Am I doing this right? –or… how I’m hoping I’ll be spending my summer vacation…

 

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First by reflection, which is noblest; second by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. –Confucius

 

I always get to this time of year in a mixed state, on one hand, I’m ready for the change of pace and for a little time to recover from a busy winter semester. And then about 3 days go by and I’m wandering around the house sure that I have things to do, but I just can’t quite figure out what they are.

Inevitably, there are long term tasks (like updating my website, hence the current blog post attempt…) and sorting out music and plotting what new and exciting adventures I’m going to force my students to join me on next year, but somehow, in the middle of a quiet day, I can’t quite put my finger on the specific thing I should be doing right this second. Musicians and educators live a life of here and now, what concert do I have to play tonight, what do I need to remember to do for my students tomorrow. Things are urgent. Adrenaline is your friend. All I think about in February is survival, and how great it will be in May when I have time to think, and in May, I can’t seem to think clearly at all.  Clarity seems to come in August, when suddenly the new school year is coming up and I think of 15 great projects and wonder why I didn’t take some of that free time in May to organize and plot out these great ideas.

I need to learn to look backwards (who even remembers what show they played yesterday, a week ago, nevermind a month, or 3 ago…) and reflect on what actually happened. After that, maybe I can step far enough outside this desire to feel as though every project needs to be urgent in order for it to hold my attention. Maybe I can give an idea room to grow, and change, and not worry that I don’t have every detail laid out from the outset. I love crossing things off lists, but maybe at this time of year I need a different kind of list, a “lets see what happens” list.

Anyone else feel this way? Or differently?

Prairie Percussion Workshop 2016!

I can’t believe that this will be the 5th workshop, I know that people say it all of the time, but where does the time go?! I am so excited that this workshop has been able to grow and thrive as a resource for young musicians!

Opportunities

Opportunities

All students are given access and opportunities to develop their skills in all areas of percussion.

Ensembles

Ensembles

Students are grouped with their peers in small ensembles to develop their musical and technical abilities.

Skills

Skills

Students are given the opportunity to develop skills they can take back to their music programs.

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Concerto Premier

I am so excited and honoured to be premiering a new concerto by Sid Robinovitch for Marimba and Vibraphone with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra at Westminster United Church on January 12, 2016. With only a week (tomorrow) left until the performance I’m starting to get into that weird space before a big show or audition where you suddenly feel like you have lots to do and also like there is nothing left to do.

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“Are there female performers on all kinds of instruments? Certainly… [but] there must have been a fine spirit of enterprise in the soul of a woman who took up the study of the tympani. How many jobs are there for the female tympanist? What is the outlook for the female bassoonist? Does anyone wish to see a woman playing the bass drum or an E-flat tuba?… Well, it is a all a matter of custom. Students in such institutions as the Juilliard School of Music see women playing in their orchestra continually and think nothing of it.”

William J. Henderson, Dean of New York Music Critics was quoted making this statement in 1935.


This quote raises a few questions, and definitely my eyebrows, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the subject is closed, but as a woman who plays a bass drum on a regular basis, I am happy to report that, 80 years later, it doesn’t seem to bother anyone…!