A few days ago, I had the opportunity to sit on the other side of the judges' table for an evening of concerto competition auditions. Besides being impressed by the overall level of talent, I was struck by the change in body language from each performer from they entered to after they finished their performance. What was obviously missing at the end (the audience response) had a clearly detrimental effect on the way each student perceived their playing.
Whether I am sitting behind a table with a score sheet, in a practice room with a student, or in the audience at a club, I am not looking to heard a terrible performance. Youtube has enough musical schaudenfraude to keep facebook populated for at least another decade, so where did this idea originate? Cutting contests aside, how can we communicate in our teaching and adjudicating that we are looking to hear greatness, and work with the rest?
I am very excited to be returning to Panama in a few weeks as guest artist for the first official Trombone Masterclass with Avenicio Nunez. After working with Festival Alfredo San Malo for four summers, it's a chance to reunite with my trombone friends and colleagues, as well as introduce my former Eastman teacher, Mark Kellogg, to talented students.
I'm most nervous about my communication skills for this tour. Over a hundred emails have been exchanged to put this event together, and the translating is something I'm learning on the fly.
The second leg of our tour will involve masterclasses at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in San Jose, Costa Rica. Part of my seminar will involve talking about graduate studies in the United States. Taking suggestions for what pointers I should be giving!
(note: the spelling error on the poster has since been corrected)
The photo at left is from the 1999 Chicago Tribune Songwriting Contest, which I won by writing the lyrics to a song called "Radio Broadcast." It was my first experience dealing with professional musicians, and I really wish someone had told me beforehand that we were shooting a CD Cover!
As part of my job at Chicago High School for the Arts, I teach a class of junior instrumentalists something that is loosely titled "Professional Development". So far, our class discussions have skewed heavily towards college-related topics, but we are now moving into the more practical details of trying to balance music and adulthood.
This month, we are talking about budgeting, searching for scholarship money, and discussing the labyrinth that is a self-employment tax return. What are some other topics you wish were covered in school when you were 16?