Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Is Our Schools Learning?

I saw this the other day on the way to church, and it was too funny not to share in as many places as possible: 

As I said on Facebook, I hope that the "teachel" is a better speller (or perhaps a better "spellel") than the person who's in charge of this sign.

It's a New School Year, and Kids Are Already Saying the Darnedest Things

This morning, a beginner was looking ahead in the book...

KID: So when I get to the duet down there, how am I gonna do that? Will I be playing along with a recording or something?
ME: *scratches goatee* Hmm...I wonder where in the world we might find another person who plays saxophone, who could do the other part...
(The kid figured it out at that point.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Rhythmic Values

One of the All-Region etudes has quarter notes tied to sixteenth notes, and we were trying to establish the value of that rhythm...

ME: So how much is a quarter note worth?
KID: One.
ME: Right. And how about a sixteenth?
KID: One-sixteenth.
ME: One sixteenth of a...?
KID: One sixteenth of a beat!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Their Band Directors

Overheard at a school today, from one director to another: "[Kid] thinks you're 58 years old because you have gray hair. She says if you have gray hair, you must be 58 and nearing the end of your life."

(I bet that director hopes that kid will go prematurely gray by age 25, just because of karma )

Friday, August 09, 2013

Kids Continue to Say the Darnedest Things About Musical Terms

We're still having fun with the cadenza in the slow All-Region etude...

ME: So above this big string of notes is the abbreviation "Cad."; what does that stand for.
KID: Coda?

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Patriotic Songs

A middle-schooler was playing all the right notes, but some wrong rhythms, and despite several tries, he couldn't identify rhythm as the problem he was having. I did a little exercise to show him the importance of rhythm in music...

ME: (plays "The Star-Spangled Banner" entirely in quarter notes) Now, what song was that?
KID: No clue.
ME: Probably because it was all one rhythm. Now, here it is with the proper rhythm (plays song properly). Do you recognize it now?
KID: Yeah! It's the State of Texas song!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things When They're Making Puns Out of Instrument Names

Today, I saw a student who had been out for a few weeks..

KID: So what's new with you?
ME: Well, you haven't been here since before the Fourth of July, so the newest thing with me is my new bari out there.
KID: Well, I'm bari glad to see you!
ME: You do know what a bari is, right?
KID: Yeah--that thing you pick off a tree...and sometimes they're poisoned if you're not careful.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Note Values

The slow All-Region sax etude for high-schoolers this year starts with a double-dotted quarter note, so there's been a lot of (relatively easy) math this week while introducing it.

ME: So if the first dot adds half the value of the note, and the second dot adds half the value of the first dot, how long will the whole thing be?
KID: Almost two.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Musical Terms

This year's All-Region music for saxophones has a cadenza in one of the etudes, and the sight of all those tiny notes in a row alarmed one student upon first viewing them...

ME: So let me explain what that is. Do you see the abbreviation "Cad." above that passage? What does that stand for?
KID: *thinks for a second* Cadenza!
ME: That's right! And what does cadenza mean?
KID (enthusiastically): I don't know!