Arriving at a school where I had already reserved my practice room
for the year, I found another teacher in there. I alerted her to the
fact that I was here, but the room next door was open...
OTHER TEACHER: I tried to teach next door, but the room was full of suitcases. ME (after looking in that room): Suitcases? Those are bari saxes! (smiling) How dare you disrespect my instrument like that!
One of my new students told me about a meeting held at his school for
incoming beginners. Evidently, his director described the first concert
in December this way: "The parents will all be saying, 'Aww, they're
squeaking...but it's so cute!'"
As you may have seen from the picture I posted last night, the Rangers game that I attended went fourteen innings. The Rangers threatened several times in some of the earlier extra innings, but they always missed by just a little. As the game went longer and longer, those of us who stayed till the end were lamenting the lateness of the hour.
Among those who stayed were a group of energetic high-schoolers a few rows in front of us; I overheard a few of them say that they were band kids who had an early rehearsal the next morning. Someone in the group suggested that they should go, because they might grow old before this game would finish.
But in response to that, another kid came up with the quote of the night: "No--baseball games are like Neverland! You never grow old when watching baseball!"
new middle school All-District music is out, and one of the etudes is in
a minor key. While I didn't go into the same detail about minor keys
that I did with the high-schoolers last week, I did play this
eighth-grader the minor triad and the major triad on the piano for sake
ME: So without getting too complicated, you can hear how the minor key sounds sadder, right? KID: Yeah--it sounds like the soundtrack for "the Christmas that never came."
one of the high school sectionals I was running this week, I was
pointing out that the third All-State étude is in a minor key. While
most people learn at least a little about minor keys and scales before
high school, I was curious as to how much they actually knew...
ME: How is this different from a major key? KID: It's minor.
(Again...thank you, Captain Obvious. And this was a different kid than
the one who said something similarly obvious the other day. At least
this kid somewhat redeemed himself right afterwards by saying "it sounds
I'm conducting sax sectionals for one of my high schools this week,
and the room I'm using is on the second floor on the other end of the
building, farthest from the band hall. The route that several students
and I chose to go back was probably brand-new to me...
ME: This is interesting; I don't think I've ever been in this part of the school before. KID: This is the upstairs. ME (laughing, along with the other kids): Thank you, Captain Obvious.
I've mentioned before, I use a set of technique exercises that I've
dubbed the "vegetables," because--in the same way that a stalk of
broccoli is less fun to eat (for most people) than a piece of chocolate
cake, but the broccoli is much better for you--these exercises are
probably not the most interesting pieces of music that you'll ever play,
but they're also really good for you...
KID: I just don't like vegetables very much. I need something with some fat on it. ME: So which fat would you put on these vegetables to make them tastier? KID: Chicken!