Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
~ Ian McEwan, Saturday
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I also thought these two blog posts by Holly Mulcahy were interesting: one on conductor etiquette, the other on musician etiquette, pointed out and discussed on Inside the Classics. I have definitely seen examples of both, though I disagree, I think there is some discussion of proper attire and behavior in music schools today. Or maybe it's just MBT. Certainly there at least ought to be some discussion of etiquette by private teachers. I know my first oboe teacher taught me to accept compliments graciously no matter how you feel about your performance. And I've passed that on to younger musicians, myself. I used to always actually be excited about every performance; now I find that I sometimes plaster on a smile for the audience during bows, but I still do it. I do it because I know I hate going to hear orchestras that I'm really excited about, and having them look like they're bored to tears and don't care that I'm applauding them. Though I also would point out that it's a bigger problem among string players, some of whom unfortunately feel as though they are not as important in an orchestra performance where they do not have a solo. I myself am sometimes guilty: I recently played an opera gig where there wasn't an actual pit (the musicians were at the foot of the stage), but I read during my breaks, despite being visible. I tried not to, but it was a LONG opera, and I only played a few sporadic movements (perhaps 10 out of the 30 arias/choruses), and I was going insane. I hope no one was bothered by it. I know an audience member in Houston once asked why there was one musician sitting near the wind sections for Dvorak's New World who seemed to stare intently at a score the whole time. It was because the English hornist read a book or magazine for the three movements he did not play, and just played English horn for the solos, which the audience member hadn't noticed that he played. So I don't feel too bad about the opera.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
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I find this highly interesting, as SC 864412 is a Netflix-generated username, which they create using your initials and a number. Meaning this reviewer actually does have the same initials as the author, Susan Cooper. Meaning, whoa, it actually is the author maybe? I just thought that was really interesting. And it makes me sad, since the book was great and could conceivably be made into a really great movie. Oh well.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It's still such a weird time for me; I feel like this is a limbo year, but that next year might not necessarily be much different. I wish I had more energy sometimes, or more diligence. I worry about the economy, though I guess no matter what your profession you're probably worrying about the economy these days. One thing about not being in school, it's a bit isolating, especially in LA, where you're so spread out in the first place. I don't really meet people, and most of the people I interact with during the day are either under 16 or over 40. So socializing can feel both like something I'm desperate to do, and also like something I have to really struggle to accomplish: to call people up and organize a get-together, and then go actually drive there and battle traffic, knowing you will also have to drive home again. Anyway, things are pretty good, but I'm feeling restless.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Although the process was not as satisfying as I remember it being as a child in Connecticut, where my mom took me into the voting booth with her and let me "help" her vote by pushing the right levers, it was certainly cooler than voting absentee. And I've decided that the California system actually is kind of satisfying, because you can really punch that inker :) I was so happy to wear my sticker:
And I passed Starbucks on the way home for my free coffee:
I didn't have to wait on line for more than 5 minutes, and since the polling location is within walking distance from home, the whole thing, including coffee, only took about 30 minutes. Not bad. Now we just have to wait . . .
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The audition I took was OK. It was my first opera & ballet audition, so many of the excerpts were quite unfamiliar to me when I began preparing them. A few days before the audition I kind of freaked out and felt like I did not know these pieces they way I knew the standard orchestral rep. Which was true, but that didn't mean that I hadn't worked hard on them or that they weren't basically under control. But it was enough to keep me from having a positive outlook on the audition, which was enough to keep me from playing my best. It was OK, but once again, reeds were an issue (um reeds are not supposed to close down when going from dry LA to humid Houston, but whatever). I've decided that when I get close to an audition I get a bit obsessed with practicing when honestly I would be better served by working on reeds so that I have a broader array of decent reeds to choose from when I get to the audition. But it FEELS more productive to practice, so it is hard to force myself to work on reeds instead. And honestly, once I get close to an audition, most of the hard practicing work should already be behind me, if things go according to plan. So I should really just work on reeds. Really. Anywho, I didn't advance, and what disappoints me most is that I think I actually could have had a decent shot at advancing had I managed to get my head in the right place. But that's how it goes, and I still learned a lot. And the dying roach in my warm-up room didn't help to put me in a positive frame of mind, either.
