02. December 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: UCSC

I finished up the fall quarter yesterday. This is the first time I’ve not had to schedule make up lessons for students on finals week. So next week, when Nutcracker begins, I’ll actually have one extra morning that I haven’t usually had. Not sure I’ll get anything accomplished, though; I seem to be a bit lacking in energy these days.

The hardest thing about teaching at a school is grading. I really hate grading. How does one grade oboe playing? And different students have different capabilities. Some come in much more advanced to begin with. Others not quite so. Contrary to what I thought when I began there — there’s no “orientation” or anything for new adjunct faculty teaching instruments — I don’t take beginners … why I thought I had to, I don’t know, but for the first year I did actually teach beginners. But I ramble … mostly I need to hunker down and grade and write my evaluations. (UCSC used to be a “no grades” school and all instructors were required to write evals. Now we do grades and evals. My students already know what I’ll write, I’m sure, as I hand them a sheet of paper at the end of each lesson with notes for them. This year I have collected those so the evals will be a bit easier for me.)

I wish my UCSC students a wonderful break! (But no broken reeds.)

Okay … trying to put up my assignment sheet … let’s see if this works!


  1. I hate grading too! I love your idea of doing written notes for the student at each lesson – do you do it on the computer so you have a copy? I have been writing notes to myself for each student just so I can keep track of who does what.

    I currently only have one student I have to grade, I basically grade on attendance and preparedness (although I’m a total pushover sadly), not so much actual ability. Looking back on my own college years, I sure wish I’d been more focused!

  2. I have something I’ve put together … I wonder if I can attach a pdf here. I’ll try it in the main part of this blog entry to see. If not I can send you a copy via email. It includes things like the warm up (I do a “g warm up, (low) G – Gb – G – F – G – E – Eb – G – D – G – Db … etc.), all scales (not that I always ask students who already know all their scales! Chromatic, Major, Melodic Minor, Whole Tones), Major Thirds, and then all the lesson assignment stuff … improvisation, etudes, solo, possibly a duet, sight reading, orchestral excerpts. NOT to say we get through all of that each week. (Fat chance!)

  3. Yes … there it is! It’s a Word document … see if it works for you!

    I meant to add one thing: with the chromatic scale I have students play duplets and triplets, and I like to have them record the metronome setting for both.

    The first six years of UCSC I just wrote notes in a notebook. This year I decided to use the same assignment sheet I use for private students. I send the sheet with them each week, and they are required to return it the following, and I then keep it. It makes it SO much easier to remember exactly what each student is/was doing. My OldBoeBrain just can’t remember exactly what everyone did!