I had a new student scheduled to arrive at 4:00 today. At 4:35 I finally called to see what was up. The mom, who had called, scheduled the appointment, and got directions to the house wasn’t there. The man I’m assuming was her dad said her mom had work and probably forgot. Hmmm. Very odd. I asked him to have her go to my site, click on the email address, and email me. She never did.

I finally called a few minutes ago … the mom said, “We aren’t going to take lessons. I can’t drive to your house.”

Now why in the world wouldn’t she have called me before the scheduled lesson and cancel so I didn’t wait around?

That’s pretty frustrating and, it seems, just a tad rude.

But I lead the life of a music teacher. While the income seems somewhat guaranteed, it’s really not. Especially since I charge per week rather than per month. I just can’t see charging per month; I have conflicts at times, and I don’t want to be “owing” lessons. I ask students to be flexible because of my performance schedule, and so I want to be just as flexible for them!

But just not showing up is just not right. Don’t you agree?

And please note: I would never write anything negative about a student that I teach. I’m only writing about a student I won’t be teaching because … well … to vent. The only things I write about students I have is GOOD NEWS! I also never mention names unless I get permission, although once I get that permission I love to post kudos to students who have done something notable.

For instance, I had a new student this morning. She was wonderful and it was a joy to meet and work with her. I haven’t asked her about putting her name here yet, but she knows who she is! 🙂

24. July 2006 · Comments Off on A New Blog · Categories: imported, Ramble

Joshua Kosman, classical music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle has a new blog. Welcome to our happy world, Mr. Kosman. (And don’t take what I say about reviewers too seriously! Unless it’s complimentary, of course! 😉

In Other News
I had sent a message to my friendly emailer, and I’ve heard nothing back. I’m not sure what this means. I’ve also not heard one word, darn it all! from any readers. I’m not sure what that means either. C’mon folks. Tell me if I was being too sensitive. I can (sniffle, sniffle) handle (sniffle) it. Really.

AND … no one has answered these two posts!

Shoot. Where IS everyone? Let’s get with the program, eh? After all, the world does revolve around me.


24. July 2006 · Comments Off on About John Mack · Categories: imported, News

You can read an article about John Mack, and see a good picture of him with two things he loved greatly.

24. July 2006 · Comments Off on A Slight Problem · Categories: imported, Ramble

I read this, which included this paragraph:

Still, it was in the three central movements that the conductor achieved the greatest results. The Concertante section featured serene contributions from the woodwinds — and a scintillating solo from principal flutist Maria Tamburrino — and the Rondeau sounded downright springy. The Andantino found the orchestra uniting in playing of ravishing warmth and beauty. In addition to Tamburrino, there were excellent contributions from concertmaster Robin Hansen, oboist Laura Griffiths, and clarinetist Mark Brandenburg. Principal horn David Sprung played the brief, but crucial, posthorn solo with flair.

It’s always wonderful when reviewers give musicians a mention. So often we feel invisible. When I play a huge solo (say, for instance, the English horn solo in Ravel’s Piano Concerto, and I don’t get mentioned, I assume I was awful. Other times we are mentioned for something that a reviewer didn’t like. But getting mentioned for doing a good job doesn’t always happen. This review is fun; a few people listed here are colleagues of mine.

Only problem?

There were no clarinets in that work!

How very curious.

So one wonders: was the reviewer there? Was it a different concert the reviewer attended? Surely the reviewer knows what a clarinet is, yes? I’m assuming reviewers of concerts know their instruments.

I do remember one funny incident, however. Many, many years ago a string orchestra played for a ballet. The reviewer said that the viola section sounded particularly strong, because the orchestra went heavy on violas. She was very complimentary. Heh. We were only listed heavy on violas; the folks who put together the orchestra roster made an error and listed all the second violinists under the viola section!

Of course then there was the time I got a very nice mention for my English horn playing when the solo was being played by a baritone horn. Now that was bizarre! Did the reviewer think an English horn was a brass instrument? I’m guessing so.

Speaking of which … no one has yet to answer the question of yesterday! C’mon, folks, give it a go!

Here’s the paragraph for you:

“People are amazed when you just walk out on stage or take it out of the case,” said Troiano, 54, who said bewildered fans often ask if the massive instrument of twisting metal pipes is an oboe or clarinet.

So what instrument do you think might get confused for an oboe or clarinet?

23. July 2006 · Comments Off on Does Anyone Know? · Categories: imported, Ramble

I paid for an hour of a radio show online. I can listen to it online. But is there a way to transfer it to iTunes? I’m just curious, as I can’t listen to it all now. I know there are a bunch of Incredibly Smart People out there who would have the answer for this Incredibly Unsmart Girl. (I’m so unsmart I even use the word “unsmart”!)

The URL has mp3 at the end of it. Seems like that should mean I can transfer it somehow. But I only think that because I know nothing. Nothing at all. 😉

Weather Update
It’s now only 94. Time to celebrate!