I also enjoyed being home, doing lots of shopping with my mom--hard work shopping, like trying on loads of clothes and only buying the two things that are perfect and majorly on sale, but still, I got some sorely needed items. We went to an Italian film festival at the MFAH featuring Pupi Avati and his brother Antonio, director and producer respectively. We saw Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze and Noi tre, the latter an interesting look at a teenage Mozart's brief stay in Bologna. I reconnected with a few people I hadn't seen in quite some time, which was fun, and I attended David & Katie's wedding, which was very nice. It was at their wedding actually, that I met up with an old friend from high school (the one who got me in trouble for laughing in English class), Joe Mathlete. Very funny guy, you should check out his stuff. And his music.
I also spent some quality time with my fave oboe & flute couple at their electricity-free home with their myriad creatures, including: 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 turtles, 1 rabbit, not sure how many tropical fish, and 8 or so chickens! Fun times. Meanwhile I got a bit lazy about reeds (hmm, I'm beginning to sense a pattern here . . . ) and so again wasn't pleased (this time entirely my fault--I knew I should have been working on reeds and just plain didn't! I was having too much fun hanging out with people I like, damnit.) with my reeds options for my next audition, to maintain my position in Debut. Fortunately, I did not lose my job. Though as the EH player, I will probably only play one or two concerts this season. Oh well, that's how it goes!
Now I am on to the next chapter, trying to get by in LA and also figure out where I want to be next year and how I am going to get there. These are not easy times to have just graduated with a master's in performance . . .
Thursday, October 2, 2008
1) I was a champion tree-climber as a kid. I could climb almost all of the (numerous) trees in my yard in rural / suburban Connecticut. I also had a rope ladder in one of the larger maples, so that I would climb the tree and then lower the rope ladder that I kept there so that my friends could also come up, even if they weren't too keen on climbing.
2) I have never smoked a single cigarette in my life. This is probably due to the fact that my father is a pulmonologist and when I was little and I went in to visit his office I sometimes played with his model of "this is your lungs on cigarettes."
3) I have a baby molar tooth that I've never lost, because there is no big tooth underneath to come in and push it out. It still works just fine. And I have no wisdom teeth whatsoever.
4) In my childhood home in Connecticut, there was a painting of a cow, just her head as she is looking at you, on our dishwasher. Her name is Pauline. She is also wearing a green bandana around her neck (if she's still there).
5) The summer I worked at the Grand Teton Summer Music Festival, I think 2002 (I was 19 . . .), as a ticketing intern, I went with the other interns over to Idaho and got my belly button pierced at a place called Boo's Tattoos. Yeah. I still have it.
6) I had a pet robin named Sam when I was about 10 years old. He fell out of his nest and we found him and took him in. He was really adorable and as he grew, when we took him out in the yard his father would come and take care of him and talk to him. I had to try to teach him to eat worms (by finding them, putting them on the ground in front of him, and directing his beak toward them) and fly (by letting him perch on my finger and then moving my arm up and down so he would have to use his wings to balance). He was completely fascinated by ceiling fans, and he got along quite well with my dog. He would come when I whistled :) I lost touch with him after the end of the summer, when he presumably migrated south with his robin friends and family.
Argh, who to tag, that hasn't been already? I'm not even sure who reads this blog! And I might tag someone who hasn't blogged in a while, maybe this will get her going again :) This is all I can come up with:
Also, I will actually update this blog for real sometime soon, I promise.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
This weekend I took an audition in Orlando, FL. It went OK. I felt really prepared with the music, actually. And I had a couple reeds I liked, but not as many as I should have. When I got to FL, the reeds seemed OK. But then the next morning, they were different, and as a result I played the audition on a sub-par reed, so although I didn't mess anything up, I felt like I couldn't just PLAY the way I can when I have a good reed. So I didn't advance, which was disappointing. But I'm now more motivated to try and get to auditions two days in advance whenever possible. And, my friend Jamie WON the audition, so, YAY Jamie!!!
