16. December 2014 · Comments Off on A.A. = Add Articulation · Categories: Teaching

Sometimes I put an “A.A.” marking on a student’s assignment. If I see no articulation on printed work it’s fun to let them do their own. I have found that some will do a consistent pattern throughout, while others do something different every measure. I tell them they get to choose any articulations they want, as long as it’s not all slurred or all tongued.

One interesting thing that I’ve noticed since I’ve started this practice is a gender difference. I’ve had several girls articulate every measure differently. Not all girls do it that way, but I’ve never had any boys do that. I am fine either way, but I do tell those that go into full crazy different articulation mode that they then have to also play the darn thing! Some can. Some can’t. (As you can see, I also have them give me a metronome marking.) I’m guessing from how I described things you can identify the gender of this student … yes?


Why do I do these things? Several reasons:

  • I want them to get to be creative.
  • I want to see if they are really even opening their lesson books.
  • I want them actively involved in their music making.
  • I want them to learn how to properly put in articulations (we did discuss how the slurs on this could be misread.
  • I want them to get into the habit of using pencil on music!

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I see no marks at all on the music and I do wonder if the book has been opened at all.

I did inform the student today that the work was going to be be featured on my blog. No, I won’t name the student: I don’t feel comfortable naming students without parents’ permission. (Of course if that young oboist and parents read this they can let me know if they are okay with my putting the name here. After all, the student could be listed as this work’s arranger!)

16. December 2014 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

On performance days, principal oboe player Nathan Hughes usually stays home and takes a two-hour nap. He books a massage for the following day—“just to make sure that my body can be ready to do it again”—and spends much of his time between shows crafting new reeds for the next performance.

He goes through about five reeds in a typical “Meistersinger,” which features the oboe prominently. The mental demands over those six hours can be just as exhausting, he said.

“In the course of this opera there are hundreds and hundreds of details to pick up on,” Mr. Hughes said. “You’re in front of a car that’s about to hit you, and if you don’t jump out of the way in enough time, you’re going to get smashed.”

I found it here.

16. December 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

To cheer you up from your misfortunate lack of cat-ness, I played you the Oboe

16. December 2014 · Comments Off on Advent ~ Day Sixteen · Categories: Advent

Peter Cornelius: Drei Könige
Chor Leoni; Diane Loomer, C.M., Artistic Director; Steve Maddock, baritone soloist.

The arrangement is by Robert Sund and is published by Gerhmans Musikförlag.

Three kings are traveling from the East;
a small star leads them to Jordan.
In Judea they ask and search, these three,
where the new-born king is.
They wish to bring incense, myrrh and gold
as an offering to the child.

And the light of the star shines brightly:
the kings go into the stall;
gazing with wonder at the child,
the kings bow low in worship.
They bring incense, myrrh and gold
as an offering to the sweet baby boy.

O Sons of Man! keep faith!
The kings are journeying – travel with them!
The star of love, the star of grace
shine on your goal as you seek the Lord,
and if you lack incense, myrrh and gold,
give instead your heart to that sweet baby boy!