This was one of those videos that I had to film, edit, and upload in one day! I've been really busy with some personal things lately (all good things, no worries!), and it just so happened that I only had time to make a video on the Thursday before my usual Saturday publishing day.
So here I was thinking that I needed to fulfill a few criteria:
I hate repeating topics because it feels lazy. However, I could always expound!
I had made a video almost two years ago about how I had failed my first ear training course, but I realized that after that, I hadn't made a video about what I actually studied during that time. The best way to go about this, I decided, was to talk about my textbooks! And besides, I had promised to show my textbooks if you guys asked. And you have. ;)
For those of you interested in checking out these books for yourselves, here they are!
Manual for Ear Training and Sight Singing
*There is a newer edition, but this was the one I used.
Anthology for Sight Singing
*There is a newer edition, but this was the one I used.
Music for Ear Training
Music for Sight Singing
*There is a newer edition, but this was the one I used.
77 Two-part Exercises (Kodaly)
*This one seems to be out of print on Amazon.
66 Two-parrt Exercises (Kodaly)
Yep, we totally fought over these piccolos in school. However, I only ever got to play with these piccolos whenever Paul got a hold of them. I think he knew I secretly wanted to play with them too but was always too shy to race everyone to the next time they could be checked out. I guess I've always been that way--if I can help not competing, I just won't. I ended up getting my current second-hand piccolo as a result, which I've been using ever since.
But man, I sure wish I could have started my piccolo career with these Burkart babies.
With regards to trying these piccolos out, filming, and editing, it was actually pretty smooth. I was delayed, however, in my delivery of this review for FCNY to approve. I thought you guys might like the story.
Disclaimer: It has nothing to do with flutes or piccolos.
I was going to spend all day Tuesday finishing up editing this video. On Monday night at 3:30am (technically Tuesday early morning), I woke up to an inflamed, swollen left index finger, with patches of rashes going up my arm. Now, I do have a history of having severe allergic reactions to bug bites, so I thought to myself, Oh God. This is it. This is it. I'M GOING TO THE ER.
In the process of getting up to inspect the damage in the bathroom (and continue freaking out), I woke up my boyfriend, Jon. We ended up surfing online to see if my symptoms matched anything. Nothing. Except for similar issues that included insect bite poisoning or acute infections.
Cue more freaking out.
Jon decided that we should call a 24-hour nurse hotline to help us decide whether or not to go to the ER. The nurse asked me a bunch of questions, most of which I answered with "no". She concluded that it sounded like hives, though she couldn't explain the mysterious swelling. She told me to put hydrocortisone cream on the affected areas and take a Benadryl to calm the swelling and itchiness.
Great. So now I just sleep and see what happens in the morning?
Oh great. What if I need to go to the doctor anyway tomorrow? What if it gets worse? I won't have enough time to finish my video then. What if I need to go for more doctor's visits afterwards? I might need to delay publishing the review altogether. But it's already the end of August. What do I do. What do I do? WHAT DO I DO, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
The Benadryl still succeeded in knocking me out, despite the racing thoughts.
I woke up in the morning to find that all the rashes had disappeared. Well, that's odd. Typically, any rashes I get takes days to disappear. In fact, I still have a nasty scar from an insect bite I got over a month ago.
Now only half my finger was swollen--from the tip to the 2nd joint. Hm.
Needless to say, I was filled with mixed feelings of relief that whatever this was seemed to be going away and confusion over what this thing even was. Was this just the beginning? Was it going to keep developing?
As you can imagine, it was difficult to sit still and edit. I still managed to do so, but suddenly, at around 6:30pm, I had an epiphany.
Jon had told me stories before about how he had accidentally gotten jalapeno juice under his nail when slicing jalapenos. His fingers swelled up for a few days. One time he didn't scrub a spoon he used to scrape out jalapeno seeds enough. He used the spoon the next morning to eat cereal. He knew it tasted oddly spicy but didn't think anything of it until he went to work with swollen lips.
That's when I realized that I had been slicing jalapenos on Monday night.
My left index finger is closest to the blade when I'm holding the jalapenos steady on the cutting board. I must have gotten jalapeno juice under my nail somehow and failed to wash it out thoroughly. Then, in the night, I must have used my other hand to touch my inflamed, swollen finger, gotten some jalapeno juice on my right hand, which must have touched the other parts of my arm while I was sleeping, causing those areas of my arm to break out in rashes.
I nearly went to the ER over jalapeno juice getting under my skin.
The nice thing was that I could finally fully concentrate on editing after figuring this all out. Still took me until 3:30am to fully complete and submit the video. I'm writing this blog post on Friday, and as of now, the swelling has diminished to just the size of a pimple between my nail and first joint. Yay.
