Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why Does There Always Have To Be Drama?

I am the world's biggest non-believer of drama. I hate it and everything associated with it. One of the greatest things that I thought about going to college was the fact that I would be able to leave the drama behind.

Not so much.

I left it behind when I graduated college. And then it came back when I went to graduate school. What is it with musicians and drama? Or is that something associated with every major and with every student? Not to say that I don't have plenty of my own drama - because I do - and not to say that I never exhibited it or had it bring attention to myself - because I did.

But, as adults, doesn't there come a point where we grow out of it? Ever?

I'd like to think that I've grown out of the whole "Oh my God" phase of my life - where drama and gossip propelled my social life. If something happens to me, I'm pretty cautious about who I share my drama with - mainly because I don't want it coming back to me that I was talking about someone - and usually by the time it gets back to me it's something totally different than what I had originally said (remember the game 'telephone' we used to play as kids? same concept).

And then there are other instances where I might say something - and then someone gets offended because I didn't say anything good about him or her. . . when I didn't even really mention them in the conversation in the first place. What is it with musicians and their constant need to have an ego boost? I just don't understand it - are we as members of this profession just viewed as being egotistical /very full of ourselves? And are we that insecure about what we're doing that we have to be constantly told that we're awesome?

I apologize for the rant, but drama has been the theme for the month of September and I'm just sick of it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

(insert cute title here)

I was never good at writing headlines. I think I've always been a good writer...but when it came to actually summing up projects that I've done, I was never really good at it. In a lot of cases these names turned out to be some long drawn out titles that sounds academic-ey or the title turned out to be something entirely different than what the point of my paper actually was. Whatever the case...don't go expecting some cute headlines for these blogs....ain't gonna happen. Ooh...maybe that's the title right there...'Ain't Gonna Happen'... the first full week of my second year of grad school has come and gone and I wonder what I was thinking coming back. Not that I hate it, because I don't. I just don't find myself having time for anything at time 'ain't gonna happen' this semester for me...I'm beginning to think that that is going to be a recurring theme throughout my tenure here at the University of Kansas.

Prof Fedele:  'Are you going to be able to practice four hours a day, be in three ensembles and finish out all your deficiencies in four semesters?'

Me (first semester):  'Ain't gonna happen'.

At least it's beginning to be a recurring theme.

As it is, graduation 'ain't gonna happen' for me next semester because  I've decided to wait to do my master's recital under Fedele - he's going on sabbatical next spring and will be unavailable for lessons until next fall. So my master's recital and orals 'ain't gonna happen' until then.

Looking on the bright side though, at least it gives me the summer to study and practice like nobody's business....but then again, who am I kidding? Studying for the Medieval and Rennaisance diagnostics this semester didn't happen until two and a half weeks prior. Procrastination is my middle name after all.

All in all, though, the semester is treating me fairly well. However, I find myself already having to play catch up (I'm looking forward to Labor Day for a day of catching up!).

I have one actual class - Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory - yeah...sounds ominous. The downside of the class is the title -- and it's content -- and the upside?? I have the class with oboe Amy and the teacher is British. However, having said that, British teachers are conniving and sneaky. I forgot how conniving and sneaky my undergraduate teacher was when I took his Age of Modernism class until I started taking from this guy. And then the memories came flooding back. I'll be kinda scared when the big tests pop up. Having gone through a class with PT (my undergraduate flute teacher), I'll be expecting that this guy's tests will take the entire hour if not longer. Ugh....guess I'm really going to have to learn the material! However, having said ALL that, there was a pop quiz today (the first pop quiz I've had in years and years!) and I think I did okay thanks to some studying I did while in St. Louis this past weekend.

I'm also taking a credit hour independent study with a teacher who has no real experience in the field I'm doing the independent study in but is enthusiastic about the subject so he agreed to let me take from him. We're calling it 'The Anatomy of a Musician'. It's kind of a spin-off of the graduate seminar class I took last semester in Healthy Musicianship. For those of you who don't know what Healthy Musicianship is, think about Sports Medicine. In Sports Medicine, you'll encounter athletes who are learning to prevent injuries while they are practicing or playing or athletes who are learning to treat injuries they already have in such a way that they can still play. Healthy Musicianship is kind of the same concept except obviously we trade the athlete for musician and Sports Medicine for Performing Arts Medicine. Anyway, I decided to learn about what it takes to play a musical instrument - and explore the concept of how becoming more aware of your body will make you a better player by becoming less prone to injury. it's turning out to be A LOT more work than a credit hour is worth. I think a lot of what I've planned 'ain't gonna happen' and will have to be put of for my own time or for next semester. Oy.

Flute lessons and flute in general this semester has so far been kick butt awesome. I think I have my new flute to thank in part for that. My new Brannen is amazing and was well worth the price. It's sooo funny. Fedele tries to find time to play it all the time. He loves it. I love it. It's amazing! So far, it's already gotten me principal of the wind ensemble (and I've only had it a month!). I can't wait to see what I will sound like in two or three months! I'm excited. :D

For those of you who are curious, I'm delving back to basics this semester. On my plate is the Bach e minor sonata, a tried but true classic (although I'm TIRED of doing Bach Sonatas - I did them all for PT and now Fedele wants to hear me do all of them - even though I told him that PT was a Baroque flutist and that it was his specialty).  I'm also doing the Mozart G Major Concerto, simply because I've been able to get around doing it until now. As an undergraduate, I abhorred Mozart - and I wasn't mature enough of a player anyway to handle something as simple and classic as he. So I got around doing everything Mozart - until I started taking lessons from Townes before I auditioned at KU. I'm doing some fun stuff as well:   I found a piece by Philip Glass called 'Arabesque in Memoriam' that's only ever been recorded by two flutists. It's a special-order only piece that took a month and a half to get in, but it's oh so Philip Glass and I'm very excited about it. Mary-Elizabeth and I are also doing a duet by Ian Clarke called 'Maya' that's absolutely gorgeous that I'm very excited about. Check it out on YouTube - you'll probably agree.

Anyway, I've got to get some work done...or else my meeting with my advisor on my independent study 'ain't gonna happen'. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

SOOO new to this...

So I've never written a blog in my life. Never. Nada. Not once. I've never even wanted to remotely try. I always pinpointed this phenomenon to people who were younger than I who wanted to fill the internet with their voices and opinions - somehow wanting to make a difference, but really are never able to. I mainly avoided because I knew a) if I started one, I would never be able to keep up with it; b) I would start one, keep up with it, and then be addicted so much that I would quit doing what I really should be doing (i.e. practice - like what I should probably be doing now since Fedele's flute recital is tonight); or c) realize that I really don't have the writing talent to do something as remotely benign as this and I should quit doing academia altogether.

So here it is - my first blog - started mainly because my friend Sam moved so far away to Wisconsin and this is a great way to keep in touch with her...keeping up with the Jones' they used to say in a generation far gone.

Right now it'll be mainly about the trials and tribulations of graduate school and trying to balance it with work and life. Some days I think I can do it; other days I don't think I'll ever be finished. And you'll hear about it - well - at least the important stuff anyway. Who knows? This could turn out to be a very therapeutic venture for me - a journal of sorts albeit a very public one. Don't worry - names may or may not be changed to protect the privacy of the innocent and the guilty alike, the stupid as well as to protect my own you-know-what. Any resemblance to a person real or fictional is purely coincidental....I assure you.  ;)

Happy commenting fellow bloggers!

An update soon will follow on the first complete week of school. I think it's going to be a pretty good semester...