Don Hosek - Flute - December 1999
A performance debut and a quick blow to any developing hubris

Daily practice continues, and by peaking ahead in the book for some additional fingerings I can actually hit notes as high as G3 (although C3, C#3 and E3 are still a bit dicey).

New Year's Eve: Midnight Mass. I get bold and bring my flute along with my guitar for the mass at Quigley Chapel. I play flute on about half the songs, frequently clamming as I go along, but doing well enough to be satisfied with my progress and performance. In the post mass jazz christmas standards little jam, I play exclusively guitar, finding that it's easier to watch and listen for the changes if I can spend less time thinking about what's happening to control the instrument.

Among my Christmas presents is a collection of flute sonatinas. I begin working on learning the first in the book, by Clementi. It's then that I learn quickly how far I have to go still. This sonatina was part of the standard repertoire in junior high, as I recall. I discover that it's still some tough going.

Some of the fingering changes still come hard. Although much of the mechanics have already moved from my brain to my body, there are still some matters of coordination which need to be developed. Eb2 to C2 is a difficult transition for me, D2 to C2 somewhat less so.

My breath control has a lot of room to develop. It's difficult to play some measures in a single breath let alone whole phrases.

And worst of all, I discover that I have no dynamic control. I can take some comfort in knowing that my flute book hasn't reached that level, which could well indicate that it's still a ways away in embrouchure development, but I still would be happier being able to get there.

At present I'm focusing on learning just the first 8 bars of the song really well. When I can play those nearly perfectly on first try, I'll add the next seven, etc. until I've worked through the song.

On the plus side, my C3 and C#3 have become markedly improved and E3 is becoming better. I've occasionally played chromatic scales up to B3 and made a sound that might be C4, but my complete lack of dynamic control is only exacerbated in the third octave.