There goes my sleep schedule. Trying to fix it again. Sigh.
At least it turned out to be a pretty good video, in my opinion. Hope you guys enjoy it too!
Don't get jalapeno juice under your skin, kids.
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Resona by Burkart:
- grenadilla wood hand-cut headjoint with solid silver fittings
- grenadilla wood body with silver-plated mechanism
- solid silver tenon and end-ring
- Y-style arms
- white gold springs
- split-E mechanism (standard)
- Resona pads
- Burkart scale
- A = 442
- optional Wave headjoint
*Please note that the prices listed in this video are marked as of August 2017 and are subject to change.
*Full transparency: I do earn a commission on each instrument purchased from FCNY using my code "JAF". :)
*Huge thanks to the Flute Center of New York for sponsoring this review!
While I thought that Dr. Bob sent me the midi file a few months ago, I found out just yesterday while I was editing this that he sent it in February 2016.
The cringe is pretty real.
I've always known that I would never be a composer because I've simply never been inclined to make up my own melodies. It was always something that "the composers" ("those other guys" in my mind) did--it was never something for me to do. Prior to music school, I never thought I would have to compose a string quartet, as I hadn't been introduced to voice leading and harmony rules before university.
So you can imagine how I felt when Dr. Bob announced at the beginning of our Music 201 course that we were going to be writing string quartets.
I was not thrilled.
I remember sitting in front of a piano in a practice room, plunking away in a vain attempt to come up with a reasonably okay melody. I honestly wasn't inspired at all, and I never was inspired at all throughout the entire process.
But is that a bad thing?
I don't think so. This project made me appreciate composers so much more (and not be as critical of the student composers who would write pieces for their fellow colleagues to try out) and even changed my mind about some composers that I didn't like before, namely Mozart. This project opened my eyes to this whole other realm of the music world that I was completely ignoring before, and I stopped brushing off my friends who were composers. I now looked at their music with a newfound admiration, and I became a much better cheerleader for them. It closed the gap between me, a performer, and them, the composers.
I wouldn't want it any other way. :) Thanks, Dr. Bob!
Alright, now for the part that I'm sure some of you are looking forward to, because I know a bunch of you are secretly little devils like me who would want to try out a horrendously awful string quartet for yourself, just to laugh at how terribly written it is.
Here are the pdf's of the full score and parts. You're welcome.
This was again one of those videos that I had thought of making for a long time, but it was difficult to put my conclusions about my experience to words. You see, when I first got this exam back, I thought it was the most unjust thing in the world.
I had studied the way I always studied history. it was a tried and true formula that worked throughout all of high school.
Well, that's what I learned. This wasn't high school anymore.
I was now expected to think critically even when I wasn't specifically called upon to think critically during lectures. The moment you're called upon to give your own thoughts and conclusions was never during class--it was during the exam. You wrote down your findings about how Event A led to Event B, and how Thing A contributed to Event A happening, which in turn resulted in the development of Thing B.
It was a rude awakening to be tossed from the expectation of memorizing facts into the world of drawing conclusions and making findings based on historical events and facts. The years did matter because it meant that Thing A developed before Thing B, and therefore Thing A probably had a role to play in the development of Thing B. Your answer was about what that role was.
I really hope that this video reaches other first years going into music school. I wish someone had been more explicit about how exams are different between high school and university because I know that at least I would know why the first few marks I get were, in fact, quite justified.
It's one of those videos where I can't really give a super concrete conclusion because I honestly am still dealing with this question. To be honest, I actually tried putting in a conclusion, but it felt so forced that I ended up cutting it completely. That's why we're left with a video that feels like there's not much offered in terms of exactly how to deal with this question.
I do think that this question had a part to play in why I am so convinced that no one can play an instrument exactly the way someone else does. We often are taught that we want to sound like the "greats" of our respective instruments. While it's wonderful to have great role models to look up to and learn from, I find that we often interpret this idea as, "I need to sound exactly like them to be successful."
The truth is, though, we can't ever sound like them, no matter how professional we become. I really thought this question, "Wait, can I play that?" would go away by the time I became a professional, and it didn't. What I found, however, was that I could play the piece in question, but I could never make it sound exactly like the person I was comparing myself to.
That's what made me realize that perhaps we can never sound like someone else because of the simple fact that we are not them. We don't have the same bodies. We don't have the same minds. It'd be silly to assume that all these different bodies and different minds can make the same instrument sound the exact same.
And besides, how boring would that be?
So for now, I'm contenting myself with the fact that at least I know that it's actually physically impossible to sound just like someone else and giving myself permission to not compare myself too harshly with others. Instead, I have room to admire other people's style of playing.
It really makes for a much more interesting world. :)