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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

http://www.clarinetmike.com

I recently had the opportunity to attend a solo recital and master class with an excellent clarinetist, Michael Dean.

The Recital

When I walked into the recital hall and saw Dr. Dean sitting on the stage, readying himself to play, I wasn’t sure what to expect. He seemed a friendly, jovial sort of man, and I was interested to see what he might choose for his repertoire. Instead of the typical classical pieces, he chose upbeat, modern pieces with CD accompaniment, allowing for a diverse range of instrumentation. There were trains, barks, whistles, other instruments, and even frogs! I thought the patterns and unusual sounds that were used in most of the accompaniments were great. At times he was, essentially, playing a duet (or trio) with himself. Probably my two favorite pieces were Andy and Me, a piece commissioned for his dog, complete with Andy barking rhythms in the accompaniment, and Half Moon at Checkerboard Mesa. This was an excellent piece, bringing in the sounds of the open mesa to an indoor stage and creating unique rhythmic patterns that gave the music almost a beat-boxing feel. The frogs and coyotes combined with the sounds of the trickling river and the mellifluous clarinet were astounding and fascinating. A very captivating performance.

The Masterclass

Two days later we had the privilege of having Dr. Michael Dean attend our Clarinet Resources Class at USF. He spoke to us about his experiences as a clarinetist and teacher, and gave tips on practicing and on alleviating performance anxiety. Several of our students had the opportunity to play for him, and he critiqued their excerpt. He said some very important things in this masterclass. One of them was to relax and not be timid when you play; no one wants to hear a careful player. Be confident, don’t worry about what mistakes you might make because they will only last a second. Another important point that so many people miss is that it takes a lot of air to play a clarinet! We need to remember to blow through the notes and use more air, particularly in a moving line (which is common in ensemble music). Dr. Dean was very energetic and enthusiastic, and seemed to love every moment of his musical life. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but I am really very thankful that he was able to come and work with us. He was very encouraging to me as a musician studying to be a music teacher. He encouraged us to stick with music education, to practice hard, and to have fun with the clarinet. I hope he will come back again sometime in the future.

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Frustration

Lord Jesus, I am so frustrated right now. Things are just so complicated sometimes, and they don’t have to be. There are waves that I can see in the distance, coming soon to crush me, if they are not redirected. I have to get a second job, figure out my career path, focus on practicing my instruments, choose and work with disciples, maintain friendships, and wonder about love, all at the same time. Where is there time for me to just, be quiet? Spend time with friends, read a book, write a blog, pray, or listen to music with nothing else to do. *sigh* I just had a conversation with my dad on the phone and, like his mother, he reminded me of all the things I need to be doing and need to take care of and of all the things I haven’t done, and it just stresses me out. Lord, please help me to just have peace of mind and heart and spirit right now, to find the good friends who I can lean on when I’m troubled, and to rest on your promises. Father, quiet me with your love, Amen.

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Warrior Child

Lately I’ve been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I’m amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don’t see inside of me
I’m hiding all the tears
And they don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I’m amazing
Never face retreat
But they don’t see the enemies
That lay me at His feet
And they don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
And they don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile
‘Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

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