Friday, October 26, 2007

Flaming Tuba video

Not something you see everyday.

Video of a flaming tuba.

(insert pun here)

Played by the director of the Simpsons no less.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Music Ed. majors...*Don't* beware the shadow!

Have you heard that term "job shadowing?"

If you are a music ed. major reading this, I suggest that you not wait until your student teaching semester to find out what it's like in the real world.

Look this should be simple: figure out which band programs are successful. Contact the band director and ask if you can come out for a day to observe. Promise you won't get underfoot. Be willing to help if they want you to.

In other words...

if you're planning to do something for a living, go out and watch somebody who is good at it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A question of angle

Here's one from the "crazy idea" department.

For posture: stand tall and bring the horn to you.

For most people, this will result in the horn angling down a bit.

Ahhh, marching band season when so many are told to angle 10 degrees above horizontal (or something like that).

How to resolve this problem?

No perfect solution but I guess bending at the waist is the least bad.

This raises a question that seemed dumb at first but......

Why is the bell angled the way it is? What if the bell angled up a bit.

I'm not talking a "Dizzy Gillespie" angle..

But still, what if the bell angled up a bit? How dumb is this idea?

For that matter, what if the slide angled slightly to the right? Wouldn't that make the longer positions easier to reach?

Worth considering, I think.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Spooky Post: Avoid the Black Holes

Help me! Help me! I'm being sucked innnnnnnn........

Why do so many people tend to rush something like this?

I think it's all those rests.
Especially at a slower tempo, it's almost painful to wait through those rests and not rush on to the next note.

Those rests are like little black holes, trying to suck in the notes around them,

distorting the entire space time continuum!!!

Well, at least causing players to rush ..

(which is almost as bad)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Concerts Coming up in Columbia

Earlier than usual this year.
Here's a link to the program.

Thanks to one of my students, who made a nice poster!

Also, two recital coming up the next two Sundays..
Ryan Tinker, Senior Recital
Oct. 21st, 3pm
Alex Manley, trombone
Winifred Goodwin, piano
David Lowry, organ
Three Songs... Johannes Brahms
Es Rauschet Das Wasser, Op. 28 (1833-1897)
Weg Der Liebe, Op. 20
So Lass uns Wandern, Op. 75
The Patriot ... Arthur Pryor
Domine, Dona Nobis Pacem... Frigyes Hidas

Jazz Miniatures... Dick Goodwin

Russ Zokaites, Senior Recital (bass trombone)
Oct. 28th, 3pm
Alyssa Burnette, piano
The Climax Brass Quintet
Brass Band conducted by Emily Jones
Sonata Breve...Walter Hartley
from Sonata for Bass Trombone David Gillingham
II. Lento mysterioso
Rainy Day in Rio...Geoff Richards
Variations on Barnacle Bill the Sailor... Steven Frank, Arr. By Garrett Mendez

Also, the Carolina Trombone Collective will be performing at Lake Murray Pres. on Oct 28th.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Spooky Post:: Beware the Sawtooth Progression Chart

No, this is not a reference to any of the charming "Saw" movies, none of which I have seen or plan to see.

This is referring to a scary phenomenon I have seen in teaching...
(cue happy music)

In the "happy" lessons we make good progress so that, at the end, the student is playing better than when they walked in.
OK, that part's obvious
Then they head on out for a week in the practice room and, sometimes, return the next week with the old habits back in place.
(cue scary music, knife slasher stuff, you know)

It's almost as if that last lesson never happened!

Their "progress chart" might end up looking like this:

Beware the Sawtooth Progression Chart!

(mu ha ha ha ha ?)

You know, I used to have this great "dripping blood" font...oh well

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pointing in Time

Here's a quote attributed to Marcus Aurelius,
"All we have is now"

In other words, live in the moment. All we really have is "5 ahead and 5 behind"....
5 seconds into the future and 5 into the past.

Not only is this good advice for life, it is good for rhythm.

I sometimes believe undisciplined eyes are a culprit with rhythm. As we look at music, the eyes don't get a "rhythmic lock" on the rhythms.

Try this: using a sharp pointer (a mechanical pencil with the point retracted is good for this), lightly tap the music exactly in time with the beat. Each tap should land exactly over the point in the music where the beat falls.

Once you can do this, point rhythmically with the pencil while saying or singing the rhythm.

I think this technique helps to discipline the eyes to not wander about the measure in an un-rhythmic fashion.

Try it out. It might help.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Big and Friendly

Here's an interesting YouTube link:

I googled BFJO and arrived at the Big Friendly Jazz Orchestra. Appears to be an arts high school. The translated web page provides both information and unintentional humor. For example, check out the translation of the Oct. 14th date from their concert schedule:

(Every time when you talk east Harima charm it is, the tea time of ~ cute afternoon)