January 7, 2017

Musicians should embrace carry-on baggage fees

People are outraged over an airline’s announcement that its cheapest fares will no longer cover carry-on baggage. (This isn’t the first time that airlines have charged fees for carry-on bags.) My experience flying with musical instruments as carry-ons has been stressful at best. This passage from an economics textbook rings true to me: The battle begins in the gate ...

December 31, 2016

2016 in review

Here are some of the things that went on here at your favorite woodwind blog during the past year, and some things to look for in 2017. My biggest “hits” in terms of site visits and social media response were Please stop telling you clarinet students to tighten their embouchures, A few thoughts on the new Roland Aerophone ...

December 31, 2016

Favorite blog posts, December 2016

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, December 2016 edition.

December 14, 2016

Responding to free or low-paying gigs

Here are some sample scripts for phone calls or emails about "gigs" that pay nothing, or not enough.

December 7, 2016

What I would do differently as a college music major

Believe it or not, some of my college students make mistakes that seem somehow familiar. If I could go back to college (and graduate school) and do it all over, here are a few things I might choose to do differently. Embrace my teachers’ approaches. As readers of this blog know, I tend to be a bit ...

November 30, 2016

Favorite blog posts, November 2016

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, November 2016 edition.

November 22, 2016

Student-selected online woodwind pedagogy articles, 2016 edition

What I want my class to get from the assignment is a sense of how to sift through the information ("information") available online, taking into account the author's credentials or sources, a common-sense evaluation of ideas, and applicability to a particular teaching situation. Be careful out there.

November 15, 2016

Simple and effective cues

Beginners to this often work much too hard at cueing, trying to execute movements that are large, elaborate, and confusing.

November 8, 2016

Woodwinds and “altissimo” registers

I recently had a saxophone student perform a repertoire piece with some altissimo technique in it, and a non-woodwind-playing musician asked me afterward about the instrument’s extended range. This led to further questions about “altissimo” on other instruments. The answers are a little complicated, but here is some information: The term “altissimo” suggests an extreme high ...

October 31, 2016

Favorite blog posts, October 2016

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, October 2016 edition.