23. April 2014 · Comments Off on Travel Survey, Anyone? · Categories: Ramble

A friend, Maura Lafferty, is compiling information about flying with instruments. Here’s what she wrote:

Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey about your experience performing and traveling with your instrument. There are fewer than 25 questions, and the data from the anonymous responses will be used to develop new options for musicians traveling on airplanes. Click here for survey.

23. April 2014 · Comments Off on Good Morning! · Categories: Listen, WWQuintet

How about we wake up to some Ligeti, played by the amazing group, Carion?

I’m not always one for movement and music, but this group SHOWS you what the music is doing. They are just incredible!

23. April 2014 · Comments Off on Art Barnes Retiring · Categories: News, Retiring

Wow … he’s had one long career!

A living legend in the Bay Area classical music community has announced he is retiring. Art Barnes has conducted the Livermore-Amador Symphony for 50 years.


I met “Dr. Barnes” (as I knew him then) when I was sixteen and went to a music camp with Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. I played the Mozart Oboe Quartet and he was incredibly complimentary. I will never forget his encouragement there!

23. April 2014 · Comments Off on Saying Goodbye · Categories: Ramble

It’s that time of year. My seniors start leaving me. Sigh.

Students say goodbye in a variety of ways. Some simply disappear. Others write a quick email and that’s that. Some bring me a gift and write wonderful cards. The cards warm my heart very much. I can usually predict who will do what, but not always.

So far this year two have had their last lessons and I have one more who will be leaving soon, I’m sure. I’ve taught some of these students for eight years. I’ve grown to love them and I’ve watched them grow from little children whose feet can barely reach the floor to wonderful young adults. I connected well with some, others not so much. That’s just the way it is. But I’ve loved every one and I always hate saying goodbye.

23. April 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

My cat hates the clarinet. But it turns out she hates the oboe even more.

22. April 2014 · Comments Off on Students and Illnesses · Categories: Ramble, Teaching

I’ve had two students cancel lessons due to illness this week. The first emailed me today, after having a lesson yesterday, canceling next week’s lesson due to a contagious disease… one that should be avoidable with immunizations. Hmm. I’m glad I didn’t touch any reeds!

Update: The student has been immunized. He’s one of the unfortunate 2% who still caught the illness. So very rotten for him and I hope he improves quickly!

My income depends upon healthy students who attend lessons diligently. I charge by the lesson, which is different than many instructors, because I know I have to cancel lessons on occasion and I don’t have the time to schedule make up lessons much. Of course no student means no pay. Believe it or not, my income from teaching is higher than income from opera or symphony. I don’t like to lose the teaching income, but such is life. Kids get sick, and if the illness is communicable I’d prefer they stay home. Some things, though, might be unavoidable if students have been immunized. I’ve never thought to ask if they have done all the recommended (required?) immunizations: I’ve always made the assumption that they are up to date on them all since they are in school. Now I’m wondering, though, if I should be asking this. I’m uncomfortable doing so, but I’m also uncomfortable knowing they might bless me with some illness that shouldn’t even be around these days.

When I started teaching at UCSC I decided to make sure I had the hepatitis vaccinations. It just seemed a wise thing to do. Our children were required to have them to attend college. Surely a teacher should too, then. Or at least it seemed like it to me. My doctor had no problem scheduling me for them. I get my flu vaccine every year. I prefer staying healthy, and I also don’t want to share any illnesses with students or colleagues. I like to share … but illnesses aren’t something for sharing. Right?

Do any teachers read this blog? If so, do you ever think to ask about immunizations? Do you worry about that at all?

In other news: being in the middle of the opera run means my brain gets a little fried. In order to help with that I try to get out on good long walks, or go somewhere with my camera. Today I went to Filoli gardens. What a lovely way to spend the morning! I don’t usually share flower photos here, but they are over on the pattyo. Today, though, I’ll share one. Just because.


22. April 2014 · Comments Off on Telemann for Tuesday · Categories: Listen

… oops! I just realized today is Tuesday. I posted that Mozart forgetting the day, wouldn’t you know? Silly me! I guess I’ll just have to post this from the same group, Ensemble Zefiro, just to make up for my mistake. They are so wonderful!

22. April 2014 · Comments Off on Monday Mozart · Categories: Listen

Okay … this is pretty darn fun, if you ask me. It’s even fun if you don’t ask me! 🙂


22. April 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Stupid little fact about me, I used to be able to play “Bohemian Rhapsody” perfectly on my oboe. That’s so ROCK! Lol

21. April 2014 · Comments Off on Bach for Monday · Categories: Listen

(The woman they keep showing is Princess Beatrix. Being as I know nothing about royalty I don’t know who that is, but oh well!)