13. December 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Asked Online

Was the English horn invented in england?

Cute.

It’s official.

A U.S. bankruptcy court judge this morning approved the Honolulu Symphony’s request to convert the symphony’s chapter 11 reorganization to a chapter 7 liquidation.

This allows the 110-year-old Honolulu Symphony to close down and sell off all its remaining assets.

I read it here.

This is a lovely blog entry remembering some special moments at the symphony.

My heart goes out to all involved. The death of a symphony is a painful thing.

I know.

13. December 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: ReadOnCraigslist

Trade Symphony Silicon Valley for Shrek – $160 (san jose downtown)

Aw, that’s my group they wanna trade away. No one asked ME if I wanted to be traded! What are we … ball players? ;-)

13. December 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Double Reed Christmas

13. December 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Videos

I love that woman’s voice! And I just get the feeling she is a lot of fun, too. (If I’m wrong, don’t tell me.) I also crack up at some things, like the dress pictured in this article.

I just ran across a YouTube video of her mother giving her a lesson:

And here she is accompanying an oboist:

In the past — and more recently — I’ve run across teachers who take some sort of glee in “getting” students. They seem to take some sort of twisted happiness when they catch students in mistakes or see them fail.

Our job is to point out errors, to be sure, but it is also to encourage students and to cheer them on. I need to remind myself of this sometimes.

I was talking to a colleague last night about how we love to teach. As I’ve written recently, in my “order of retirement” teaching will be what I give up last. I love the very talented oboists I teach. I also love the challenges. I am frequently energized teaching these young oboists, and they do bring me joy. Once they learn how to deal with my wacky jokes and start to joke back it’s great fun. And when they finally “get” something it’s truly exciting!

There are still old school teachers out there, I’m sure — the ones who teach by fear and intimidation. There are also some younger ones who seem to think that’s how you teach. I wonder, sometimes, why the younger teachers and directors want to teach this way. Were they taught that way? Did they really enjoy it? Is this somehow a way to “get back” at their old teachers. If so, it’s not the answer.

I’m at my best when I wish the best for my students, rather than approaching a lesson with the intention of hearing only the bad. I’m at my best when I can point out the areas that need improvement but, at the same time, point out where a student has already improved and what is being done correctly. I’m a very picky teacher*; I’m sure my students will tell you that! But I hope, too, that I encourage students to do their best. My goal is to help them succeed, not fail.

I guess that’s really the the point to keep in mind, isn’t it? Our goad, as teachers, is to help students succeed at whatever it is they are doing. I wonder why we often help them fail instead.

*I heard from a colleague quite some time ago, after she had run into a former student of mine. She said he told her I was good, but very strict. I’m not sure if he was talking about my demand that students show up on time and practice during the week, or if it was about something else. Part of me was concerned; I do hope I was encouraging at the same time. I wonder, now, if I was too hard on him. (He was an adult student … maybe I’m harder on them? Hmmm. Something for me to ponder.)

13. December 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: News, Opera

In a coup certain to add luster to the company’s national and international reputation, Lyric Opera of Chicago appointed the celebrated American soprano Renee Fleming to the newly created position of creative consultant. Her five-year term is to begin immediately. The announcement came Thursday at a press conference in the Civic Opera House.

For the record, they did not contact me first to see if I was willing to take the position.

Yeah. I’m shocked too.

RTWT

Seriously, though … I sure wish there was a position out there for yours truly that would be something to fall back on when the old oboe chops say, “No more!” Because we musicians do worry about the “What next?” thing. Especially considering our pension plans. And as we all now know, we oldsters should step aside so the young’uns can have our jobs. ;-)

13. December 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Advent

Cherubini: Veni Jesu
Corale polifonica “Il Castello”