19. September 2006 · Comments Off on Not Too Bad · Categories: imported, Links

I got 37 out of 74 which isn’t bad considering how many times I had to guess! Give it a go.

I’m sure you’ll beat my score. 🙂

19. September 2006 · Comments Off on Just Found Out About This · Categories: imported, Links

San Francisco Symphony has a European Tour Blog which I only just read about. Check it out!

19. September 2006 · Comments Off on UCSC · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m just home from UCSC, where I met with potential oboe students. While working with one, another student poked her head in the door, and I suggested she return in ten minutes. She didn’t come back. Oh dear! I hope I didn’t just lose someone. Maybe she realized she came to the wrong room and instructor, but I wonder. I would love to add to the oboe studio there. (If you happen to read this, whoever you are, please feel free to email me at pmitchel (at) ucsc (dot) edu. I had to leave UCSC and get home to teach my private students.)

It was great to get back to the campus, see some colleagues, and get things rolling lesson-wise. For me, the beginning of the school year always feels like a beginning of all things new. Or somethings new, anyway. I like that.

19. September 2006 · Comments Off on New (Old) Review · Categories: imported, Reviews

This opera review sort of appeared—it’s slightly different, which is perhaps an editing issue(?)—elsewhere, but it’s now up at SFCV. In case you wanted to know that.

Or even if you didn’t.

19. September 2006 · Comments Off on Made Me Weepy, Just To Read · Categories: imported, Ramble

Even now, hours later, I am close to tears thinking about it. Every now and then I’m reminded that the healing and transformative powers of music go so far beyond what I can imagine, and that’s why I teach and perform. A good thing to be reminded of at the start of a new year.

I just finished reading this blog entry by Melissa, and it really did make me teary. Of course reading things causes me to tear up even more than some sad (often manipulative) movies. Words and music—two very powerful things! But in any case, I think this one hit me because I really understand.

When I was younger I really didn’t enjoy teaching. The big problem for me was that I made the very foolish assumption that all of my students wanted to become professional musicians. That was not only incorrect, but incredibly foolish; there would be no way that all my students, along with all the other oboe students of the world, could all succeed in music at a professional level. Not because of their abilities (although of course that’s important), but because there’s only so many positions for oboists.

But now? These days I absolutely love to teach. I love introducing oboe to students. I love seeing and hearing them improve. And, with my younger ones, I absolutely adore watching them grow up.

Some years ago I had a student who, at her first few lessons, just seemed sad to me. I’m not sure what was going on in her life, and I never pry, but it just seemed as if something was wrong. My goal with her had very little to do with oboe at first; I merely wanted to get her to smile. By the time she left she had matured and become an accomplished oboist. But I must admit I was happiest about the laughter I heard from her. I don’t take credit for her laughter—I’m guessing there were a lot of changes going on outside of OboeLife™ and I doubt I had much to do with her altered demeanor. But what I didn’t do was make her cry, and I do know that we did a lot of joking around that I hadn’t thought we’d be able to do when I first met her. In my early years of teaching I managed to cause a lot of tears. I don’t go there any more.

Not that students don’t cry at lessons on occasion, but it’s not because I’ve pushed them there. I hope. Sometimes they just go there on their own. And that’s okay too. I can handle tears. I just don’t want to be the one who turned the faucet on!

If my students leave my studio understanding what the oboe is about, and appreciating music, and maybe enter a concert hall on occasion to listen to live music, I’m very content.

So … what a disjointed ramble this is becoming, eh? … mostly I just wanted to encourage readers to enjoy the blog I linked to above. 🙂