14. April 2010 · Comments Off on That’s Pretty Bass · Categories: Videos

Sub Contrabass Recorder

Contrabass French Horn


14. April 2010 · Comments Off on Bach Makes Me Feel Like Dancing · Categories: Dance, Videos

And doesn’t he do that to just about everyone? I mean, really now … you hear The Well-Tempered Clavier and odds are, you’ll be break dancing in no time.

You can see more here. (But don’t blame me if you start doing toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes/suicides.)

For the project, Flying Steps teamed up with German director Christoph Hagel, who is no stranger to giving classical music a modern makeover having previously staged Mozart operas in a power station and in a metro station.

“My job was to explain the music, to make the dancers understand how artful and refined Bach composed his music. But I stayed out of the choreography,” he said.

The result was a new experience, and Hagel says he was amazed by how well breakdance lends itself to Bach, better than classical ballet, for example. He also thinks traditionalists could learn a thing or two from the group.

“Flying Steps have such an unpretentious way of listening to and interpreting music … I am amazed by their energy and directness — it’s not something I know from the high-minded world of high culture,” Hagel said.

“We want to show that Bach is high-energy music and that hip-hop can be great art.”


14. April 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

blehhh oboe practise really takes it out of you.

14. April 2010 · Comments Off on Truth · Categories: Other People's Words, Ramble

One of my favorite things about teaching music is that there is no cheating. It simply isn’t possible. No one else can practice for you, or learn rhythms for you, or learn to read music for you, or learn how to produce a fabulous sound for you.

I really enjoyed this post by Tenly. It’s so true!

I am so thankful I don’t have to worry about cheating in my job. Students have been known to lie, mind you. Some say “Yes, I practiced!” and then can’t even figure out what page to turn to. A student will turn back and forth, looking quizzically at the music, puzzling over what to play. That’s usually a pretty good clue that no practicing took place. After our typical warm up and scales routine I’ll tell a student to get out whatever lesson book we are using. Sometimes a student has the gall to say, “What page?” I usually respond, “I don’t know … you tell me!” I once had a student play an entire page of music before realizing that wasn’t the assigned music and “wasn’t what I practiced.”

I really get frustrated with lying. I would rather — although of course I’m dismayed by this — hear a student say honestly, “I didn’t practice.” At least that’s honest.

Another funny thing I’ve encountered — it happens nearly all the time, actually: I have a students play an A-440 long tone, without letting them see the tuner. After they finish, I will turn the tuner to sound and let them hear a true A-440. I then ask, “Where were you?” So far, not one has ever said, “I think I nailed it!” … and some really do nail it! (Some of my students have excellent pitch.)

So while students aren’t comfortable being honest about not practicing, they also aren’t comfortable saying “Hey, that was spot on!” Go figure. 😉

14. April 2010 · Comments Off on Have You Finished Your Taxes? · Categories: Ramble

I have, thankfully. Finished and filed. Just the way I like it. Except that I didn’t file them as soon as I could have. Silly me!

But if you are a musician (or other type of artist), and you’re struggling, artstaxinfo.com is a helpful site.

I was much more organized this year. What a difference from previous years. I think, too, it helped having our little “sitting room” in which to do the work. Somehow having that room — it’s clean and cozy — just made everything more pleasant. If one can ever say doing taxes can be pleasant.