Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2012

Misunderstandings

A week ago Zoe started having accidents at school again. We yelled, argued, wheedled, withheld treats, threatened punishments, and still she came home damp.  We reminded her about peeing in the potty, and she steadfastly said, NO, I prefer to go in my pants. 

That’s how she talks.

WHY?  I asked, incredulously.  Are you still afraid of the automatic flush?

No, she said, I am scared of the octopus. 

We had to do a lot of digging to get to the bottom of that answer.  We had seen Finding Nemo in the theater the week before, and a major plot point is that ALL DRAINS LEAD TO THE OCEAN.  The captive fish were praying to be flushed through the drains to end up back in the open water.  Turns out that Zoe thought that the toilet was a two-way street and was terrified that she’d meet an octopus or a huge shark when she went to the potty.

Well, we explained and explained about water filtration plants, and one-way drains, and Indiana’s discouragingly great distance from the sea, and I hope we were co…

Holiday Concerts - and Jingle Jam!

Here we go - one final week of Holiday concerts.  I am finally beginning to be in the mood,  due perhaps to the recent relentless repetition of the classics or because I finally get to stop driving or because there is nearly an inch of snow on the ground. 

We'll be performing at the Morris on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and prior to that we have the Jingle Jam at the mall on Thursday - a drop in Side by Side concert for grownups!  I cannot wait to see who comes out for this one.  There had better be oboists. 

All  details HERE.


Upcoming Events - and Jingle Jam!

And now we enter the second week of Christmas concerts, this one with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.  Thursday night concert in Merrillville, Friday night in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Details HERE.  They’ll be fun.  They’ll be festive.  I have nothing more to say about these events.

Saturday morning I’ll be doing a mini Oboe Reed Boot Camp for some high school students in Naperville IL.  All the material from my fifteen-hour summer course condensed into three action-packed hours, starting at 9 in the morning.  How can it fail?  We’ll cover all of the skills but without the games, challenges, and individual work time.   I’ll be interested to see whether this works and what the take-away is for the students.

Saturday evening I’ll be performing with Johnny Mathis at the Akoo Theater in Rosemont IL. 

Sunday I’ll be baking cookies and sleeping deeply and for a long time.

And next week the holiday concerts start up in South Bend.  Best part?  YOU CAN PLAY WITH US!  Yes, Thursday evening the 13…

Adapt or Die

I had a conversation recently with a dear friend, a wonderful professional flutist with a great job.  She was frustrated by her lack of success in a recent audition, and complained that some days she just couldn’t seem to make the flute do what she wanted.  The sound would be off and the attacks not where she expected them to be.  Maybe it was nerves, maybe just muscles and normal day-to-day human variability, but it had cost her more than one audition and she was at a loss as to how to address it. 

My first response is that that problem sounded like the exact one oboists face every day.  Each morning when I pick up the instrument my reed might be fantastic or might feel like two two-by-fours strapped together.  I might have total control in every register or might be fighting a recalcitrant instrument.  Most often there is some kind of tradeoff - I select the reed that plays well in tune but is risky on low register attacks, or I use the one that responds effortlessly but I have to c…