This morning I told Dan I felt a bit odd. I didn’t really do much this morning, and my main chore, I knew, was to work on English horn reeds. I finally managed to get myself to wind some and start working in the early afternoon (my middle name is procrastination). Then it was on to four students.

Teaching went fine. I love my students; each one is so unique and I really find joy in teaching them. I felt pretty good, and the final one is a very fin English horn student so I was able to play a bit of English horn with him and I was feeling a bit better about the reed situation. After teaching I had about 45 minutes for dinner and then I was to race off to rehearsal.

But not so fast. Standing up, things were spinning.

Dan had prepared dinner for us, and as I was putting together my plate I told him I was sure dizzy, and my ear was screaming, as it sort of had been doing all day. He suggested that maybe I wanted to forgo the tasty food I was dishing up and it hit me that he was quite right. He made an English muffin for me instead. I managed to get a bit down when I realized that wasn’t even a good idea. I thought it would be best to have him drive me to work, per his suggestion, and then I realized I wasn’t going to be able to go to work. Also per Dan’s suggestion. So I called in sick and went to bed.

It’s three hours later, and I’m awake and able to use the computer. I believe this means that this was caught in time, and that I’ll recover quicker than I did last time.

I’m really bummed to miss the second rehearsal. I’m really bummed to only have the dress rehearsal before opening. I’m especially bummed that my ear is still unhappy. But I’m very thankful that I am feeling a wee bit better, and that I do think I’ll be able to play the run of Romeo and Juliet. I do wonder if the fluorescent lights in the rehearsal hall can trigger this. I know they can cause issues for some people. I’ll have to read up on this.

Meanwhile, back to resting for me.

Oh … and I’m really bummed that I missed that great dinner tonight. :-(

I thought for sure some readers would respond to my blog entry about our brains not being able to handle contemporary music. But there was silence.

Maybe your brains couldn’t handle the blog entry?!

I thought for sure someone who loves contemporary classical music (please don’t lecture me about “classical” being a period; we use it generally and I’ve caved on that one since “art music” sounds hoity toity) would bash the news. But nope. Didn’t happen.

Sometimes I put things up without giving my opinion because I am hoping to strike up a conversation or I just want to get you all riled up. Didn’t work!

BUT … now I read this:

So the modern music they’re talking about was written by a composer who died in 1951 — 59 years ago. To put that into perspective, it’s like saying people today can’t handle hip-hop because Fats Domino is too outré. Or that Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” (1959) made jazz incomprehensible for 2010 audiences. Or people won’t go to movies because Fellini ruined everything.

A lot has happened in the past half century. But you wouldn’t know it by this article.

I read it here. Be sure to listen to the samples.

25. February 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

On now: Heinz Holliger – Baroque at Bathtime – 15 – Oboe Concerto in C – 3 Siciliana

25. February 2010 · Comments Off on Huh? · Categories: Ramble

I just received an email via my UCSC address that begins with this:

Don’t Let Your Students Struggle with Early Transcendentals!

Anyone who knows me knows I’ll look at that and say, “Huh?” while scratching my head. I only knew what it was about when I continued on and read the scary word, “calculus”.

Math and I don’t really get along.

“They” (whoever they are) say that musicians are good at math. Well sure, I can add and divide and do my fractions if they’re simple (I can cook, too), but if they think I know anything about more tough stuff they are quite wrong.

At some point while teaching I like to ask my students what subjects they like best in school. The majority do say math or science. The majority tell me they don’t like English (or Language Arts or whatever it’s called in their neck ‘o the SchoolWoods) much at all. I’m always a bit surprised, because I tend to box people up in nice packages and I assume that oboe students will be more like yours truly. I loved English. I hated Math. I didn’t “get” chemistry at all. Of course I also didn’t really study; if it didn’t come easily, I wasn’t about to put too much effort in … I suspect that was about fear of failure. It’s one thing to fail when you don’t try. It’s another to fail when you do.

This is something I can apply to music too, of course. Sometimes I don’t tackle something because I really do fear that failure. What if I never get it? Ack! But of course there’s that old, “You never know unless you try!” thing … I do try to remember that.

Sometimes I can see that “fear of failure” thing on a student’s face. I talk to them about that. And about never saying, “I can’t do this!” before playing something. Watching the Olympics I can see a similar look sometimes on the athletes’ faces. I think that if you go into something with an “I’m gonna blow it” attitude it usually predicts the performance. Of course there are those surprise moments when someone nails it even so, but for the most part what we tell ourselves does tend to influence how we do.

Ahh, skating. We musicians relate, I think, because it’s the “one chance” thing. We get no do-overs. They get no do-overs. Thankfully we have a smaller audience. And we don’t have to sit in the “kiss and cry” area with a camera watching us as we hear our scores. Whew!

Ramble ramble … this is a rather discombobulated post. But it does allow me to use the word dicombobulated and that counts for something. I hope.

Speaking of fear of failure, I really must do English horn reed work today. No choice in the matter. And failure simply isn’t an option.