Prince and 4 Square

I’m Getting Old and We Lost An Icon

from http://www.in2it.org.nz/games/four-square/
from http://www.in2it.org

This week I spent time stretching before going out to do recess duty with middle school kids. Why do you ask, well that’s simple I tried playing “four square” with my students. Anyhow, it’s clear I don’t move like I used to…I’ve been limping since Tuesday.

Today I learned that Prince is no longer with us. Thanking him will be the job of everyone who loved…LOVE the music he created. 1401x788-prince-extralarge_1412016787658So I will continue to admire him as an artist and continue to use his music as fodder for funk/pop/hip-hop music education. However, I found myself sitting with some students and I eventually ask them the question “Do you know who Prince is?” The reply was no…I think my parents do.

At that point I came to accept once and for all that I am an “old” person. But enough about me, lets talk about Prince and how I’ve used his music in the past in my classes.

One of the tools I use, which was a gift given to us by Prince is his song Musicology. Just the names he drops in this song gives my students a jumping off point for exploration into american popular music. Then there’s learning about him and all his accomplishments.

 

Music and Spaces

imagesRecently I played a concert in concert recital hall. The space was very intimate and the concert was around mid-day. At first I thought this was an odd time for a chamber music concert featuring the Stravinsky Octet and a few other works for the era. Odd until I listened to the New York Times Popcast: Jazz’s Takeover of Hallowed Museum Spaces. 

imgresPart of the discussion dealt with the classification of what jazz music is and how artist explore new sounds, spaces, and the integration of many forms of arts. One of the artist in question was Jason Moran. A fantastic jazz pianist and now Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center.

BuzzFeed and Pop Music

It’s not often I get to use BuzzFeed as a reference for my students. But while learning about international pop musicians, I ran across this post from BuzzFeed.61APcLVzGML._SL1000_
I was blown away by a band call Tricot from Japan and G-Dragon from Korea. Some others were super interesting and have now been added to the rotation of tunes I listen to on a regular basis.
Check out the post 20 Songs From Around The World You May Have Missed in 2013

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I Was Feeling This Way Also

Recently I listened to an NPR classical music podcast call Conducting Business. The subject of that talk was related to my blog post Faces At Concerts.

Naomi-LewinDuring the podcast the host Naomi Lewin facilitated a group discussion about the diversity of both audiences and members of major symphony orchestras in the United States. I’m glad to hear that these kinds of conversations are happening in public forums and encourage many to listen to the podcast American Orchestras Grapples With Lack of Diversity.

Back To School

While I recognize the changes that occur in my life around the month of September are major shifts, I can’t help the feeling of running head first into the truth….. that I am an adult. Maintaining stability in two art based professions while dealing with parental and husbandly duties, is a total shift from the summer schedule of stay at home dad while checking off items listed on my “honey do/due list”.

Photo on 8-5-14 at 6.38 PM IMG_2307

Having met my “honey do” goals, and satisfied the unicorn adventures with my kid. I now feel the focus of the other parts of my existence starting to flower. At home I get to watch football. As a teacher I go back to my favorite cup to sip coffee out of and listen to copious amounts of Beethoven for our Romantic Music Unit. Finally there is the constant wonderment on seeing the stars.

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Finding those little moments within my work and home duties, seems to be the fun at this point. Almost like stealing a single serving point of personal enjoyment while being an adult.

IDL TIFF file

Lyman Practical Daily Warm-Ups for Trumpet: Book Review

Practical Daily Warm-Ups for Trumpet by Zachary Lyman is a great set of exercises to add to your practice routine. I don’t often get an opportunity to review the work of a friend and colleague, so I take great delight in writing the next set of words.

I use this book often and I use it with my students to supplement their Schlossberg assignments. The first set of buzzing exercises have been particularly wonderful for my beginning trumpet students.  It has been a great addition to my library. If you want a copy of  this book you should look it up at Keveli Music. While there, look up some of their other publications.

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Fitness…Good Luck!

Now that I am well into my late 30’s in age, I feel the need to become physically fit. Yes there was a need before I entering this stage, but a few days of greasy meals and one too many treats is proving more difficult to hide. That said, in the past I would just work out a little harder. Maybe put in a few more minutes into cardio, eat well, drink more water and stay away from temptations. Easier said than done, but with a little effort I could get back to just 25 pounds over the suggested weight for my height.

Add my kid to the mix with my job(s), it’s damn near impossible to find the time to get a reasonable workout and not lose hours of your day. If it seems like this is starting to sound like a commercial, don’t worry it’s not. However, I really do use my kettle bells a lot. Way more than I expected when I got them.

If you don’t know what a kettle bell is… allow me to describe one to you. Imagine putting a handle on a cannon ball, and using that to exercise instead of dumb-bells. I think it’s an efficient and effective tool that combines weigh training with cardio exercises. At least the ways I use kettle bells. Since I am usually  pressed for time, because I need to stay an active musician/educator or I have a family, the kettle bell is the quick and helpful solution to my time crunch.

kettlebell