They do unfortunate things to the color of your reeds.
Last week I had a lesson with the symphony English horn player, as we're rotating between teachers. I unfortunately didn't play any English horn rep for him, just recital music, but it was a pretty good lesson nonetheless. We worked on Bach, and he helped me merge some of my (rather more Romantic) ideas with some of Dwight's (rather more straightforward) ideas, which was really helpful; I have trouble sometimes finding the middle ground. It was also nice simply to play the piece for another person, because it definitely shows all of my nerves, particularly in the Allemande, the opening movement.
The lesson was a little awkward just because I had never worked with him before. He didn't really have a sense of how I usually play, and so he tended towards overly explaining concepts, but it was still certainly a helpful lesson. Plus, he gave me a reed, though it is dramatically different from mine and very short, and he let my lesson run for an extra half an hour. I think that I would really like studying with him if we had more time to get to know each other; his specific comments on the Bach were really musical and also very individual. We did a lot of work, for example, on finding less predictable and more intuitive breathing spots.
My recital is in two and a half weeks, and while most of last week I was feeling very pessimistic about my playing, in the past week I've done two run-throughs of my program (alone, not with piano) and had two more rehearsals with my pianist. I feel really good about how the music is going together with the piano, which is wonderful. On Tuesday I have my recital hearing, where I will play all or part of my program with my accompanist for Dwight, who is standing in as my professor, and have my program signed off. By Thursday I then turn in my signed program and program notes to the office.
I'm very excited to have orchestra rehearsal tomorrow, and not only because we're rehearsing with the choir. I haven't gotten to play in orchestra since the 8th! That is far too long.