15. September 2007 · Comments Off on A Little CF for YT · Categories: Ramble

(Translation: A little comfort food for yours truly)

Dan, with my encouragement I suspect, went off to take some evening pictures at Point Lobos. They decided to keep the park open a bit later, and I was thinking he ought to get there soon or he’d miss out. Jameson and Megan are elsewhere. So I’m here, still rather tired, and I decided I needed comfort food.

What, you might ask, might that be?

Cream of wheat. With brown sugar. And, this time, dried cranberries.


15. September 2007 · Comments Off on The Choice · Categories: Ramble

I recently read an oboe player’s blog that mentioned a fabulous oboist. To that blogger, hearing this great oboe player seemed to only be discouraging. The blogger believed him/herself incapable of ever reaching the the level of the OboeStar™. Due to that, giving up seemed the best option.

Now of course our initial reaction to magnificent playing can frequently be, “Oh forget it! I’ll never measure up!” So I understand the blogger’s reaction, and I’m sympathetic.

But this blog entry of mine is meant to be an encouragement in two ways. 1) Some of you WILL reach the level of that great musician. Really. It takes a combination of great talent, determination, and practice. It takes some special something that is hard to define. And it takes being in the right place at the right time. People can (and will) get there. But even if you don’t reach that level 2) there can be a place for you.

Being in something other than the “top 5” or “top 10” is an okay place to be. Trust me, I know.

I’m in several orchestras that aren’t ranked at the top. We have some musicians that could well be in the top, of course; that’s the nature of the biz … you are going to find top players all over. It’s that “right place/right time” thing. Or the “right place/wrong time”. Or … well … you know how it goes! (And, for some of us, it’s just a pre-ordained thing. But I won’t go into that right now.)

I’m honored to make good music. I’m thrilled (more than anyone will every know, I suppose) to play with my fabulous colleagues. I love making fine music. I love improving. Even at the age of 50 I feel as if I’m learning more all the time. Sometimes I learn from younger musicians. Sometimes from my older colleagues. Sometimes I even learn from myself. (But I don’t listen to myself all that frequently!)

So … ramble ramble … be of good cheer! Hear a fabulous musician? Be happy. Enjoy. Learn. Grow. Choose to see the possibilities. Not the limitations.

It’s just a good way to live.

(Oh dear … this all sounds so Pollyanna-ish. Danger, danger. Gotta stop this, yes?)

15. September 2007 · Comments Off on smoking, smoking, smoking, and smoking · Categories: Ramble

The above was what was listed on a facebook page as the one and only activity by a local youth symphony conductor.

I just find it troubling.

Call my annoying, call my picky, call my out of date, but I think youth symphony conductors are role models to a lot of young musicians. Young, impressionable musicians. And seeing what he wrote just makes me very sad. (And yeah, a little bit angry too.)

We know so much more now than smokers used to know. We know about cigarettes and health and especially cancer. Does any adult really want to be that sort of influence on young musicians?

I’m not asking the guy to stop smoking (although I suspect he’d be able to conduct standing up more frequently if he quit). I’m just saying he might think about what he puts at his very public sites.

It’s a good reminder to me, though: there are no secrets here. 🙂

15. September 2007 · Comments Off on Names … Pretty Please? · Categories: Ramble

Someone just registered for this site, and I’m always happy to see that … it implies that folks really are reading my little blog, yes? Welcome, one and all!

But may I remind people to please put down your names? If I don’t see a name I start to think “you” aren’t a real person, but some sort of spammer. (Yes, I’ve gotten a few of those.) If I don’t see a name and I don’t recognize your address I’ll probably delete you. It’s not that I’m mean, I just don’t like spam comments! 🙂

(And to the new person, welcome! Do introduce yourself so I don’t delete your registration please!)

15. September 2007 · Comments Off on Um … What?! · Categories: Ramble

“I was told that people in wheelchairs will not enjoy classical music,” he says, “but I discovered that the healing power of music affects everyone”


I’ve not heard such a ridiculous idea in a long time. I’m assuming it is sort of out of context … that they were suggesting, as the person states later, that “That people in pain will not appreciate classical music.” Even that is ridiculous, of course. But the wheelchair statement just made me scratch my head.

Some people like classical music. Some don’t. And that’s the truth.

In Other News, I had a couple of good lessons this morning. I just love teaching, and it’s especially gratifying when students come in with a smile and a week of good practice. Good attitudes and putting in some effort certainly make a huge difference. So a big “Hoorah!” to my students today!

15. September 2007 · Comments Off on Just Call Me … · Categories: Fun

Petrochemical raisin melt.


Plug your name in.

If I go simple and use only “Patty Mitchell” I get Petty chat mill or Petty chit mall. Yeah. They work.

But really, if you are interested in a petrochemical raisin melt you now know who to turn to.

15. September 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

I wish to share and pass down some of my generation’s traits, and encourage young people to create their own art, music, and literature.

-David Amram