23. January 2009 · Comments Off on Say What?! · Categories: Huh?

As one adult marveled at the diversity of the musical quartet — a Jewish violin virtuoso, an Asian American cellist, an African American oboist and a woman at the keyboard — one of the third-graders looked bewildered and said, politely but clearly puzzled, “Yeah, so?”

This is about the quartet that played at the inauguration. Hmmm. Anyone see an oboe up there in that quartet?

I don’t think so!

Found here.

23. January 2009 · Comments Off on I Don’t Know About You … · Categories: Ramble, Teaching

… but I can’t seem to travel light.

Today I have my Wiseman case, since I wanted to have both my oboe and my English horn with me. In addition I have to carry a tuner, metronome, reed equipment and music with me. Oh, and a water bottle. Of course I also need my purse, my toothbrush and toothpaste, and obviously my computer. So I have a somewhat large bag that acts as both purse, carryall and computer bag.

If I could leave some equipment at the school I would. If we had a reed room I’d at least not have to carry all my knives, as I’d use what we have in the reed room. But we have no reed room.

(Oooh … I am just realizing, though, that I could use the online metronome and online tuner I’ve found. That would save … what? … some ounces? Every little bit counts!)

As I looked at myself in a mirror a short time ago I saw that I was pushing the bag to the limit. It looks as if it’s about to burst! I’ve broken a number of bags this way. And the bag is so incredibly heavy it’s difficult to hoist (yes, hoist) on to my shoulder. (Really.)

Besides, I look like a bag lady.

So I guess I’m going to go back to the embarrassing case on wheels I bought last year if I can make that work. It’s really a computer case on wheels, so I hope it can hold all the things I need to hold, or I might have to get an even more embarrassing, large case on wheels.

I’ll move from bag lady to nerd. But what can ya do? The bag is saying “no more” and my back is echoing that sentiment. So there you go.

Besides, I’m sure my students all think I’m a wacky old lady anyway. So I’ll just give them more fodder for that. I’m nice that way.

Oh. I can’t play the second octave. It hurts my ears.

This was said, with an entirely straight face, by one of my students today. I asked for the E flat melodic minor scale, and he only played he first octave. The line was delivered so darn well I nearly believed him.

Very good, Jordan! :-)

And now you’ve made my blog. So there.

23. January 2009 · Comments Off on Sort of Angry · Categories: Ramble

I downloaded a recording of an English horn/oboe player recently. Not anyone I’d heard of. Not anyone I’ll name. But I finally listened to the beginning of the recording.

I have never … and I mean never … heard such boring, bland, unexpressive playing in my life on a recording. Really.

It just kind of made me angry. I know that’s a silly way to react, but that’s what happened. So there you go.

I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to certain things, but boring and bland? Why bother playing then? Or did the person really think the playing was expressive? I wonder. The composer was one I’d never heard (cool!) but from the romantic era. And the work clearly required at least a bit of dynamic contract and musicality.

Oh. Well.

I suppose my reaction is silly. But there you go. And what a waste of a download!

23. January 2009 · Comments Off on Time to Relax! · Categories: Ramble

I’m over the hill in Santa Cruz (well yeah, I’m over the hill the other way too), and I’m enjoying a nice latté and bagel with cream cheese at a place new to me, called The Abbey. It’s a coffee shop located at a Presbyterian church here. I drive right by it every week, and finally decided to check it out. (The pastor at the church I currently attend really frowns on stuff like this. Oh well. I don’t.) The room is full of comfortable couches, decorated in a artistic way, and has music playing that isn’t too loud and isn’t annoying. Nice. I’m thinking they can use just a bit of work on the coffee part, but maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not exactly a coffee expert, like some other oboists!

This is a nice way to begin the teaching day. Better than receiving a student email canceling yet another lesson.

23. January 2009 · Comments Off on Big News · Categories: News

Well … big plane anyway:

San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is expecting to land one the largest aircrafts it has seen in its history Friday as members of the San Francisco Symphony arrive on a Boeing 737-400 operated by Alaska Airlines.

I read it here.

Now doesn’t life feel different after reading that?