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Monday, April 14, 2008

Sub 23 and music

I got to be a Jr. High band teacher on Friday. Lots of fun. I was surprised at how good a program they had at South Jr. High. And band is something I know well enough to run a smooth rehearsal, even if I'm not familiar with the pieces being played.

The 9th graders were first. They have a concert in a week and contest after that, so they wanted to work. It took a bit of sweat on my part to get the 7th graders to work, but when they did, they actually sounded good.

I then travelled to two different elementary schools to assist with the band programs there. I was given flash cards to use with the trumpets for some one-on-one fingering practice. Fortunately, I used to play the trumpet, so I could actually tell them if they were right or wrong. I also spent five minutes or so with a euphonium player who was not hitting the right notes. He had the fingerings right, but just couldn't make his lips do what they needed to do, so I took him out and we worked on it a bit. I played his horn a bit (after cleaning off the mouthpiece, of course) to demonstrate, and found that he could actually do it with the right coaching. He just needed some individual attention.

It made me want to get my horn out and play. It's been sitting in the closet pretty much since we moved in. I've played it a couple of times to amuse Maxine, even got her to blow an actual note on it, but not anything like regular. I would love to play in church, or with a local ensemble or band. It's one of those things that is hard to explain to someone who doesn't do it. Horyon and I both enjoy the bell choir at church, and that's hard to explain to other people too. There is a satisfaction that comes from spending time practicing and building up to a performance that is unlike anything else. I'm sure that it's partly because I enjoy being in front of people, but it's more than that. It just feels good to make music happen.

I also enjoy listening to music. At last count my CD collection was approaching 1000. I haven't had them all in one place since I left for the Peace Corps, and right now there are still many in my parents' basement, many in my garage, and quite a few scattered through my house. One Korean man I knew owned his own building. The first three floors were his clothing shop, the fourth and fifth floors were rental apartments, and he and his family lived on the sixth and seventh floor. He had helped design (or maybe remodel) his residence, and it was one of the coolest homes I've seen in Korea. I won't go into the architecture except for this: he had built in CD shelves, which he seriously needed. Thousands of CDs. And built in CD shelves are definitely the classiest way to keep your CDs. He also had a most impressive sound system. All imported. Speakers that were not only tall, but beautiful. His CD player was two pieces, the reader, in which you put the CD itself, and the digital decoder. He claimed it made a difference. And the amplifiers used tubes, like the radio your grandparents listened to. Only in this case, the tubes are all mounted where you can see them. The components sat on plate glass shelves, a very graceful presentation. And when he played music it sounded like you were there in the room with the musicians. Piano, orchestra, jazz, drum sets, singers, they all sounded like they were right there.

I'm not saying I want to spend thousands of dollars on a stereo system, but... it sure would be nice to spend thousands of dollars on a stereo system.

Anyway, it's a bit late in my life, but now I can picture myself being a band teacher! There are some annoying things about it, for sure, but they do have fun. And they get to be there at the beginning of a lot of musical careers.

1 comment:

Lee Eun Seol and Sean Michael Archer said...

Hi Rob,

Killing time in the new English zone at KSU. Pull out your horn and blow man. What do you mean its a bit late in life. Nobody is 'late' in life. We move at our own pace; dance to our on music.

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