I’ve got a lot of stuff going on that’s apparently effecting my horn playing. I noticed several weeks ago that I’ve started messing up phrases in pieces that I played just fine months ago. I’m forgetting fingerings, messing up rhythms more than usual, losing my place in the music and having trouble focusing in general.
This really came to a head last week during my horn lesson with Lynn. I had a guy come to clean the chimney and he showed up during my lesson while we were playing duets. He went to take a look and came back with an estimate of $2400 and the recommendation that we shut our oil burner off – it was 30 degrees outside – and leave the house. According to him we were in imminent danger of having a puff back which is basically a small explosion in the oil burner. Well, I couldn’t play a note after that. I was completely distracted and concentrating on the music was impossible. So much for the rest of my lesson.
Both Lynn and I thought that my inability to play was due to this major distraction. We assumed it was temporary but sadly such is not the case. A friend of mine came over yesterday afternoon to play duets. Again, I couldn’t play much of anything. I had trouble with everything. You’d have thought I was only playing for a month. One of the duets we tried was a fugue that we had played a few months ago with no problems and this time I just couldn’t get it.
I told Lynn about my duet fiasco and we talked about what might be distracting me. I really didn’t feel distracted and I couldn’t put my finger on any specific thing. I am quite busy and I’ve got some more stress in my life but if you asked me I wouldn’t have said I was worried about anything more than usual. Then today at my lesson when we got to playing duets I started off just as badly. Fortunately I did get better. Not where I had been a few weeks ago but definitely better. I think some of the problem is that I lost some confidence when I played so badly at my lesson last week. If that’s it, all I need to do is find someone to play duets, or trios, or chamber music with every day. Wouldn’t that be nice.
Oh, I didn’t shut off the heat, my house is still standing and there was no explosion. I had another company come and they just cleaned the chimney for $119.00. I guess what they say about chimney companies is true.