Here are a few of my favorite blog articles from 2011, for your re-reading pleasure:
- A shocking 187 woodwind doublers participated in my Great Woodwind Doubler Census, and I reported the findings in exhaustive (exhausting?) detail.
- I was pleased to announce the releases of versions 0.2 and 0.3 of the Fingering diagram builder, and to introduce a lot of features and improvements. The plan at this point is to continue to work on it as time permits, and I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve that I hope you will like. I also shared some of the impetus behind the FDB, and some of the problems I hope it will, in a small way, help to solve.
- I started a series of do-it-yourself posts dealing with simple woodwind repair tasks (such as replacing saxophone palm key pads and replacing tenon corks), which I hope to continue in the coming year.
- I started a series of interviews with people working in cool woodwind-related jobs, which I hope to continue. (I’m interested in your nominations/requests.)
- I harnessed some frustration about teaching private lessons, and channeled it into creating a little game (the bidding war between Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley is still ongoing).
- I ranted about classical musicians’ attitudes toward jazz and jazz musicians.
- I reported on some fun offline woodwind-related activities, including the Clarinet Academy of the South, the National Flute Association conference, and my own annual faculty recital at Delta State University.
- I explained a little about the intersection between my faith and my music.
- I expounded what I think is a really crucial concept in woodwind playing, which the woodwind-blog-reading community received with a deafening roar of almost no attention whatsoever. I guess they can’t all be winners. Come back and read it again when you get into playing ethnic flutes, and thank me later.
Remember, you can keep up with my humble blog in 2012 via feed reader, Twitter, or email. I try to cover a lot of ground here, so if you’re interested in narrowing things down, you can find a blog article you like and click on any of the related “instruments,” “categories,” or “topics,” and then subscribe by RSS or email up near the top of the page, under the main header and just above the first article on the page, like so:
Also, I love to hear from the highly intelligent, talented, and attractive people who read my stuff, so please don’t hesitate to check in if you see something you like, something you don’t like, or something you would like to see more or less of. Or if you just want to say hello.
And, as promised:
My New Year’s resolution
It’s the same as every year: spend more practice time working on fundamentals. Every year I become more convinced that the way to sound amazing is to fill as many hours as possible with long tones, scales and arpeggios, and other stuff that my younger, more foolish self had filed under “boring.”
This was driven home again for me earlier this month while listening to hours of auditions for my university’s high school honor band. The auditionees were extremely talented, but for many the preparation seemed to be concentrated in playing as many notes as possible in as short a time as possible. But the students who got placed in the top chairs were the ones who played with even technique, solid tempo and rhythm, clear and ringing tone, precise intonation, dramatic dynamic range, and crisp articulation, even if their notes-per-minute count was a little lower.
Thanks for reading, and happy 2012!