06. April 2006 · Comments Off on Giants and Opera · Categories: imported, Links

In addition, all three leading ladies of the company’s summer season — sopranos Patricia Racette and Ruth Ann Swenson and mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick — are scheduled to sing the national anthem at Giants games in June.

Read in this article.

You know, I just don’t care about this … or no, that’s not true … I actually prefer not to hear opera singers singing the national anthem at the ballgames. I’m not sure why, but somehow opera and baseball don’t mix for me. Is this just my problem? I wonder.

06. April 2006 · Comments Off on What A Lovely Day! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I like rain. Really I do. But I was ready to see blue, and we certainly did see it today! Tomorrow is, I hear, another story; back to rain and all that jazz. But today … well … it was quite nice.

Here’s a quote for you, that was posted on a double reed list. Enjoy!

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

-Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)


06. April 2006 · Comments Off on Note The Date! · Categories: imported, Ramble

“There are now too many musicians in San Francisco, more than enough to fill all the ‘jobs.’ What we need is work, not musicians. Stay away from San Francisco. You will find it cheaper in the end.”
— Notice signed “By order, Board of Directors, Local #6, San Francisco”
and posted in the American Musician in 1898.

And then read this article.

It’s something anyone who is going to attempt to make it in the music business should read. At the same time, I have to say that I feel quite content at what I do, and I wonder about the job satisfaction statistic. I wonder where they got the numbers—who they talked to. Certainly no one asked me! Part of it might be that I’m happy “where I’m at”, and I don’t feel a need to prove myself as some might. I just feel the need to do my absolute best (and yes, I get really angry with myself when I don’t manage to do my best). It’s not about others. That might help in job satisfaction. And of course I am married to someone who makes a steady income … that helps too!

I love my job. It’s not easy. I don’t make enough money to support a family. There’s a lot of stress. I get nervous, sometimes at the craziest of times with the silliest of pieces. I’ve been known to cry about my performance. I’ve been known to lose sleep. But I still love my job! Making music is an incredible thing to be able to do. Sometimes I find myself in a state of wonder, just for the beauty of it all. I can be moved in a way that I can’t even describe. Music can make me laugh and cry … often a work can do both. It’s a blessing. Really. So the negatives are diminished (nearly demolished) by the joy and delight and sometimes the sheer fun of it all, honest and true.

Of course none of this means I don’t whine. Hah!

06. April 2006 · Comments Off on Sibelius · Categories: imported, Ramble

No, I’m not talking about the composer!

I really need to study the huge cumbersome book I have for the music notation program Sibelius. I’ve had it for far too long, and have yet to do with it what I planned. It’s just that I would have liked it to be more intuitive, and having to read the book to figure it all out bugs me. I’ve tried to just jump on in, but I’m not finding that to work for me. Sigh.

Why learn Sibelius? I want to put together a beginning oboe book. I’m tired of the ones I’ve used for years. They are so old and the “tunes” in them aren’t things that younger kids really relate to. I’d like the students to be more excited about what they play when they are beginners, just to excite them early on about what they can play. I’d also like to teach flats and sharps together. Usually students learn F# first. Why not call it F#/Gb (how do I get the lower case b to look like a flat? Anyone?). Let’s see … we learn Bb, Ab, Eb, and C# first as well, rather than learning the corresponding sharp/flat at the same time. Because of the way books are now, if I finger, for instance, a Gb and ask my students what it is, I can guarantee that every one of them will say it’s an F#. Why can’t they learn both names at once?

I also think that students can move faster learning note fingerings, because most beginning oboe students have played another instrument. I don’t take students who can’t read music; oboe is difficult enough as it is, I don’t want to add note reading to the mix.

So I want to work on a book. For those reasons and others.

I just have to learn the darn program!

But the Giants are playing right now so I guess it’ll have to wait. Priorities and all that.

06. April 2006 · Comments Off on Online Flute Lessons? · Categories: imported, Links

The thought of online music lessons troubles me. The fact that the word embouchure is is misspelled troubles me too.


06. April 2006 · Comments Off on Me? I’d Rather Shop In Silence (And I’d Really Rather Not Shop) · Categories: imported, Ramble

I love music. But when I’m shopping and the music is in the background I find it irritating. Shopping at my local Macy’s is even worse, because the music isn’t in the background but in my face. (And in some areas I get to add TV into the mix as well, because they have TVs on right at the entrances to the dressing rooms.) For me music isn’t wallpaper. It’s art. I want to listen to it when it is on, and I want it off if I don’t want to listen.

So reading the New Yorker article about Muzak (which I guess has gotten “better” than the elevator music it was) doesn’t make me smile.

But it’s true, what they say about different music for different stores. Thing is, I really like shopping at some stores that I’m clearly not supposed to like! I can tell, by the music they are playing, that I don’t belong there, that I’m too old, or not cool enough, or just not their type, and that I should leave. I really wonder if those stores actually prefer to lose my business. (While music I hate is blaring away I hear this voice in my head saying, “You don’t belong, you don’t belong, you don’t belong!” and I’ve even been known to mutter those words out loud, sad but true.) Is it a bad thing for the other shoppers—the ones who fit‐to see me buying something? Will that cause them to hesitate before buying something? Hmm.

But I wander. Mostly I just wanted to say I’m looking for the SilentStore™. I’m looking for the store that appreciates those of use who actually listen to music and don’t think of it as background fluff. But that’s just me.

Final sentence of the article:

“Our biggest competitor,” a member of Muzak’s marketing department told me, “is silence.”

YES. (And silence is free.)

06. April 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

I can laugh about it now, but when I was 10, all the other young violinists around me had huge brown bruises, and I had none. So I got out my mum’s make-up, and painted on brown eyeshadow to show I was like the others. My mum went mad – ‘Are you squeezing your violin too much with your chin? You must be doing something wrong!’ But it did look impressive.

-Janine Jansen (article here)