I just started a new job, teaching middle school wind ensemble at a private school nearby. The kids are fun, I think it will be enjoyable. I'm also hoping to start SAT tutoring soon. I have to complete some more training first. SATs are different than when I took them, it makes me feel old. 2400? 1600 isn't even a good score anymore!
I'm trying to stay motivated with a great deal of difficulty today. I think I might try to go to the beach tomorrow and get my mind off everything to refresh myself, because trying to be productive all the time seems to actually be making me less productive.
Also, as a sidenote, boys are dumb. OK, maybe not all of them, but lately for me and two of my close friends, boys have really not been acting at all kindly or intelligently. Boo hiss. OK, rant over. I hope I haven't offended the male population too much.
And now, I've scheduled a lesson with Allan on Friday, so that should definitely keep my spirits up and help me work better!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I was listening to the podcast of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" while making reeds, and the guest was Patrick Fitzgerald, the "Very Special Prosecutor" of Scooter Libby (among others). When I googled him, his blog came up. Kind of cool.
I've been watching Project Runway, season 2 and Weeds, season 2. Enjoying them both.
My body does not seem particularly happy that I am playing oboe and working on reeds a lot. Various aches and pains have gradually been worsening. Weirdest: both thumbs are sore, so that it hurts to curl them under my fingers in a fist. Not sure what to do about this, since playing/reeding less isn't really an option right now. It's not bad, actually, just annoying, but I have heard so many bad stories about little aches and pains that get worse and worse and become serious problems that I just start to worry. Although maybe the thumb thing is caused by me clenching my fists in my sleep or something like that. I don't know if I do that or not.
Getting a little anxious about finding more work, and some upcoming auditions, and starting the work I have picked up, and about people coming and going. Oh I'm not sure if I ever congratulated Jon, who won a job at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center (sort of like the New World Symphony of Japan). And I need to congratulate Kelly for the Evansville job. Now they're both leaving :( :( :(
Monday, August 4, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
El Matador Beach, Malibu
one of the batmobiles from The Dark Knight
Monday, July 21, 2008
And tonight I saw Mamma Mia! with Ginni after a gig. It was very uplifting--can't help tapping your foot and singing along to those irresistible tunes! Plus, I have to say, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skårsgaard are still pretty handsome fellas, and its fun to watch such "serious" actors let loose. Same can be said about Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski. I am not saying Mamma Mia! is a fantastic movie, but I am saying that it's A LOT of fun.
Still haven't made it to The Dark Knight, but that's also very hard to get tickets to. Anyway, I'm glad to have a friend from high school visit me and to have an actual vacation starting tomorrow. We're going to do all the fun LA things, like Disneyland and a studio tour and the Getty and LACMA and LaBrea Tar Pits and beach etc etc etc. Still have some errands to run before I pick her up tomorrow evening, and then the fun can begin!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sarasota felt sort of like a vacation from all of those issues. Even on a more basic level: I didn't have to cook or clean or grocery shop or drive. I just played oboe and hung out with fun people for three weeks. There were a lot of really wonderful players and people there. The oboes were all really good and, somewhat surprisingly, all very nice. I had good groups and we played great music: the first three movements of the Prokovief Quintet, the Poulenc Trio, the Mozart C minor Serenade, and a chamber arrangement of Ravel's Mother Goose Suite. There were also some amazing faculty members, and it was great not only to hear them play and have them coach and teach us, but to talk to them about music and life. The community in Sarasota is incredibly supportive of the festival. They had volunteers on call to take us places if we wanted to go somewhere, and they organized trips to local attractions and had pool parties for us and gave us dinner. The beach was gorgeous: powder white sand and warm aquamarine water. So generally it was a fabulous place for me to be, though exhausting at times.
