Hello fellow bassists! I am planning to switch fully to WordPress.org for all my blogging activities. At the same time I hope to role out a new site design as well. Please bear with me as I make this switch. The URL to visit is still “tunedin4ths.org“
One of my summer goals has been to share some of the music I have been arranging and transcribing over the years. I hope to now make available digitally that sheet music via Lulu.com. At the top of the page there is a “For Sale” tab which (hopefully) will link up to the various pieces I hope to post within the next week or so.
Mr. Joseph Conyers (Asst. Principal Bass- Philadelphia Orchestra) plays an excerpt from Mozart’s Symphony #40 on the freshly constructed bass crafted by Aaron Reiley of Guarneri House. This bass won several awards at the ISB Convention in San Francisco: Silver Medal for Tone & Honorable Mention: Convention Favorite.
In the last day or two I finally had the opportunity to get on Spotify and check it out. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a plethora of bass recordings (although there is some nice Bottesini stuff, Edgar Meyer and some Edicson Ruiz recordings). I often use Pandora for my background listening needs, but Spotify definitely delivers with it’s ability to search music recordings and then create playlists.
As the school year draws near it is the perfect time to talk about private teaching. As I reflect back on my experiences in working with students (and parents- of course!) here are some things that have definitely helped me and my studio teaching.
- Stay incredibly organized: Write everything down (lesson notes, schedule changes, correspondence, etc.)
- Have a system and stick to it: If there is a way of taking lesson notes, organizing lesson payments, scheduling lessons, using a particular teaching methodology (ie. developing proper bow hold), and creating pace to the lesson- stick to it!
- Ask for payment(s) in advance: This benefits the teacher and the student because a monthly payment encourages regular lesson attendance, shows commitment to the teacher, and helps the teacher manage less individual payments. I send out email invoices to all my parents every month (for the upcoming month) and this has worked really well for the past year.
- Have a very clear studio policy: Easy to read and also to the point when it comes to laying out policies on attendance, cancellations, make-ups, payment options, and communication methods to parents. Also, have someone else (preferably a non-musician) read your draft… most parents actually don’t have any musical training and they are new to the whole idea of signing up their son or daughter for private lessons.
- Focus on one or two new things to implement every year with your studio. This year I am hoping to try out a new online email program for sending my monthly newsletters (to give a nice fresh look with pictures, links, social integration). In addition, I really would like to record as many of my student’s solo pieces, etudes, etc. as reference recordings for them.
Yesterday I continued to think about practice and recalled a short video that I had seen over a year ago- a clip that apparently stuck in my mind. Being a person of faith I can certainly resonate with Terry’s comments on the parallels between musical practice and your own spiritual development. Doug Yeo, like myself is an alumnus of Wheaton College and currently is the Bass Trombonist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
This past Spring while studying for my DMA Comprehensive exams I was directed by a friend to the Mind-mapping software program FreeMind which is an excellent diagram tool for visually arranging information. He had been using the program as a study tool, but I can see the potential for so many uses. This morning I played around with the program and created a document that focused on the topic of Practice.