19. October 2007 · Comments Off on What Every Music Department Should Do · Categories: Links, Read!

Like beauty, success is defined in the eye of the beholder. Most classical music students tend to define their future success as a career playing in orchestras, chamber groups or as a soloist. This traditional view leaves other important career opportunities overlooked, a situation Rice’s Shepherd School of Music is determined to remedy.

Already known for its leadership in training top-tier classical musicians, the Shepherd School officially launched a national effort to reset students’ definition of career success with the Oct. 12-14, forum “Careers in Music Performance: Convening Student Perspectives and Creating Models for the 21st Century.” Students and faculty from the most highly respected music training institutions in the U.S. attended, including New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University and Juilliard.


We do our students a disservice if we give them no idea that there are options in the music biz. We do them an even larger disservice if we don’t make it clear that no matter how fabulous they are as musicians they still might not find that dream playing gig. It’s just the way things are. In addition, we do our students a disservice if we aren’t honest about the struggles and difficulties in our performance professions.

I love what I do. But that doesn’t mean everyone is always happy, that everyone in the orchestras to which I belong get along all the time. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t times I just want to toss my oboe and try something less stressful. Fortunately the better times always win out.

“When students have a narrow view of the profession, they limit themselves in finding their own best career path,” Kamins said. “There is a misconception amongst music students that you get a job in an orchestra and you live happily ever after. It’s incredible to get and keep that job, but it doesn’t guarantee artistic satisfaction.”

So shouldn’t all music schools provide this realistic sort of thing? I think so.

19. October 2007 · Comments Off on Not I! · Categories: Ramble

How will Clay fare as a triple threat? As far as the show’s producers are concerned, who cares? Every American woman over 50 (and many others from outside that demographic) will be flying, driving or walking to Manhattan and trying to snag a ticket.

No. I won’t be there to see Clay Aiken in Spamalot. His presence doesn’t make me want to see it at all. So there you go. And I’m an American woman over 50. As long as you count months as well as years. (And I only have one month to go until 51 pops up.)

I don’t really understand the Clay attraction … those “Claymates” are befuddling. Especially the one I saw who is an oboist. That is doubly puzzling. But I suppose the double reed makes everything double puzzling.

In Other News
For those of you who knew today was to be a Day of Splendor for me (well, if “ostomies” are splendid) I am home and just fine. The worst of it all was the magic potion—all four liters of it—I was blessed with last night.

I’m so hoping that those scanners Dr. Crusher used in Star Trek will become real tools sometime in the near future. Either that or beaming capabilities. With the latter I’d just beam myself somewhere else if I ever saw that huge container of awful tasting, gag inducing potion again.

Anyway, enough of THAT. I’m not going to dwell on what is past. Good idea, eh?

Now I can dwell more on what I have next week: One recital was canceled, so there will be no Quiet City after all. But I’m still playing in Symphony Silicon Valley (just one work, since I’ve opted for the English horn book), and a faculty recital at UCSC. (All of this can be seen at My Performance Schedule.