14. September 2009 · Comments Off on Step Away From The Oboe · Categories: Oboe, Ramble, Reeds

I didn’t plan on practicing a whole lot today, but I did know I should do a bit. Of course I procrastinated and didn’t begin until shortly before student #1. Typical me! But I did get in a bit of work. Then I taught, and went back to practicing after that. (I have some tough stuff for the recital.)


The reeds felt awful today. How can I feel so great about reeds at opera one day, and then hate everything the next? So it was a “step away from the oboe” kind of day.

Now I do admit I’m not really using my main opera reeds, but you’d think other reeds would cooperate, wouldn’t you? Well. They didn’t.

So tomorrow morning must be a reed-centric morning. I had planned on doing the house cleaning I skipped today (Manon just made me too darn tired!), but that will have to wait. And wait. And wait. I think it may be one of “those” weeks.

I would like the reed fairy (or fairies … I’ll take more than one!) to get to work. NOW.

Not only do I have some major oboe stuff in opera right now, but I have English horn in the upcoming Symphony Silicon Valley set and then I move back to oboe on Cenerentola, which overlaps with the faculty recital at UCSC. Oh, and somewhere in there I have a Chinese Cantata concert as well. Work is GREAT. I’d better not start whining. Right?

Work is great,
I mustn’t whine,
but reeds are scarce
and make me pine
for one reed ace
(or make that two!)
who’d do the work
that I should do.

14. September 2009 · Comments Off on “It’s a Piece of Cake” · Categories: Videos

I think music therapy is going to become more and more common. There are so many uses. (I also think we should try reed making therapy … and all reeds can be sent my way. Don’t you agree?)

Watch CBS Videos Online

14. September 2009 · Comments Off on Good Can Be Very Very Bad · Categories: Videos

If you know how to do something — sing, dance, play an instrument, it’s not always easy to be bad. You kind of have to work at it.

But then there’s this:

Free Voice Lessons:

She’s gotten crazier (as you can see above) since this earlier Star Spangled Banner video:

But who is she, really? Hmmm. Could this be …?? 😉

Nawwwww ….

Today’s trauma! 15 year-old daughter threatening tongue piercing. She is sitting Grade 7 oboe and Grade 5 singing. Any thoughts?

14. September 2009 · Comments Off on Robert Bloom Biography · Categories: Books

Robert Bloom (1908-1994), one of the foremost oboists of his time and a former member of the Yale School of Music faculty, is the subject of a new biography. Robert Bloom: The Story of a Working Musician brings together essays, correnspondence, reviews, anecdotes and more. It also incorporates Bloom’s book on pedagogy dictated in 1975-1976: The Oboe, A Musical Instrument, as well as a disc of two chapters, one on reed-making and one a discography.

The above is from the Yale School of Music blog. RTWT. (No one says all musicians spell, eh?)

I see the book available at RDG. Once I start getting our finances back in order I’ll need to pick this one up.

14. September 2009 · Comments Off on Manon Review #4 · Categories: Reviews

Here is one from Axel Feldheim (not his real name) at Not For Fun Only.

He has a vivid imagination! … a bear?! 😉

But ultimately, fellow students, it’s up to us. Time to invade the concert hall. Classical concerts need not be exercises in cough-stifling. I regularly wear a T-shirt and jeans to the BSO – it’s fun to give the lingering Koussevitzky-ites a mild shock, since I know Mahler’s just as sublime sans tux – and respond to the music with a vocal passion. I cheered myself hoarse for Barenboim, Levine, and Carter last year, and I booed Teatro Lirico’s apathetic “Aida’’ with equal fervor. Audience participation didn’t start in 1962 – a knowledgeable, demanding audience has been the sustaining force of every culture with music at its heart, from fin-de-siecle Vienna to New Orleans in the 1920s.

So don’t treat classical music as a once-a-year excuse to dress up and get a nice dinner. It is music. It’s meant to be loved by the young, hormone-crazed masses, loved the very same way we love Radiohead and the Arcade Fire. It should lie at the center of everyday life, spark our wildest conversations and profoundest thoughts, be the soundtrack to falling in love. There’s a galaxy of music in our city that needs our love, and I know we’ve got it in us.

Do read the whole thing.

(And while jeans and a t shirt are seen in the concert halls I frequent, some of the younger crowd do like to play dress up too … clothing runs the gamut.)