Without a doubt, academic breaks are susceptible to technique atrophy. The normal hustle and bustle of your semester has been ripped right from under you and has been replaced with holiday festivities. You’re exhausted and have gone into hibernation mode. Or maybe, you straight-up don’t want to practice. It happens. So what can you do? … More Practicing over the Holidays (or any break for that matter)
It’s that time of year when the weather starts to get cooler, the leaves begin to change colors, and my students prepare for All-District and All-State. Like every District and State audition I’ve ever experienced, the music is challenging and preparation time is limited. Not to mention, Missouri All-State auditions are extremely well-rounded and require … More Preparing for All-State Auditions
I’m happy to announce that I will be working with the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra in just a few weeks! Click here for a list of events!
I’ve recently taken a part-time job as a barista. It was my third day in training and there was finally a lull in the rush of customers. In this short time, one of my fellow teenaged coworkers found out that I’ve finished college with a doctorate. Perhaps it’s surprising, but his reaction still took me … More You’ve got a degree and you’re working part-time here!?
I am a percussion teacher. When students, parents, and fellow teachers meet me for the first time, this is all I should have to say. But when most people talk to me, these are the characteristics they notice first: I’m female. I’m a minority. I’m short. Yes, the above traits are superficial. But, they are … More On being a percussion teacher
It’s marching band season again, and I’ve had the pleasure of working at band camp for the past two weeks. This means that I subjected my drumline and front ensemble students to some of the most disciplined chop-out routines and intense rehearsal sessions. My students learned quickly that I am strict when it comes to … More The metronome does not lie.
My percussion quartet, aptly named The Quartet Guys, will be performing John Cage’s “Third Construction.” Professor Kevin Noe will be joining our jam with Cage’s text, “45′ for Speaker.” The concert will also be featuring works by Pierre Jalbert, Thomas Albert, and my good friend Justin Rito! It’s going to be fun! Please click here … More John Cage at Musique 21! (Monday 9/22, 7:30pm at Fairchild Theater)
In my experience, I have encountered many people, students and teachers alike, who approach learning new pieces like completing levels of a challenging game. Once they’ve “conquered” these new pieces, they “level-up” and begin tackling the next difficult piece. Meanwhile, the “lower level” pieces are forgotten or virtually ignored. Perhaps, these “more advanced” players hear … More Pieces are Like Old Friends
It has been a very busy semester, leaving not much time for blogging. BUT DO NOT BE FOOLED! I have been writing non-stop since the start of semester. I recently completed a course entitled Ives, Gershwin, Copland. There’s a lot to learn from these three behemoths of American music. However (being a percussionist) I was … More If only I could have lunch with John Cage and Charles Ives….
Recently, I moved my Daily Music project to twitch.tv, a video game streaming site that has encouraged more creative streamers such as painters, cosplayers and musicians. The majority of my stream features marimba, vibraphone, and voice. I also have a fair share of gaming. The other day, I did my first drum set stream. That … More Why did I cry?
Many people who know me now don’t realize that I once had absurdly long hair. From childhood to adulthood, it was always long. Theoretically, I had the right to choose my hairstyle. But, for many reasons, I truly didn’t believe it. From a young age, my mother called it my trademark. I was told that … More Hair
Recently, I recorded a bunch of music for job applications. During the process, I remembered how much I loathe recording. I don’t hate recording engineers. I don’t hate recording equipment. I hate listening to all my best and worst moments. I despise editing my mistakes, mostly because I am disappointed I made them in the … More Recording Sessions: Thoughts and Advice for the Performer
Last week, my Godfather lost his battle with cancer. I don’t have a big family, and I grew up thinking of my godparents as grandparents. They’ve seen me grow both as a musician and as a human being. It’s hard to believe I will never again hear his voice, wishing me good luck and offering … More A Tribute to a Loved One
Reflections Over the past few months, I’ve done as much as I can to improve a particular aspect of my percussion abilities: drum set. While furiously writing my doctoral document, I was also doing my best to perfect basic drum set grooves. It had been the first time since high school I had lessons solely … More My Ongoing Drum Set Journey, Pt. 1
Throughout my musical studies, I’ve had many professors tell me, “Record!” I’d record full practice sessions of monotonous excerpts. At the end of a long practice session, I’d record run-throughs of pieces. Every practicum and student teaching moment was regretfully reviewed and carefully examined for improvement. Every conducting session was over-analyzed to make sure I … More Be your own teacher: How to use Audio/Video Technology in the Practice Room