Saturday, February 09, 2008


So I was helping in the band office this week and I mentioned to the band director that I'm happy to help with his flute players. I only mentioned it to him because there was one section of one piece that was pretty bad -- it had to be pretty bad for me to notice. Normally I just tune it all out when I'm there, but lets just say, there was no tuning that out.

Yesterday, he asked me if I could help during 2 class periods. I said sure, what day? He meant yesterday. I ran home, got my flute, and headed back to school. I asked him what he had in mind.
He told me to get the music that the kids are playing for the competition coming up.
I did that.
Then he told me that he wanted me to sit next to the couple of kids who were having problems and basically play in their ears.
(I thought he might have me take one or two and work on rhythms and notes with them. I was wrong.)
I did as he asked.
I am good at sight reading, but... OMG! They play that stuff really fast! I had never seen the flute part, just the trumpet part. Just so you know, they look really different. Sight reading at top speed is a skill I mastered yesterday...

I am not sure I helped the flute section, but I did tell one girl that the As were flat - except for the last note - that one is natural. That alone should have made some difference.

Oh and during the 8th grade class, we had a bunch of rests that we counted through. I came in where I thought I should. I was alone in my endeavor. But, guess what? I WAS RIGHT!!! LOL!!! The director said, "You were right!" I laughed. I told him it was probably the only time in my life that I was right.

HA! Take that, you silly 8th graders!! I might be "old", but I can count! (I had better be able to count, I'm a handbell director. That's all I do is count!)

I did help one poor 7th grade clarinet who was sitting behind me. His sound was really airy. I asked him if his reed was up high enough. He showed me a very chipped reed that was low down on his mouthpiece. I told him to move it up a little to see if helped. It worked. I made his day. So - if that's all I did, I feel my day was productive.

Today, whooee my stomach muscles are sore! I forgot how much you use your tummy to play. (Oh and by the way... the last time I played - really played - was in April at the retreat and I was umm... drinking beer at the time. I was so afraid my instrument was going to smell like a brewery when I opened it up in class!!)

It was fun to sit in and play. I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The 7th graders were the funnest - probably because they know me and I know them. They liked that I was there and that was pretty cool. I just wish LLB was in that class, but she's not a woodwind...

LLB and I are going to practice this weekend. There are only a couple of spots that are hard and they are only hard because they play 'em so darned fast!! I will learn it. I will know it. I will be good enough to be first chair!

I wonder where LLB gets it??

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