This weekend I experienced Forest Bathing. It’s one of those things that I’ve read about that helps make your life more mindful. My family and I were hiking in some local mountains, and I, not being in tip-top shape, was falling behind the others. I started to feel really bad about it, but then, I thought what if I looked at the situation a little differently? So instead of putting myself down that I couldn’t keep up, I started to enjoy the solitary time. I noticed the different sounds, smells, and sights of the beautiful forest. It was so restful and wonderful. I was amazed to see how quickly I went from feeling stressed to feeling calm and happy.
My thoughts then went to our students. If they could learn to take a moment and switch their perspective from a negative to a positive outlook on themselves, they would be able to change those stressful thoughts into kind ones toward themselves.
May you all have a wonderful week!
I am so glad that students from the music department were able to go to hear the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in concert on Saturday night at the Alex Theater. Jaime Martin is the new conductor, and he really took hold of those reins! It was a fun and rewarding concert to play, and I am happy that several students were there to hear it!
October 1st is the deadline for signing up for the Carnegie Hall trip! This is an experience of a lifetime; you don’t want to miss it! Parents are encouraged to come! It will be an amazing trip! Sign up now!
I have a new treat! It’s at Starbucks and it’s a pumpkin creme cold brew. I’m looking forward to pumpkins, cooler weather, and of course, making music with all of the students! Everyone is off to a great start! Happy Fall!
Fun is a good thing, right? I’ve noticed that when I’ve performed in a concert that I felt good about, I describe it as having been fun! Sometimes, I think fun gets a bad rap, like it’s not serious enough, or it’s not deep enough. When I was younger, a part of me thought that could be true, but I noticed that I still felt that good concerts were “fun.”
Now, I am all-in with fun! I believe this is what Mary Poppins was telling us when she sang, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Music is fun! This week, I hope that we all find the fun in our daily lives!
On Saturday evening, we went to Descanso Gardens to hear a concert, the first one of their series, Silence. It sounded like an interesting premise, so we went. It was mostly electronic music, layered on top of each other so that the melody would morph into something really different, but not all at once. It became apparent that I would need to listen with “different ears,” meaning, my usual way of listening to music following motives, forms, keys, rhythmic interest, wasn’t cutting it. I finally gave up and just let the music wash over me, and that worked! I also began to notice the smells and sounds of the garden, which added a lot to my enjoyment.
It was definitely out of my comfort zone.
I then thought about how often we ask students to leave their comfort zones to try out new ideas, thoughts, experiences, and they do it! It’s not so easy, but important for all of us! I am grateful for my unusual concert experience and I hope that each of you find an interesting thing to do this week that’s out of your own comfort zone!
Yesterday, I walked in a Labor Day Parade in Wilmington. I am a member of the AFM (American Federation of Musicians), Local 47. It was a lot of fun to see many people I hadn’t seen for a while and meet lots of new people from the Actor’s Guild and other unions. The musicians are working towards negotiating a contract that has provisions to pay for streaming. This is such an important aspect to a new contract since how media is presented today is so different than it was only a few years ago.
It struck me, also, what a great community there is of performing artists and that I am so glad to be a part of that community at large and at La Cañada High School. Many of the people I spoke to reminisced fondly and specifically about their high school band and orchestras and you could hear how important these school programs were to them and their subsequent careers. Music is taught and handed down from one generation to the next. It’s a great tradition!
There now, that wasn’t so bad! We have completed a full week of school and we are all back on that bicycle… You never forget how to ride it! The orchestra has their seats, music folders, and has nearly learned one piece already! I’m so pleased by their musicianship and work ethic! More music and fun to come.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, January 16th… the Orchestra will perform at California Adventure. We will hope for a dry day!
Also… for ALL LCHS instrumental students, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has made $8 tickets available to us for the first concert, Saturday, September 28th at 8pm at the Alex Theater in Glendale. Save the date! More info to come next week.
As summer winds down and school winds up, I wish all of you a wonderful week!
It was great to see the orchestra students on Friday! Super great energy! Playing will begin Monday, August 19th, at 7:30am. Your name will be on your chair, so come in and have a seat! All Orchestra parents please come tomorrow evening to the Instrumental Music Parent Meeting in the Band Room at 7:30pm. Everything you need to know for the year will be explained, along with opportunities to sign up for volunteering and meeting lots of cool parents! I look forward to seeing all of you then!
Here’s to a new school year filled with lots of music!
Hello again after our summer break! I am looking forward to seeing you and your students again and hearing about your fantastic summer adventures!
We will meet the first day of school, Thursday, August 15th, 0 period, 7:30am. On that day and also the next day, Friday, August 16th, we will not be playing, so no instruments are needed. We will begin playing on Monday, August 19th.
We are going to have a great year with so many fun activities and amazing music! We are the lucky ones at LCHS because we get to start every school day with music! See you very soon!
Here we are, the last week of school! So much has been accomplished this year by all the instrumental music students. Now we can take some well-deserved relaxation and contemplative time. Something exciting to contemplate about next year is our trip to NYC and playing at Carnegie Hall! You do not want to miss this amazing experience of performing in one of the world’s most iconic halls!
I wish you all a great summer vacation and many mornings to sleep in! See you in August!