30. March 2011 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

We played two “kiddie concerts” (schools bus in kids and we have a hall full of ’em) yesterday, and we are doing two more today. I enjoy these, because I love seeing and hearing these enthusiastic kiddos. Peter Jaffe, the conductor who does these is, in my opinion anyway, excellent for this sort of thing. He’s funny. He’s entertaining. He puts together a good program. And he does a good job conducting, too. So even while I whine (a LOT) about having to wake early and play concerts in the morning, they really are a joy.

But this particular one is also very, very loud.

The program includes Jupiter from Holst’s Planets, Prokofiev’s Montagues and Capulets, John William’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme and Musorgsky/Ravel, Baba Yaga and the Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition. LOUD stuff! Included as well is the third movement of Brahms’ first symphony and Brazil, by Barroso. I’ll let you figure out how this was all tied together … but it was.

Lots of loud music and not much to worry about other than that. No big solos (I cannot wear earplugs if I have solos), and the few I have give me time to remove the plugs. Otherwise the earplugs are in the entire time.

I hate earplugs. They are miserable beasts. But losing hearing is even more miserable. (Believe me, I know!) So I protect my hearing as much as possible.

The biggest issue with the darn things is that I feel so removed from what I’m doing. The crazy thing about that is that, in that state of “not all there” I seem to lose my ability to focus. The ears are “out of focus” so the brain goes in the same direction. I count wrong. Rhythms get more difficult (and rhythm is something I rarely struggle with). It’s all very weird. I think the lesson is that I have to actually spend time at home practicing with the earplugs in to make sure I learn how to focus while feeling like I’m in a bubble.

Too late to worry about that for this set, but I need to keep this in mind for the next loud concert!

After this morning’s concerts I move on to ballet. We are doing Carmen and something called “Who Cares?” using the music of George Gershwin. I think it’ll be fun, but I just learned that the woodwinds have been moved and I’ll now be under the stage. No more getting to watch dancers when I have nothing to play. Ah well … that’s show biz!


  1. Could your lack of focus have been due to the hour of the performance (10am) or the lack of sleep the night before?
    Just wondering…

  2. It could in this instance, but I find this EVERY time I use earplugs! I start to understand why my father, when he had lost some of his hearing, just sort of “left the room” even while sitting there with us all. It’s just easier that way!

  3. Too bad we can’t “just leave the room” at work.

  4. Yep, Beth … kind of hard to do that, eh? (Hope you don’t mind I’ve put up a photo on another page … if you do, let me know and I’ll take it down, okay?!)