28. February 2008 · Comments Off on Ooh … Fight … Fight! · Categories: Links

China Philharmonic Orchestra
vs. Lang Lang

That’s what I see here, although it might change and then you’ll miss it. Too bad, eh?

Alex Ross saw it first.

Some of you will get this, some not. I’m guessing Mr. Kaulkin will. How ’bout you, Mike? The rest of you? Do tell! 😉

(Thanks, Kelsey!)

“… and a little more beer ….”

I’ve had students come to me with some major problems. Sometimes it’s fingering issues, and sometimes embouchure. Sometimes it’s even basic things like, “Oh, I’m supposed to dip my reed in water?!”

Please, please, please … study with an oboist! Study with someone who is actually playing the darn instrument, not someone who used to play it in college. Study with someone who plays for you (and with you), so you can hear that the person actually knows how to play. I don’t care if a lesser quality oboe teacher lives closer to you; you are doing yourself a great disservice if you learn incorrectly. It’s difficult to break habits you learn when you begin the instrument.

One easy “instructor check”: Do you know left F? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and you are playing in the key of Bb (two flats: Bb and Eb) email me. 🙂

(And to you oboe instructors out there: yes, I’m picky about left F. Because I didn’t have it for far too long and I can’t tell you the amount of time it took me to break the forked F … WITH the Eb key! … habit. I give students 3 months or less to find a different oboe if they come to the first lesson with no left F key. I’m tough that way.)

Need a teacher recommendation? Check out your local college. Or contact me. I might be able to help. And I do have a list of instructors in the USA although it’s far too small. (I can’t call these recommendations for the most part, although I can highly recommend the few I’ve met. Just ask!)

Can you imagine being told by the conductor that you must apologize to the chorus if you, as an instrumentalist, made a mistake?

Aykal has an excellent temperament and balanced approach; a redoubtable task-master and charismatic wit. The first wrong note was met with a glare, and an instruction to the poor culprit – an oboist I think – to apologize to the choir in perfect English. He did it and the tense moment became an ice-breakingly funny one.

Maybe this is a young group and this is funny to them. To me it would be horrifying. Not that I wouldn’t be sorry, but to have a conductor issue this demand … yikes!

Perhaps I’m missing something and it was all done in great humor. Who knows? I wasn’t there ….

(Found here.)

28. February 2008 · Comments Off on Maybe She’s Just Boring? · Categories: Links

Four-and-half-years ago, Spector approached Leeds after one of his seminars and told him about her dogs falling asleep when she played the piano. She hoped that he would want to work with her on a CD for dogs.


Yeah, everyone’s heard by now that classical music soothes dogs. But I still had to post this. Because. 😉

Somehow knowing we put dogs to sleep isn’t comforting to me.

Should the symphony advertise as “We put dogs to sleep?”

Um. Oh … wait. I guess that’s not a good way to put that, eh?