Now I'm facing the time I've been dreading for a long time: post-school, pre-job. Hopefully that job part will come. And hopefully before the next century. We'll see. I'm prepared to find other things to do if it doesn't work out, but first I need to give it my absolute best shot.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
seeing the second Chronicles of Narnia movie. Thoughts: I'm tired of CGI effects already. Movie directors seem to think they're wonderful, but I'd rather have a narrower scope with more real images. The centaurs' human torsos were disproportionately long. This movie would have been very frightening for what I think the target age of the books is, 8-12. At least I would have been scared. But then my first movie was An American Tail and I started crying when the cats attacked, so maybe I just overreact.
Also, I am somewhat miffed that the Telmarines were portrayed as being Italian/Spanish/Mediterranean. I certainly don't remember the book depicting them as such. And in The Horse and His Boy, Lewis does depict the Calmorenes as being Arab, in a most offensive way, so if he'd intended for the Telmarines to be Italian, he probably also would have depicted them so in an equally distasteful way. Not that the Telmarines are all bad, but they certainly aren't completely good. Anyway, the movie was OK. I wonder how many movies they will make. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is pretty mild, but The Silver Chair is strange. And misogynistic. The Horse and His Boy is anti-Arab. The Magician's Nephew is again, strange and misogynistic. And The Last Battle is in my opinion a horrible thing to write for children. Don't get me wrong, children love dark and scary things, try Roald Dahl or Harry Potter, but this goes beyond. It's brutal, bigoted, and again, misogynistic. And very religious, but not in a good or happy way.
I find it odd that CS Lewis could write Lucy to be such a strong, courageous little girl, and there are several other little girls along the way that are, too, yet almost all of the powerful adult women in the books are evil. The White Witch. The Green Lady in The Silver Chair. The Jinn (well, she's the origin of the White Witch, but still) in The Magician's Nephew. And, what angered me the most: in The Last Battle, Susan does not get to come to heaven with the rest of her siblings because she's into lipstick and nylons. I mean, she doesn't die, so I guess she doesn't necessarily not go to heaven later, but still. What a horrible thing to write. CS Lewis obviously had some problems with women. I read somewhere that he fell in love with his best-friend-who-died-in-the-war's mom and married her. That's weird. Anyway. Not sure I recommend the movie. Goodnight.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
LA Phil: Bartok, Music For Strings, Percussion, and Celesta; Dutilleux, Tout un monde lointain; and Stravinsky, Symphony in Three Movements. An enjoyable program with great seats. I last heard Lynn Harrell play the Dutilleux, and his big style of playing differed from Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen's rather introverted performance.
Movies: Indiana Jones :) very silly, very Indiana Jones, but I loved it! And I still love hearing the theme. Although I found the alien stuff a little annoying. Iron Man was also good, and I particularly enjoyed the fact that there was a scene shot at Disney Hall. And I netflixed yet another action adventure, Hellboy, after I saw that it was done by Guillermo del Toro, whose movie Pan's Labyrinth I loved. I really liked Hellboy a lot, I have to say. It's a little different from your other hero movies, and I love the creatures in it, just as I liked those in Pan's Labyrinth. On the non-action level, I also netflixed The Grapes of Wrath, which was also excellent. Henry Fonda sure was a handsome fellow, though I think I prefer him in color (eg, Once Upon a Time in the West) so you can see those blue eyes :) Movies I am looking forward to this summer: Hellboy II, The Dark Knight, Sex and the City. I like my indy movies (did I mention Waitress?), but now that school's out I am enjoying the frivolous more :)
Reading: All The Pretty Horses
Playing: Prokofiev Quintet !! yay! And I just got the Bach Cello Suites arranged for English horn, which I've been enjoying. I thought for a long time that it was somewhat sacrilegious to play them not on cello, but basses, violas, and well, pretty much everyone else borrows them, so why not EH? And since EH actually has a somewhat similar sound quality to cello, it's really not so bad. Though I feel sorry for my cellist roommate, who already spent all of last semester listening to me hack through the prelude to the second suite on viola (which I could not play in tune for my life! and it's one thing if you can't hear that you're out of tune, but quite painful if you can but just can't get your fingers to do what you need them to do).
