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 Rhythmic 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…

Life-Changing Lessons

A few days ago, I had a lesson with one of my teachers, Christina Smith. I half jokingly mentioned on Twitter later that afternoon that it had “changed my life.” But after some reflection, maybe it did in a small way… Since I am no longer in school, I have to grab lessons whenever my…

2011 in Review

It’s been a busy, full year. Usually, I assess what I’ve done (and haven’t managed to get done) at the end of the academic year; as a college professor, my concept of a “year” goes from August to May. However, it probably isn’t a bad idea to perform a mid-year check-up. While it’s easy to…

Samuel Baron

I recently ran across this great little interview with the well-known flutist Samuel Baron (1925 – 1997). He was very active in New York as a performer, teacher, and conductor. He served as President of the National Flute Association from 1977 – 1978. He left behind a very long, impressive list of students; he studied…

Practice Tips

The following was a result of a handout I put together for a workshop. More detailed information can be found about these topics in separate blog posts on this site.   Establish a solid practice schedule:  Actually block off time in your schedule designated specifically for practicing. Avoid using it for lunch, socializing, homework, errands,…