23. July 2006 · Comments Off on Sad News · Categories: Announcements, imported

It has been reported, via the IDRS list, that John Oboe Mack has died. I knew he was quite ill, so this isn’t a shock, but it is sad news nonetheless. He was a great oboist, and I have some excellent recordings of his.

His son, Rick Mack, writes,

“I have one personal request – see that his teachings continue in their truest form. He was a man of amazing talent, character, and drive not to mention a loving husband and father. Hold to that and pass it on. God bless!”


More thinking … more wondering about that email … part of me is less upset. Part of me is frustrated. But most of me wants input from my gentle readers! (In other words, if you are gonna be chopping my head off you might skip writing. I’m not up for it!)

So here’s the full letter … am I just totally over reacting? (Typical of me, you know?)


It seems a very big oversight not to include listings of double reeds players in the most prominent US military bands in the nation. After all, we won very competitive auditions and are as professional group as any and make a much better salary than most of the regional orchestras you have listed. Considering we also tour nationally and internationally, more people around the nation and the world see us perform year in and year out then core audiences of these regional orchestras you have listed. In my humble opinion, it would serve you well to list the premier bands of the Washington, DC area and their rosters. That would include my band “The President’s Own” US Marine Band, “Pershing Own” US Army Band, the USAF Band and the US Navy Band. These are the premier military bands in the nation and neglecting that we are professional organizations as the rest on your list is insulting and a major oversight. Incidentally, our band does have a Chamber Orchestra and most other DC bands have a string contingency so it’s not all band, all the time.

It would be appreciated if you made an update to your site. Here is some information you might need, at least in reference to “The President’s Own”:



Thanks for your attention to this this. Best of luck with the website.


(Name omitted for the time being; I’m still thinking on that one!)

And yes, as you can see the writer didn’t point directly at me, when saying that he probably has a higher salary. But since all of this was addressed at me, and I’m in one of those “regional orchestras” I did, as is typical of me, take it personally.

Again, let me say that omitting band musicians wasn’t some intentional thing … I hadn’t even though of bands. I don’t listen to band music. I don’t perform in bands, and haven’t since my junior year of college. I’m not involved in bands. Bands just aren’t a part of who I am. And let’s face it, this is my blog so most everything here has some connection to me. Sorry, but that’s how sites put together by an individual are often set up. Egotistical? Probably. A waste of time? Maybe (but it seems I do get readers who imply that they enjoy my silly rambling).

I’m probably spending far too much time mulling all of this over. Emails can sure be harmful to one’s health!

But … really … when one receives a message like that, does the sender really think I’ll immediately want to do his bidding?

Kind words go so far. Harsh ones honestly do not.

23. July 2006 · Comments Off on What To Do? · Categories: Announcements, imported

I just received a rather harsh email from a member of a military band. It’s quite clear that he is offended that I haven’t included his and other military band double reed players’ names on my page of American Symphony Orchestra Double Reed Players. He also pointed out that he makes a lot more money than yours truly.

Now I confess I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to reprimands. I get shaky. Really! I don’t shake like this when I’m performing. It’s only when someone is telling me off, or is angry with me. Funny how that works.

Anyway, I’m not sure how to handle this. Anyone have any ideas? The pages I’ve done so far are for orchestral musicians. The person who emailed me said that these folks play in smaller groups that are orchestras. But will there be a roster, which is how I do my searches? I dunno!

Or should I start a band page?

Can I tell you how many hours it takes to put these pages together? (And does anyone else want to put together a band page and send it to me so I can avoid the work?!)

In Other, but not any better, News:
They say 102 today. Sigh. It’s a spare the air day, so I’m not supposed to go anywhere if I care about things like that (and I do).

Guess it’s lots of ice water for me.

22. July 2006 · Comments Off on What’s Wrong With this Sentence? · Categories: imported, Ramble

The instrument looked and sounded “cooler than the oboe or euphonium,” ….

Heh. If you can’t figure it out, you aren’t an oboist*! 🙂

Here’s the full paragraph from the article I read, in case you are interested:

So familiar is the sight of the lanky, flat-topped Ahlstrand armed with his ever- present sax, churning out dazzling solos, that his fans may be surprised to learn that his first instrument was piano. One fateful day during elementary school, a music store representative showed up for, as Ahlstrand muses, “the annual wind instrument petting zoo.” Young Paul fell in love with the saxophone. The instrument looked and sounded “cooler than the oboe or euphonium,” and, he wryly adds, “the demonstrator was far less geeky.” By high school Ahlstrand was performing in two professional bands.

Well, okay then. The guy chose saxophone so what the heck do you expect? 😉

For those of you who don’t know me, please understand that I like to crack lots of jokes and I’m not to be taken seriously sometimes.

Of course you have to figure out if this is one of those times. Or not.

*Note the spelling of oboist. Please. It is often misspelled!