Also playing: tennis! with said rooomate :) lots of fun, but also very sore :( since I haven't played in two years. I really want to get a bike, too, but I need to find a cheap one, maybe on craigslist.
So, no school = some practicing, but mainly just having lots of fun. Until I get back from Sarasota and have to find a job. Although I still hope to take a week off from everything when I get back and maybe take a road trip to San Fancisco? We'll see. I figure I should enjoy my time off because who knows the next time I will have a real vacation?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This clip, which we watched in my avant-garde music class (yes really), makes me crack up, it's so amazingly cheesy and wonderful. Especially the dance moves. And tomorrow, after I finish the exam for that class, I will be done with school FOREVER!
Friday, May 9, 2008
•the ghetto location
•searching for a parking spot if i didn't buy a semester pass
•the forms that need to be signed
•the people who need to sign your forms who take 2-hour lunch breaks when you're only on campus for an hour and a half
•Bovard Auditorium: no backstage water fountains; 1 single backstage bathroom; a lack of space behind backstage, so that to get from backstage left to backstage right, you have to either go outside or on stage; tiny green rooms; the former warm-up area which forced you to go outside and down a steep flight of stairs with your instrument in hand to get on stage; no place to put your belongings or cases after that room was closed.
•spoiled sorority girls and frat boys ("University of Spoiled Children")
•lack of recital, rehearsal, and practice facilities
•the idiotic crosswalk where they force you to cross to the side you can't use because it's closed for construction, and then cross again, instead of just once to the open side.
•no U-turns on Jefferson so you have to get on the 10 at Hoover
•the entrance to the 10 west at Hoover
•the cyclists who almost kill you when you're walking
•the crosswalk near the Shrine on 32nd, which has a near-constant stream of students between 10 til the hour and the hour, causing you to be even later than you already are to park and get to class.
•the Shrine "daily" pass that does not allow reentry
•parking in the Shrine garage instead of the outside lot
•$300 semester pass at Shrine
•$25 parking should you have the misfortune of needing to be on campus on a game day
•unpredictable, uneven orchestra rotation system
•wind ensemble--no, really, it should be called BAND
•helicopter and fire engine noise
•waiting for them to repark those fire engines (though the firemen are awfully cute . . .)
•not being able to pay for photocopies at the machines in the music library, but having to go up to another part of the library to put money on your card
•having to pay for an off-campus location to perform your REQUIRED recital because you did not win a date in the recital lottery, even though you already pay tuition to go the the school
That's all I can think of at the moment. I am so thankful that I only need to go to school two more times: one for my last exam and to turn in some forms, the other for GRADUATION. I am, incidentally, totally dreading the parking situation for that day.
One more rant and then it will all be out of my system, I hope. I DO NOT want to play in a wind quintet this summer in addition to the other chamber music. I am SOOO tired of WWQ, I need break from it. And from that piece. And from a certain member of the group I am supposed to perform with, who IMed me after two years just to say that he was subbing with some symphony and have me ask him about himself, but then not ask me anything about myself. At all. And I was hoping he would have changed since then. Oh well.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Anyway, the Prokofiev was just wonderful, I'm so glad I got to play it again! The EH part is so much fun -- lots of low register fun stuff with bassoon, horn, viola :) I'll miss some of the people who are leaving, but I'm looking forward to next year. It was just one of those nights that I was happy to play and happy to be in the company of my friends.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I had fun with my mom over the weekend at the Huntington Library & Gardens (the roses were in full bloom and looked great), the Norton Simon Museum (wonderful art), shopping at the Promenade, and in Malibu at Point Dume, with was gorgeous and cooler than the rest of LA. I'm not sure why it was so hot this weekend, but it was pretty horrible. Now it's back in the 60s. I just have my viola jury (eek! I need to pratice those doublestops!!!!) and one exam left. And Prokovief 5 with AYS this weekend, but that EH part is way more fun than stressful, so I can relax and enjoy it. And I can actually hang out with people and be social!!! What a concept.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
i just KNEW as soon as he uttered the first part of that quote that he would follow it with the second. he's just that kind of guy. and i don't appreciate it. not one bit. not when he's that close. because did he move over after that? umm, maybe an inch. not nearly enough. he's just so weird and makes me uncomfortable (and i'm not the only one in the orchestra who feels this way). what's even more frustrating is that this same guy subbed with my orchestra for a concert last year, too, and did the same thing, minus the big viola comment. i thought i'd never have to see him again, but no. oh well, at least for the concert we'll be on risers so it won't be a problem. but if he damages my instruments or reeds in any way (or makes another such irritating attempt to flirt with me, if that is what he was aiming for) i will LOSE IT. i miss the regular violists!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Here it is, the hidden waterfall:
Here are some salamanders that were in the pool at the foot of the falls: (we saw 5 or 6 different salamanders!)
