Lately I’ve kind of had “blogger’s block” with regards to writing about clarinet. My musical life just hasn’t been that interesting as of recently. I’ve been practicing scales and Rose etudes only and haven’t had any inspirations to do anything else. In fact, I took two weeks off of work and didn’t even touch my clarinet the whole time. I actually started another blog, which has been pretty fun.
Fast forward to now…I just spent last weekend at the Navy Band’s Saxophone Symposium in Washington, DC. I was approached about a month and a half ago from a colleague at work wanting to organize a trip. I don’t play much sax anymore, but I thought it might be interesting and fun to go. So I did! I came away with so much inspiration about music, and about projects I want to undertake. So I’m creating a “short” list of goals and projects that I want to take on this year:
1. Actually get back into playing saxophone.
This is something that I’ve been wanting and wishing to do for awhile. Now I actually have the time, and I can get a saxophone from the band for free. Whether or not I choose to take an audition on it and make it an official secondary instrument is still up for debate…there is a jazz element to the sax audition that I’m a little scared of.
2. Play flute more often.
Actually, if I were to pursue taking another audition with the band on a secondary instrument this one would be it. I have a lot more experience on flute. So this year, I am going to practice more and when I’m ready find someone I can take lessons with. I’ll also have to master the piccolo if I am to make it a secondary instrument with the Navy…yikes!
3. Do more arranging.
There are a lot of pieces that I love to listen to, but can’t play because of the instrumentation! As some of you remember, I arranged Debussy’s Syrinx for A clarinet last year which is only one part – I would like to try my hand at arranging something with more than one part! What inspired me to make this a goal is listening to to a couple saxophone quartets play Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles (which is originally for piano, then arranged by the composer for woodwind quintet). There is pretty much no limit to the amount of music I can play!
4. Memorize more music.
I have always hated, hated to memorize. But I heard some amazing musicians last weekend that played their entire recitals from memory – including chamber groups!. The result was a truly intimate performance – it was like there is a wall between the audience and the performer, and by performing without music, that wall was taken down. Its too bad that wind players have a stigma that we can’t or don’t need to memorize our music like string and piano players. We should have to do it too!
5. Volunteer in schools.
Basically, volunteering my teaching and performing skills in the local school system will help me gain some students and it will look good on my “brag sheet” when it comes to advancement at work. And its fun!
6. Do another recital.
I’m planning on getting out to Colorado this summer to see my aunt and uncle, who are going to be visiting from Brazil. I was thinking…wouldn’t it be great if I can play another recital like I did last October?
So that’s just a short list of things I want to do this year as far as music. It is great that now I’ll actually have the time to pursue these types of things! I’m really glad that I went to the convention – it was refreshing to see such great musicianship at a time when I really needed it!