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Why learning to play in style will refine your overall playing skills

by | Jul 5, 2019 | Ory's Tips | 0 comments

Ory’s Flute Tips

Why learning to play in style will refine your overall playing skills

 

There are many reasons why you’d want to play a piece in the right style: your interpretation will be more similar to what the composer had in mind, it will serve the written music better, it shows that you understand the context of the piece in the music history and its period, it will probably ‘make sense’ and solve certain dilemmas you might have about the way to interpret a phrase and many more reasons.

In my opinion, maybe the most important reason to learn playing in style is that it simply upgrades your technical skills to a completely other level. Playing in style requires from you the maximum care for fine details, the finest control over your muscles, the ultimate connection between a musical idea in your head and the use of your body to make it happen.

Have you ever wondered why so many players claim that Mozart is the hardest music to perform? Technically (finger-wise) it’s surely not the hardest music in our repertoire. Why then so many players struggle with it?

What the evolution of our lifestyle did to us humans, the evolution of interpretation did to our playing skills

It is already well known that our modern way of living has a direct effect on our health. Life has become more safe and comfortable, we don’t have to make so much physical effort as before in our work and daily life and more and more health issues have developed as a result. Our muscles and bodies that need certain workout can’t cope well with the way we’ve chosen to live in.

The same process has happened to our general playing skills with the changes in interpretation along the years. The constant use of vibrato has taken over the real control over the air stream, playing notes to their full values has reduced our ability to articulate well and control the end of the notes, the need to play the fastest, the loudest, the cleanest has reduced our sensibility for refinement, for risk-taking and for actually serving the music we play.

Transform your playing IN DAYS!

Mozart can be easy (and so can be all other pieces)

Playing in style therefore should not only be done because it’s ‘the right thing’ to do, or because it ‘fits to the rules’. It’s a choice you make that brings back all these skills that have been neglected and it makes the difference between being a ‘good’ flutist or a an excellent flutist and musician.

Luckily, learning to play in style is not mission impossible. It’s a little bit like learning a new dialect of a language – it’s based on the same material but sounds differently. You’ll have to change your habits but the ‘hardest’ part is actually pretty simple: teaching the body the techniques that will make it sound in style. With simple exercises you can make a tremendous change in DAYS!

If you can achieve that, I guarantee to you that Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and most of your repertoire will make suddenly much more sense and will become far easier to learn and perform.

You’re more than welcome to leave your comments and questions.

Enjoy practicing,

Ory

Ory Schneor is a principal flutist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and member of the Geneva Camerata. He is teaching masterclasses around the world and he is the founder and instructor at FLUTEinWIEN

"My flute playing has been transformed to a level which I never thought I was going to reach"

Yavuz M., Intensive Masterclass Participant

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