Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gliss-O-Rama

Ahh, I remember it well....my first solo performance!

It was an elementary school band concert...a stirring rendition of "Young MacDonald Had a Farm" as I recall.

At one point, right after the familiar refrain, "Young MacDonald had a farm..." the usual E-I-E-I-O was replaced by a lovely trombone gliss (faithfully notated below)


In his wisdom, our band director had me stand to deliver this stirring cadenza.
(In all fairness, the solo happened twice..Howard Danner played it the first time)

I believe I am scarred for life.

It's just like those early conversations...
"Oh, what instrument do you play?"
"The Trombone."
"Oh [pause] [twinkle forms in the eye..arm raises up] beee-reeer-rup"
[you know, that sound made by the average witty joe on the street imitating a trombone gliss].
"...sigh..{ah, such incisive wit, such comedic brilliance}"

I guess all these years I've had something of an anti-glissando bias.

But hey, I'm growing. This semester in teaching, I've rediscovered the pedagogical power of this trombone cliche. A number of my students have really benefited from doing loud glissandos (at last something possibly more annoying than that alto sax in the next room).

In honor of this therapeutic re-discovery, I've added another flow exercise to the basic daily routine on the BoneZone website. Click here for it (a .pdf file will download).

Of course in a recent lesson, as a student and I roared unabashedly through some high glisses, I looked over at the window in my door.

Looking in were a mother and her toddler, apparently enjoying the zoo animals inside.

"...sigh.."

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