIG TIME.
3. I've been doing the harmonics exercises All Wrong. I now know how to do them right!

I have been working on long tones/breathing exercises this past week or two - every other day I'm going through a series of exercises from the Alto Method book. My times are improving a little.I am seeing definite improvement in my ability to "taper" notes, and I'm wasting less air by starting phrases more softly.

I have begun working on 2 of the audition pieces for the alto contest. BLECH. Today was one of those "I suck at everything forever and will never make progress" days. I know that is not true, but we all have those days... I need to pick up the 3rd piece. I keep forgetting to order it, no idea why.

In less happy but important news: I learned not to take my instruments to Dr. Note. He used GLUE to put in my cork on Mercedes (C flute)! Poor baby! Plus, he didn't use the right cork (which probably explains why he needed glue to keep it in place). And he did something untoward with Caroline (my alto), sanding the headjoint or something? Ugh. Thankfully, Judi was able to fix everything and get me back up to snuff.

For Caroline, she did a few adjustments that seem like magic to me... she adjusted my footjoint keys that makes rolling to low C more smooth/comfortable. Fixed a slight leak in a G/F key? And did something to the embouchure hole that improved my ability to get a sound out, too. For whatever reason, the curved head embouchure plays more clearly and easily than the straight head; slight differences in the hand-cut, I believe. And she suggested a lafreQue sound bridge for Caroline that demonstrably improved playability (responsiveness/clarity of tone), so I picked up a set (silver plated red brass). Very Nice.

I'm auditioning flutes to find a back up flute - any locals with a spare flute hit me up! At present, I might be buying a used Trevor James student flute from Judi... plays easily and is being offered at a nice discount.

Out of time!! more later!

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