Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blogging from Burlington

It's been quite a while since I've done a concert review on here, but I'll be spending the next several days at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and it's my intent to review the four concerts we'll be seeing starting tomorrow night: Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio and John Scofield's Uberjam Band on a twin bill; Bobby McFerrin; the Branford Marsalis Quartet, and Dave Douglas.
The wi-fi at the hotel is rather spotty at this point, so the reviews may not be as timely as I'd like them to be, but they will be completed after I get home at the latest. Here's hoping that these reviews will become a regular part of this blog again...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As Predicted, Kids Continue to Say the Darnedest Things About Geography

The kid from last week who thought Vermont was in Canada was having fun with that today, repeatedly telling me to "have fun in Vancouver, Canada." After letting him know that he was only off by an entire coast, he eventually said, "So Vancouver is really in Minnesota, right?"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things When You Reject Their Fundraising Efforts

KID: Would you like to buy some candy to help my church?
ME: I'll have to use that lame-but-true teacher excuse in this case: if I bought something from you, I'd have to buy something from everybody.
KID: But not everyone here goes to my church. (points to kid across the hall from him) This guy hates God!

(He was kidding, of course, and the alleged God-hater took the joke in good fun.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Famous Classical Compositions

Since I slacked yesterday and didn't post, here's a bonus KSTDT: Last week, I was letting a student know that we'd be starting the very basics of improvisation the following week...

ME: So next week, we'll go the piano room and start improv.
KID: But I don't play piano!
ME: You won't be playing piano; you'll be playing your sax. I don't play very much piano myself, but I can play the two chords we'll use for your first improvisation.
KID: The only thing I can play on piano is that "Da da Da da Da da Da da Daaaaaah."
ME: Ahh yes, "Für Elise."
KID: Yup--by Mozart something-or-other.

(To his credit, the kid did pronounce "Mozart" correctly...)

Kids Continue to Say the Darnedest Things About Geography

I have a feeling that a lot of kids will say the darnedest things before I leave on my trip next week. It happened again...

ME: Next week, we're taking the jazz band to a festival in Vermont.
KID: Vermont--that's in Canada, right?
ME: Close-- it's right next to it. And that's funny; the other day, a kid thought it was in New Hampshire.
KID: Well, I was closer.
ME: Actually, you're equally close; Vermont borders New Hampshire on the east and Canada on the north.
KID: I'm still closer.

(I did have to concede that the part of Vermont where we'll be is slightly closer to Canada than New Hampshire.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kids Still Say the Darnedest Things About Geography

When I mentioned the upcoming college jazz trip to Vermont, the kid nailed the area of the country but missed badly in terms of sovereignty...

KID: So you're going to Vermont?
ME: That's right.
KID: Isn't that in New Hampshire?
ME: Right next to it.
KID: Oh yeah--it's a state!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Modes

 I was reviewing them with a kid earlier in the year, and he thought he remembered all the names...

KID: I know all the scales: Dorian, Midolyxian...Mixolyxian?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Musical Elements (and Food)

Another one that got caught up in the pipe until now...
A while back, a student came up with this gem: "I don't like scales...unless I'm eating fish."

(But even then, wouldn't you remove the scales before eating?)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things When Their Teachers Bend the Rules

I just realized that I've stockpiled quite a few Kids Say the Darnedest Things quotes that never got posted during the I'll post one of them every school day from now till the end of the public school semester (unless any new ones come up). Here's the first one, from a high schooler...

KID: We watched a "visual representation" in English class.
To "enhance our understanding" of To Kill a Mockingbird. Because we're not allowed to watch "movies."

(For everything in quotes above, the kid was making air quotes with his fingers.)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Alternate Fingerings

Here's how a student described his reluctance to switch from side Bb to bis, even when it made the arpeggio in question a lot easier to play: "It's like switching religions."
(I spent the rest of the lesson repeatedly encouraging him to join the Church of Bis.)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Other Sections in the Band

I was reminding a student of the importance of keeping going after making a mistake when we're in "performance mode," and I was treated with this gem...

ME: Imagine what the whole band would sound like if everyone stopped whenever they made a mistake...
KID: Our trumpets wouldn't even play!

(Cue sound of trumpet section being thrown under the bus...)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things (Written Edition)

I was amused by a handmade recruiting poster for the high school colorguard that I saw today. According to the poster, Reason #1 to join is "Get tan."

(Reason #2, in case you were wondering, is "Make tons of friends.")

Thursday, May 02, 2013

(College) KIds Say the Darnedest Things About Professional Licensing

The subject of medical excuses for missing class came up, and someone wondered if anyone who was a doctor would be able to write his/her own excuse note in that situation...

ME: We had a doctor in big band who lasted about 2 weeks. He even came to auditions in scrubs! But he was still interning, and he always ended up being on call during rehearsal times and having to leave.
KID: So what, he didn't pass his bar exam or something?

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Math

This beginner was learning about dotted quarter notes and reviewing the idea that a dot placed after a note adds half the value of that note...

ME: So how many beats is a quarter note worth?
KID: One.
ME: And what's half of one?
KID: Zero?