Weekly Roundup 11/8/15

Reading: Nothing for work

Arranging: Satellites charts as the new lead sheets get to me.

Practicing: I had a PHENOMENAL lesson with Scott Moore, professor at Gustavus Aldophus, on Friday. We talked a lot about breath control and the art of breathing in- to end a note out- which is not something I’d thought about before. Letting that sink in this week.

Rehearsing: My trombone trio has reunited with a new tenor player joining us, John Maddox! We are preparing a recital on December 8th, our ‘one night only’ chance to say goodbye to Derek before he moves to Maryland in January. 😦

Performing: Played a concert with M’haha yesterday: Hanson Symphony No 2 and Faust Ballet Music. Super fun to perform with that orchestra. The Hanson is new to me and it may go into heavy rotation in my orchestral listening.

Listening: That is, once I stop listening to Hamilton, which will be NEVER

Teaching: Thinks I picked up from Dr Moore regarding breath control. Also high range practice using tunes.

Relaxing: Whenever I can. This weekend I travel to St Louis to see my friend Gabe, and then we are heading to Springfield, MO to see our former UNT classmate Jason Hausback. He now teaches at MSU- and is having our professor, Jan Kagarice, give a clinic to his students. It’s going to be a mini-UNT reunion with some of my favorite Eagles.

Weekly Roundup 10/26/15

Weekly Roundup is moving to Mondays! My Tuesdays have filled up and it makes more sense to do this at the beginning of the week, anyway. 🙂

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice put aside a for a little bit, about halfway done, while I get control of some other tasks.

Arranging: New Satellites charts! Today’s:

Practicing: Taking things down a volume level or two to focus on a steady, consistent tone- bricks of sound- in Tannhauser. My fortes have suffered from a lack of attention lately and are a little wobbly. Also working up La Gazza Ladra, to speed.

By the way, do you know about TromboneExcerpts.org? What a phenomenal resource. use it. Love it. Support them on Patreon. Do it.

Rehearsing: Mill City Five meets this week to make up new gig books and create a setlist for our gig November 25th at the Nicollet.

Trombone a Trois, my long-defunct trio, is regrouping for a potential recital in December. Stay tuned!

Performing: Nothing on the books until late November.

Listening: THIS (redux)

Teaching: How to be crispy. Keep your shorts short!

Relaxing: What. Is. That.

Weekly Roundup 10/20/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice found, continued reading. Add “Improve your teaching: beginners” by Paul Harris, a short little guidebook to creative teaching techniques for new students.

Arranging: New Satellites charts! Today’s:

Practicing: I’m recording myself this week. It’s as painful as ever, but I can’t say that it’s not revealing and useful. Yesterday I spent an hour on one phrase of the Hungarian March excerpt, trying to fix my lagging eighth notes. It sounds fine when you play it, but when you listen back! Ugh! Lots of slow practice, creative articulation strategies, and determination needed.

By the way, do you know about TromboneExcerpts.org? What a phenomenal resource. use it. Love it. Support them on Patreon. Do it.

Rehearsing: Metro last night to play through music for our upcoming service at Grace Lutheran (see below).

Performing: Metro Brass at the morning service- Grace Lutheran in St Paul, 9:30a.

MC5 @ The Nicollet on Nov 25th, and more soon!

Listening: THIS

Teaching: So. Much. Singing. Sing all the things!

Relaxing: I did nothing on Saturday! Well, I did some things- I vacuumed, worked up a Satellites tune, went shopping for a Halloween costume- but mostly I read my recent stack of science fiction books from the library and drank tea. #winning

Weekly Roundup 10/13/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice found, continued reading. Add “Improve your teaching: beginners” by Paul Harris, a short little guidebook to creative teaching techniques for new students.

Arranging: New Satellites charts! Here’s my favorite so far:

Practicing: Doctoral audition is slowly becoming a reality. I’m preparing the first movement of the Gordon Jacob Concerto, the David Concertino, and several orchestral excerpts.

Rehearsing: Nothing on the books.

Performing: Some things in the works. MC5 @ The Nicollet on Nov 25th, and more soon!

Listening: Satellites songs for arranging. News, jazz (lots of Mingus this week).

