Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mr. Brady

My former trumpet teacher, and friend, Charles Brady passed away this morning. It is truly a shock. He was a lively fellow, who had the pleasure of playing with people like Stravinsky and Copland and came back to our small area to teach young children.

He truly changed the way I approached my trumpet playing and music in general. He was always quick to offer a seed of musical wisdom that was often accompanied by a morsel of a life lesson.

He was one of the most settled people I knew about who he was and why he was here. He will be missed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Plugging Along

Here is a quick update for those who care.

I am 4 weeks from being done with this student teaching debacle. It truly is a waste of time. But my master teacher is really nice and very laid back so it is the best of a crappy situation I suppose.

in any case, I heard something very interesting, from my master teacher yesterday. We were talking about listening to each other in an ensemble. (something many adults have forgotten how to do). He said something that was really interesting:

"Would you buy a painting from someone who painted it without looking? Then why would you expect an audience to listen to music from musicians who aren't listening?"

also in the same conversations:

"Why would you expect the audience to use their ears when you refuse to use yours"

These statements resonated with me on several levels. First off, a very poignant way to get the point across to 7th and 8th graders. Secondly, a lot of adults that I play with seem to have forgotten this very notion. How can we, as musicians, performers, composers etc... expect an audience to do all the work of listening and processing the music in the room, when we ignore it so often.

I like to think that I make a concerted effort in bringing my ears to the table in rehearsals and performances. But I know I don't always do, maybe I don't have the energy that day, or maybe I am in a foul mood, whatever the case, I am determined to double my efforts when walking into a rehearsal or performance to leave my mouth, attitudes and baggage at the door and only bring my ears in with me. After all, music is not expressive, people are.