We met a gopher (at least, I think he was a gopher) along our path. He was putting in a new addition to his tunnel.
And here is one of the few frogs we actually saw, though we heard lots. Apparently, it was frog mating season at Escondido Falls. Jenny took a picture but I'll spare you and keep my blog G-rated. Anyway, here is one cute, innocent, single froggy.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I'm trying to gear up for a concert tomorrow, in spite of an ear infection, and an audition on Friday morning which I am seriously considering chickening out of. But I agreed to give someone a ride, so I feel obligated to do it. Oh well, maybe if I just don't care about it, it well go better. Just wish I had more time to prepare. And now I am starting to freak out about my recital. Program: Vivaldi, D minor concerto; Dorati, Cinq Pieces; Jolas, Remember; Poulenc oboe sonata, and the Loeffler trio (oboe viola piano). I'm excited, but I need to practice A LOT before April 24!!!!!!! And the reeds, urgh. Plus I'm playing Symphonie Fantastique (2nd/EH) somewhere in between. Also pretty exciting, but again, the reeds. I really hope my ear infection goes away soon. Argh. Time for bed so I can get rid of this thing.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Let water drop.
Place a stone under it.
The painting ends when a hole is drilled in the stone with the drops.
You may change the frequency of the waterdrop to your taste.
You may use beer, wine, ink, blood, etc. instead of water.
You may use a typewriter, shoes, dress, etc. instead of stone.
Painting To Be Constructed in Your Head
Hammer a nail in the center of a piece of glass. Imagine sending the cracked portions to addresses chosen arbitrarily. Memo the addresses and the shapes of the cracked portions sent.
Painting for the Wind
Cut a hole in a bag filled with seeds of any kind and place the bag where there is wind.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
There always seem to be lots of articles about how ridiculous the Oscars are and that they don't actually reward the best movies. Well, it's Hollywood! What do you want? Just enjoy the show, that's what I do. And a lot of those recognized are really excellent movies, performances, achievements, etc.
I also decided that I wish I could be a cinematographer, though it sort of seems like the kind of thing you either have a talent for or don't, rather than something you can really learn. I mean you can learn how to do it and the theory behind it, I'm sure, but when it comes down to it, you really need to just have an eye for it. Anyway, I love my one foray into total pop culture for the year :)
PS I was glad Dario Marianelli won for best score for Atonement. It was a good score, and I've liked his work before.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
My roommate's mom pointed this one out to me. It's particularly wonderful since my roommate plays cello :) I've even had a discussion with people about the possibility of "oboe hero," but this is even better. So thanks again, Jan!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Oh well. I had my first viola lesson today! It was great fun. I'm struggling with alto clef, because I still have to translate it in my brain from treble clef rather than just read it straight, but I'm hoping to make flash cards to really learn it well and associate it with a place/feel/sound on the viola. It's an awkward instrument for me. And being a small person, the viola I got from school is of course on the large side (I didn't get to choose it). So it's a real struggle to play with my 4th finger in tune. And to extend my bow arm completely. But I'll work on it. It will distract me from reeds. Speaking of reeds, better get to work. Or maybe I'll take out my viola instead . . .