Friday, September 26, 2014

(College) Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Instrument Selection

During a recent combo rehearsal, I was asked how I came to choose the saxophone...

ME: I really can't remember; it looked like a lot of fun; a bunch of my friends were playing it...so, it wasn't exactly "all the cool kids age doing it," but that was a factor.
KID: I've seen those selection sessions at school before, and it's crazy. These people who are going to be musicians...it's like picking your Pokemon at the beginning of the game, and it's yours for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Big Horns

Surprisingly, the top-band bari players at all three of my middle schools are seventh graders this year, and needless to say, there's been some adjustment to the big horn for all of them, and some new accessories for it...

ME: That's a cool harness you have there. And I bet you like it a lot more than you would a neck strap.
KID: A neck strap would break my spine!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Principals Say the Darnedest Things About Technology

An assistant principal at one of my schools came up with this beautifully misspoken sentence during a recent announcement: "If you are listening to music on your devices, you must be using headbuds."

(Reminds me of the time in my youth when my dad--the official starter for the neighborhood swim meets--called out an event as the "13-14 year-old girls' breaststyle.")

Friday, September 19, 2014

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Their Instruments

The bari player mentioned in yesterday's KSTDT had an interesting thing to say about his horn during his own lesson time...
KID: This is my bari. Actually, he's more like my friend that I completely control.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Transposing Instruments

A kid was looking at my roster as he signed it, and noticed the name of one of his bandmates, who had recently switched to bari...
KID: So you still teach (other kid's name)? Do you bring your bari or something?
ME: I don't have to bring my bari to teach a bari player. We play the same exact notes an octave apart. The bari is an Eb instrument, just like you and I both play the Eb alto.
KID: Oh yeah...
ME: So do you remember why we play Eb alto saxophones? (I was hoping he'd remember that our C matches the Eb on the piano)
KID: Because we're cool?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Commerce

A student recently showed up with a new horn, and we were both very pleased with it...

KID: This horn was supposed to cost $4000, but it's used, so it was only $2000.
ME (thinking $4K was a bit steep for that model, and doing a quick online search): That's interesting; I see one here on Amazon for only $1300.
KID: But you have to remember tax.
(I assured the kid that the sales tax on $1300 wasn't $700, and found out that, here in Texas; you'd have to spend almost $8500 to generate that much tax.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Their Instructor's Analogies

This year's All-State music has a passage where there are four sixteenth notes with the articulation "tongue one, slur three" for multiple bars. I tell my students to think "Tatiana, Tatiana" to play the articulation correctly..

ME: I think that's the easiest way to imagine that articulation. Just think of some Russian gymnast or figure skater; Tatiana is a nice Russian name that's easy to remember.
(Kid plays passage with correct articulation, but his fingers fumble and he adds a few extra notes to one beat.)
ME: Nice grace notes there.
KID: Tatiana fell down.