Some highlights from the woodwind blogosphere in December:
Here are my picks from October. I strongly suggest that you read all of these, share them on your favorite social media outlets, leave thoughtful comments to the authors, and subscribe with your favorite blog-reading apparatus.
- A whole lot of clarinet bloggers have posted in the last couple of days about the Robert Marcellus masterclasses now available through Northwestern University’s website. I believe Chastine Hofmeister’s post was the first one to come to my attention.
- Saxophonist and Alexander Technique guru Bill Plake debunks woodwind players’ favorite finger-technique myth.
- David Wells blows the bassoon world’s minds with a video of eminent bassoonist Klaus Thunemann playing jazz(?!). And this isn’t a cute little novelty swing tune, either—it’s full-fledged, Mahavishnu-esque 1970’s fusion.
- Eric Seddon offers advice and encouragement to aspiring jazz clarinetists in school band programs. I’m already on record as not entirely agreeing with all the points Eric makes, but his side is definitely worth reading and considering.
- Flute professor Tammy Evans Yonce muses on the purposes of a woodwind pedagogy course. (You don’t have to compliment me by name to get picked as a “favorite blog post,” but let’s say it doesn’t hurt your chances. Worth a read in any case.)
- Reed player and composer Demetrius Spaneas explores themes of struggle, stress, and balancing artistic pursuit with the practicalities of life.
- Saxophonist Peter Spitzer encourages you to freshen up your set list with some freely-available lead sheets to some lovely and little-known Bossa Nova tunes by Roberto Menescal.
- Oboist Jennet Ingle had a tough month. She shares a frustrating rehearsal experience (no, Jennet, it’s not just you!) and characterizes her relationship with the instrument as, well, adversarial. (She does also offer some constructive tips for dealing with oboe-related struggles.)
- In a similar vein, bassoonist Cayla Bellamy offers three “ups” to help through practice-room plateaus.
- Saxopedia announces an influx of new (old) transcriptions by Danish saxophonist Thomas Høeg-Jensen, to add to an already-impressive listing.
- On the Powell Flutes Teach Flute blog, distinguished flute pedagogue Leone Buyse shares some thoughts about her own teacher David Berman, and makes a strong case for taking notes in your lessons.
- Dan Forshaw throws down the gauntlet to fellow saxophone enthusiasts: can you put the Mark VI tenors in chronological order based on video clips? (I can’t.) Nice playing, Dan!
- “Practicing Flutist” Deanna Mathews Kilbourne uses difference tones to tune her flute choir.
Great stuff, everybody, and I look forward to reading more in November.
Some of the best woodwind-related stuff I’ve read this month:
Enjoy! If you or one of your favorite woodwind bloggers writes something especially awesome in July, drop me a note and I’ll give it a look for next month’s list.