Fellowship to Israel

I was fortunate to be awarded a faculty fellowship to Israel during December 2017 – January 2018. It was an amazing experience. One of my main takeaways: Israel is complicated. My travel began in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Tuesday, December 26. I flew through Minneapolis to JFK to Tel Aviv. After dinner and introductions,…

2017 in Review

2017 brought some very rewarding projects, some happy surprises, and a generous handful of disappointment. Continued from last year was the constant adjustment to tripling the number of children in my house (with now-toddler twins). For next year, my plans are on a larger scale and more geographically diverse. In terms of teaching, highlights included…

Fall 2017 Tour

This fall’s tour was a whirlwind few days of friends, collaborations, and satisfying musical experiences. One big takeaway: performing multiple times within an intensely-compressed time period is really effective in keeping one on one’s toes, performance-wise. There’s no time for nervousness and no time for mistakes. The program has to be clearly thought through, and…

Reading a New Piece

Where to start when taking a look at a piece for the first time? Obviously there are as many approaches as there are musicians, and different pieces call for different attention. For an example, let’s take a look at the Duos for Flute and Clarinet by Robert Muczynski. (I’ll be performing this with my clarinetist…

Rhythmic Studies

As an undergrad, we used┬áRhythmic Training by Robert Starer in our theory classes. Honestly, I’m a little fuzzy on which theory classes used it (edited to add: after consulting the label on the back of my book, it was used in MUSI 1111, which corresponds to Aural Skills I at Kennesaw State University). I kept…

Applied Teaching in Woodwind Pedagogy

I teach woodwind pedagogy at South Dakota State University each fall, and it is always a juggling act. I like the text I use (Teaching Woodwinds, Mountain Peak Music) and I’m confident that my students will be able to employ it later as a helpful resource when they are in the trenches. However, it is…

Etude Project, Continued

I decided to revive the etude project, which I first began in the summer of 2014. At that time, it was my goal to play through as many etudes as possible in the hopes that it would provide me a wider variety of options when assigning exercises to my students. I obviously had a good…