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Back to School

August 21, 2012

It’s that time of year again. This is the beginning of my tenth year at Indiana University.  It’s a great place to work, being surrounded by energetic students and devoted faculty.

I’ve had a terrific summer.  Among the highlights are soloing with the IU Summer Concert Band, playing with Michael Feinstein and the Cincinnati Pops, performing a few weeks including July 4 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, teaching at the IU Summer Music Clinic, and of course teaching and performing at Birch Creek.

Now that the school year is underway, it’s time to make a plan for what to accomplish this year.  There are probably a lot of demands on your time during the school year.  That’s precisely why it’s so important to have an idea of what you want to do.  Among the many built in activities such as band, orchestra, jazz band, classes, lessons, friends, and other very important ways that people spend time, like watching basketball (necessary), football (enjoyable), and Fringe (a show you should be watching), it can be easy to lose focus.

Here’s what I want you to do:

  • Make a list of your biggest technical weaknesses.
  • Make a list of music you want to learn.

Put these lists somewhere you see them every day. 


If you really work addressing both lists, at the beginning of next semester you should be able to make two new lists.  If you’d like, please leave your lists in the comment section, and we’ll come back in January and see what the new lists look like then.

Okay, get to work.

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2 comments

  1. Okay, here’s my list.

    Music
    The Moontrane
    Dear John
    The End of A Love Affair
    Witch Hunt
    Half Nelson
    Windows
    Along Came Betty
    This I Dig Of You
    One By One

    Passport
    The Sorcerer
    Stablemates
    Green Chimneys
    Joy Spring
    ESP
    Body and Soul (Coltrane Changes)

    Chaynes Concerto
    Albinoni Concerto
    Hoenegger Intrada

    1) All modes of major ascending and descending in broken thirds.
    2) All modes of melodic minor ascending and descending in broken thirds.
    3) All modes of major ascending and descending in broken fourths.
    4) All modes of melodic minor ascending and descending in broken fourths.
    5) Whole tone scales in broken thirds.
    6) Both forms of the diminished scale in broken thirds.
    7) All modes of major in diatonic triads.
    8) All modes of melodic minor in diatonic triads.
    9) All major pentatonic scales in four note groups.
    10) One pattern based on triad pairs in all 12 keys.

    1) Major seconds moving chromatically.
    2) Minor thirds moving chromatically.
    3) Perfect fourths moving chromatically.
    4) Perfect fourths moving in major seconds.
    5) All inversions of major triads moving chromatically.
    6) All inversions of major triads moving by major seconds.
    7) All inversions of major triads moving in minor thirds.
    8) All inversions of major triads moving in major thirds


  2. I have no time to practice, but I love the TV show, “SMASH.” Great music, great dancing, great singing, great acting, great story… and … Katharine McPhee. Need I say more?

    Thanks for the great blog, Joey. And, I do actually practice periodically!

    JP



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