Friday, April 11, 2008

Say What?

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Well, I have a tad bit more than four years of music school under my fingers and out the bell* (BME - 4 years; MM - 2 years; DM - 4 years coursework plus research time), but the kitty's indignation is understandable.

As a professional musician, you may be asked to play many genres of music of various quality. Often you simply play what is placed in front of you, no questions asked. This is usually not a problem (unless of course you are working with an unpolished young composer who has written 'music' containing techniques and desired sounds which the instrument is hardly capable of producing without great difficulty and exponentially increased chance of inaccuracies).

As a music teacher, you are expected to encourage your young musical charges to participate in performance opportunities. One such opportunity is the annual Solo & Ensemble Music Festival, an event at which students perform a prepared selection for an adjudicator who is himself a professional on the chosen instrument.

The first of these events in Northern Virginia occurs tomorrow and I will be accompanying (on piano) each of my horn students as well as other young musicians playing various instruments. It has been a busy time rehearsing and preparing for each of these 8-minute sessions and I sincerely hope that my hands decide to communicate effectively with my brain. (Yesterday was a non-communicative day.)

Then, after Solo Festival is behind us, it is time to get serious about preparing all of my students (piano and horn) for the big Spring Studio Recital which is held on Mother's Day each year. Can you feel the tension mounting?

*reference to the sounds emitted from a french horn (which is actually not french in origin)


  1. Ah, Lisa, the memories you bring back...As a kid, I played piano and entertained the masses (3 or 4 people) at home with what I had learned. I attended the annual recitals and played whatever I had worked on for hours. The best part of the whole thing? My dad would take me out for ice cream after every recital or exam.
    Now it would have to be frozen yoghurt.


  2. Shauna, guess what...

    I actually provide the cake for the entire studio and audience after the recital. Actually, it ends up being two cakes since I have to break up the students into two recitals, otherwise I think the parents would get a bit restless. I've found that 75 minutes is about the limit for one group. Fortunately, the students bring the drinks.

  3. I failed at piano. Saw an old folks singing group who chose Coldplay, it was Very moving coming from a man about to die. Yes, I feel the tension.

  4. I bow to you in humble adoration! Sometimes, I wish my mother had not FORCED me to take piano lessons as a young child...I might have learned something and ENJOYED it had I not been so busy trying to get OUT OF IT!

    You rock! And yes, the "rock" reference was a cheap attempt at a music pun...

    Linda D. in Seattle

  5. Argh! I did this festival year after year after year when I was younger! I always got so nervous! Wow does this post bring back memories!