Teaching: Theory and sight-singing using what we know about the major scale.

Also, breaking news: I’ve accepted a position as a music teacher for the Extended Day program with St Paul Public Schools! I’ll be teaching beginning instrumental instruction to the 4th grades at EXPO Elementary in Highland Park. I start today- excited and nervous!

Relaxing: Lots of social activities lately- which is great, but I need a little break! I’ve had tasty beverages at the new Bad Weather Brewing location in StP, lunch at The Mill NE (best. veggie burger. ever), wine and musical bonding with some fellow teachers.

Scholarship update- meet my new students

Dearest supporters and friends of my recent scholarship campaign:

I’m pleased to announce that I have selected and begun lessons with my two scholarship students!

Alex B. is a senior at Fridley High school, a student of Mike Pearson. He’s been playing trombone for almost 8 years and also plays bass trombone and tuba. He hasn’t had lessons since he began band in middle school and is excited to learn more about technique and theory. He hopes to start classes at Anoka-Ramsey Community College next fall.

Paul B is Alex’s classmate at Fridley, in his junior year. He’s been playing for 6 years and has never had regular lessons. He also plays bass trombone in the school’s jazz band. He wants to know more about his instrument and the types of music he can use it for, as his musical palate is extremely varied. After high school he has plans to join the Air Force.

I’m really excited to see what these two do this year and what their progress will be! Thank you again for all your help in making this a reality.

Weekly Roundup 10/6/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice stalled- where did I put it?

Arranging: New charts for Satellites coming (as soon as we pick new songs)

Practicing: Annie Laurie, and looking into things I might prepare for a doctoral audition (EEP).

Rehearsing: Metro rehearsed Sunday night with our third candidate for the second trombone/jazz chair, John Olson. He did a fabulous job as well and now we all get to make the hard decision of who to choose.

Midnight in Moscow, my traditional New Orleans jazz band, has finally decided on our (always impending) name change debacle. Welcome to the scene the new, improved, Mill City Five!

Performing: Some things in the works. MC5 @ The Nicollet on Nov 25th, The Satellites maybe have a Halloween gig. More soon!

Listening: Brandi Carlile. MPR News. White noise in my head.

Teaching: Air “ha” attacks- getting the root of the sound without relying on the tongue to start the tone. Surprisingly easy to adjust to, once you hear how clear you can sound without using your articulation as a crutch!

Relaxing: What’s that?

Haha- I’ve been trying to get some fun things in but it’s been a busy few weeks! Here’s one highlight: I’ve been to my first four acupuncture appointments EVER the past two weeks, primarily to address chronic tension in my neck and shoulders. That pain is old- and it’s moving away slowly, but what acu has really done for me is relieve the localized tightness in my wrists and hands (from immobility while practicing), and give me a safe space to control my anxiety. Anxiety is a new issue for me- I started developing panic attacks last summer as a result of stress and financial worry- and they seem to be more prevalent in the summer months. As the school year gets rolling I feel less and less worried, but the imprint remains. Acu, much like yoga and meditation, has provided me with a quiet place for my brain. It’s like letting your consciousness roll around in a big white luxurious blanket, like a little marble, for an hour. Afterward it’s all good.

If you feel like anxiety might be a part of your life in a less-than-controllable way, I would highly recommend considering acupuncture as a treatment. I currently am going to NE Community Acupuncture, which offers a sliding scale system for its diverse clientele.

Weekly Roundup 9/29/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice started- good and quick read and very inspiring for educators and parents alike.

Arranging: New charts for Satellites coming (as soon as we pick new songs)

Practicing: Annie Laurie, and looking into things I might prepare for a doctoral audition (EEP).

Rehearsing: Metro rehearsed Sunday night with killer trombonist/repair technician John Maddox auditioning for second trombone. He sounded great! So did Nick last week! It’s going to be a tough decision. We’ll meet again this weekend to try out a different candidate.

Midnight in Moscow meets tomorrow to go over some new songs as well.

Performing: No current performances.

Listening: Lots of news and podcasts, actually, and sometimes a little classical. Not feeling too adventurous.

Teaching: Big into theory and concepts this week and driving home those essential ear training skills.

Relaxing: X-Files. Dana Scully is my queen.

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