Way to go, Dylan!

Submitted by Dave Lietz

Dylan – Thanks so much for posting about your experience; sharing your love of music with your family and neighbors. Music is a great gift that can bring us all together, and we so need that today!

I really enjoy the Zoom sessions with Jaime and the others in the String ensemble. It keeps me on task with my violin practice and it’s just good to “see” others in the group. Hope to actually assemble safely again soon – DAVE

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Gathering the Neighbors

Submitted by Dylan Trautman

My Dad, Andy, and I play together a lot. He plays guitar, and I play violin or viola. With my electric Wood Viper 6 string violin I can play both by reaching into lower strings.

Last Saturday morning we took our garage band to the front porch for a concert. My long-time violin teacher, Michael, came and brought his young son and his violin, and joined us on a few numbers.

We played for about 45 minutes and performed many Americana pieces–everything from country swing to Cajun waltzes to traditional fiddle. Neighbors brought out chairs and blankets, people stopped their bikes and walks to sit on the grass, and a car even pulled into the driveway.

We met new neighbors. Everyone socially distanced, danced, and had a great time! People asked, “When’s the next concert?” So we are working on patriotic pieces and more for July. We weren’t expecting so many people (or anyone other than our immediate neighbors, really), but we’re all hungry to connect and be out safely. I was glad our music reached out to everyone. I am inspired to continue to put programs together, practice, and plan some performances for over the summer.

A note from Dylan’s Mom Jayne–

I helped Dylan write his post, as he wanted to share what he’s been doing. We really were amazed at the response that morning. The continued viola sectionals with Jaime and the Skype violin lessons with Michael have been a big help to encourage Dylan to purposely practice and have some things to plan for. Dylan’s day program closed at the beginning of the pandemic, and I haven’t heard of plans to reopen. So music is the center of daily activities for us. And our dog has never been walked so much! We hope everyone is healthy and safe, and enjoying music!

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Dangerous tootling

Submitted by Lee Nielsen – Flute

This evening while playing outside near a lovely hanging plant, I was buzzed by a bee. He ? circled me several times then landed on my flute. Yikes. Next he headed straight for my lips. I turned away quickly but dropped a beat on the last note. Key learning: Flowers attract bees, expect to get stung. Duh!

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When Your “Have Tos “ are Gone

Submitted by Marilyn Katzmark – Violin

I have to be honest with you, between work, music obligations, and grandchildren, I normally have next to no free time. Although practicing is a “want to”, it’s on my “have to” list. Even though I’m medical, my outpatient center closed. I spent a month feeling very lost without a schedule. All my “have tos” were gone. I couldn’t even follow through with practicing for private lessons.

Anyway, I did slowly adjust. As far as music, I tried to concentrate on the things I normally don’t have time to do. I’ve had a music theory book/workbook sitting on my dresser for a year. I started working on that – my weakest area. And I found out there’s no reason why I can’t do this before I go to sleep when I go back to work.

I love to let my mind think of music and lyrics. I was able to put a song I wrote in the computer. This normally takes me forever. I have little ditties (maybe 8-16 measures)in my phone that I’ve recorded so I won’t forget them- for when I have time. I was able to take one of those ditties and work on it from beginning to end. Eventually I started lessons and NH again. My teacher gave me an awesome song to work on ,“Meditation” from the opera Thais.

My favorite memory though will be my granddaughter asking for help on some music her trumpet teacher had given her. She’s too shy to practice in front of her family but she felt comfortable enough to have me play with her and listen to her. I felt truly honored. I can’t wait til she can play “What a Wonderful World” with me.

So I’m glad I’ve had this time with no “have tos”. It gave me some much needed respite so I can deal with my last 3 years of work. And when I retire I want to do some more of these projects.

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A Time to Remember

Submitted by John Rasinski – Saxophone

Before the pandemic came, I over committed myself. In addition to New Horizons, I had recently joined the Summit Metro Parks Ensemble, was preparing for an audition, and getting ready for my summer gig on the street in front of Canal Park. With rehearsal’s cancelled, the baseball season postponed, and some weeks of a work furlough, I found the time to start to get my feet back under me. All this was a good diversion from being stuck at home.

I don’t really have much of a musical serendipitous experience. Maybe it was learning to play the Woodwind Polka when initially I thought that was impossible until I dove into it. Maybe it was I got through most of the music I needed to (when I thought there was no way) and as a result pushed my playing up a bit.

But the true serendipity actually came from having time with my 18 year old daughter who moved in with me last year. The isolation from school and friends has been hard on her. I’ve made it a point to spend a couple hours a day with her. Generally, we go hit the baseball to each other, go for short drives, and talk. Without the pandemic, she’d be too busy for me and be out with friends. I told her we’d never have this time again, so I wanted to make the best of it. That’s the memory we both will capture from the pandemic, for me that part will be over too soon as it races into the past.

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Online piano lessons with Brian Turner

Submitted by JoAnne Turner – Bass Clarinet

I play bass clarinet in the NHB but in the past have taken piano lessons. I wanted to brush up on my piano skills, so I take online piano lessons from my son, Brian Turner.

Brian makes his living playing piano for various bands in the Asheville, NC area and toured with Caleb Johnson, American Idol winner, who was part of the lead-in band for the group KISS. I went to see them in Montana and all’s I can say is WOW!

Brian also makes his living teaching private piano lessons with kids and adults and does online lessons! All that you need is a keyboard, a moble phone and a love of music! It is fun and you don’t even have to leave your house. 828-279-9729
BRIANTURNERPIANO@YAHOO.COM
http://www.BrianTurnerPiano.com

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More Control over My Schedule

Submitted by Iskinder Arsano – Saxophone

The most outstanding thing for me should be the fact I can now sit for practice during a regular daily time window. Often I do serious practicing but sometimes I just fiddle with my alto sax even if the particular day’s attention span is limited to a few minutes.

Following Janet Scarry’s example I recommend the book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear for inspirations on how small intentional actions build into useful habits.

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Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Submitted by Janet Scarry – Flute

No more hustle and bustle since the lockdown has given me more free time to do a lot of things, including practicing. So, I decided to get out a book I used to practice in roughly three years ago. The book is by Marcel Moyse and it has excellent practice drills. One of the things I like about it is, the same drill will be in different time signatures. I highly recommend it.

Everyone be safe and stay healthy.

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Learning during the lock-down

Submitted by Lee Nielsen (Flute)

Since late March I have been playing a five minute concert on my front porch every evening at 7 pm in solidarity with many musicians all over the world to recognize our front line workers; health care, food, delivery, police, etc. who are taking care of us everyday. My audience often consists of squirrels, chipmunks, crows and the occasional neighbor waving from their yard.

One night the wind blew my music off my stand…couldn’t play what I couldn’t see…so I had to stop, retrieve my music and start again. Not good!

The challenge of being ready to perform EVERY NIGHT has forced me to pay close attention to the music, yes, but also the music stand, the wind speed, clipping my music down, the outside temperature, my barking dog and whatever. I need to learn to prepare to play, not simply play. Big, big learning for me.

Thanks, Lee, for stepping-up to share your introduction to porch performances during these COVID-19 times.

We welcome others to post their strategies to explore “new normal” activities.  Anyone taking advantage of this time to try-out a new instrument?  Perhaps you have videoed your pets as they enjoy your impromptu concerts?  Or, maybe viewing some online concerts have inspired you to put some swing and more smiles into your practices (while no one is looking).  🙂

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