Jillian Camwell writes about having a good reed. I can’t tell you what a good reed can do for the soul. It’s like the best chocolate ever. Or something. (I’m not going to take this in another direction, although I probably could!) But a good reed. What joy! What rapture! What wonder! We feel like we can play anything with a good reed. Or … okay … maybe not anything, but at least we can see so many more possibilities and a lot fewer barriers to All That Is Oboe. A bad reed can ruin your whole day, week and, it often feels, your life. So yay for Jill! (And please, make another and send it my way!)

Rinat Shaham blogs about what one shouldn’t do after a performance. Like meet with someone who clearly isn’t healthy for the soul. Don’t people realize that what a musician does—and I think an opera singer is really at the extreme end of this because of all that they do up there on the stage and how the voice is so personal—is to really bare one’s self in front of the world. We usually feel as if we are giving you the “all of us” and we certainly don’t need a harsh critique right after we’ve done so. Geesh. People.

I was fortunate enough to receive a lovely email tonight from someone who was writing to say she loved my English horn playing. Now that we can use, believe me! Musicians—not all of us, but I’d say a large majority—need reassurance. Really. Like you wouldn’t believe. People tend to think that just because we have the guts to get in front of thousands and do our thing, we are entirely people of great confidence. Ain’t necessarily so, folks. So to the person who emailed me (I won’t name you since I’ve not asked permission) I thank you very, very much. 🙂


  1. We *are* senstive souls. All of us.

    I have been known, after a big performance, to jokingly say to my parents, “I’m not quite ready to change the subject yet. Can you tell me again how much you enjoyed the performance, and be specific?”

    Of course one can only ask one’s parents this.  🙂 And luckily they are understanding and have a good sense of humor.

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Of course then there are the times when I get a lot of compliments and I finally smile and say, “Fine. But how did I look?!”

    Tee hee.