Why I don’t loan out instruments

I am slowly building a good collection of high-quality instruments. It’s not easy to do that on a graduate student’s budget; I accomplish it by living frugally, saving carefully, shopping around, and generally putting a great deal of thought and planning into each purchase. I don’t buy instruments on credit. I protect my investments with conscientious care and maintenance, as well as an excellent insurance policy by a company that specializes in musical instrument coverage. (Incidentally, this policy quickly paid for itself, several times over, when there was an “incident” with my flute a couple of years ago. Seriously consider getting one if you don’t have one already!)

Every now and then someone asks to borrow an instrument from me. Often it will be a saxophonist who needs a flute or clarinet for a gig they have already agreed to play. My policy, which I have upheld almost perfectly for several years now, is simple: I don’t loan instruments to anybody, for anything, period. Continue reading “Why I don’t loan out instruments”

Doctoral multiple woodwinds exams

I am starting what hopefully will be my final year in pursuit of a doctoral degree in multiple woodwinds performance (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone). Today I kicked off five days of written comprehensive exams. In addition to a musicology exam and a music theory exam, I have been preparing for woodwind-related test questions such as these: Continue reading “Doctoral multiple woodwinds exams”

Instrument stands for doublers: mini-reviews and a wish list

Recently I have been getting a bit of pit work from a nearby community theater. They like to do month-long runs of their shows, which means that the musical director often hires two or more people for each seat in the orchestra, so that they can trade off playing the show according to their availability. One little perk of this method is that often the woodwind player who does the first show leaves his or her instrument stands in the pit for the other doubler(s) to use, so I’ve gotten to try out a variety of stands lately in a real-life situation.

I have, of course, a number of stands of my own, most of which do a basically satisfactory job, but none of which I’m overwhelmingly enamored with. Continue reading “Instrument stands for doublers: mini-reviews and a wish list”

Sal Lozano on doubling

Los Angeles woodwind doubler Sal Lozano makes some basic points about flute-clarinet-saxophone doubling. This YouTube freebie appears to be a teaser for the video lessons you can purchase at Stars Teach Music, which has a surprisingly impressive roster of video woodwind teachers (mostly saxophonists).

I enjoyed this little clip by the esteemed Mr. Lozano, but I don’t think I would have paid the $4.97 for it at the commercial website.