Monday, July 16, 2012


Here's my stream-of-conciousness rambling of what has been going on in my day-to-day:

Masters' class: Analytical Techniques

This is a sort-of interesting, sort-of boring start to my tuesdays and thursdays that lasts for 3 hours with a professor who LOVES analyzing Mozart sonatas and discussing the different definitions between cadential extensions and closing phrases with the 2 other students (out of about 24 others) who seem to enjoy these mind-numbing expoundings as well. I really don't mind the idea of theory...and am glad I am being challenged...and i know it will most likely help me in my overall musicianship...but I feel sometimes too much of big picture person to worry so much about whether something is an extended upbeat or an introductory phrase. At least not worry about it so much that it's worth talking about for 10 minutes at a time. I think more often than not in this class "whatever floats your boat, people."

Masters' class: Learning and Assessment

This class is HARD but in the best way. We are learning about how students learn music, and how to teach them to actually be making music, not just learning about music, and it is exciting and somewhat revolutionary to me and the professor is so knowledgeable and down-to-earth and I love every minute. We took a music aptitude test...I am anxiously awaiting my results. I might even share the results here and talk a bit about that once I'm not exhausted and feeling like I might die from lack of sleep swamped with homework and projects.

Master's class: Choral Conducting Seminar

The first day, this class made me sick to my stomach. Imagine having to get up in front of all your colleagues of a Master's program and conduct them singing college level choral repertoire. You must not only teach them the music accurately, but you must be listening for intonation and style and be engaging to boot. Oh, and all the while, your professor is criticizing your conducting pattern and ictus and prep beats.

Got that picture/feeling in your head? Now imagine that after this terrifying experience you get to sit in a class with this professor for 3 hours and watch your video of this rehearsal and get criticized some more. This is my Tuesday/Thursday afternoon.

It is really stretching and I like it in a weird way...but it can be pretty scary. The professor has said a few times that I don't seem to be shy...if only she knew how long it has taken me to overcome that. In some ways I still haven't. At least I'm putting on a good act. :)

Master's class: Supervision and Administration

This class is interesting. It is all about the role of the Fine Arts Administrator in the school setting ...which it sounds like many people in the class do not want to be...but it is helpful to think about. We discuss and do projects on things like building renovations, angry parent emails, scheduling conflicts, program advocacy, and curriculum just to name a few. The professor is young guy from a local school district who actually does this, so it brings a lot of real world experience into the classroom. It's most amusing to see my classmates get into somewhat heated arguments over these potential situations we are supposed to gets a little tense in there sometimes between the band and choral people. Great big picture class.

Master's class: Lab Ensemble

This class brings in the practical aspect of what we are all really doing here. As I said before, I am one of the three conductors for the choral portion. There are four student conductors of the band portion ( for which I play French horn...let's just say their are some sad tuning issues) and there are two student teachers for the general music portion. It is a safe place to try different techniques for these classes or ensembles and hone your rehearsal skills and conducting practices. Even if you're not a conductor though, you still get the benefit of hearing the professors teach the student conductors in lab, and that is pretty beneficial, I think.

The kids

Oh, the poor children.  :) I think Isaac is getting a tooth because he is waking up about 2-3 times a night.  Either that or the monstrous boy is growing again, because giving him a bottle when he wakes up shuts him up again and I can sleep he can sleep.  Jeremiah is sensitive, but having fun with people who are here to help while I'm in school, like his Grammie, who's a ton of fun and a big lover of kids.  He needs me to be here when I'm here (as does Isaac), so I do all my schoolwork from about 8-12 or sometimes 1am at night.  Yeah.  It's a bit tiring...but so far, we are halfway through and still having a somewhat good summer together.  We go to the beach for dinner every friday night.  We play a lot of angry birds on my new ipad (thanks mom and dad!).  We discuss not pushing each other (this is for both boys, believe it or not).  It's all good.  I just want to say that Jeremiah has the best laugh ever invented.

The house's not very clean.  But that's not really news, now, is it?  It's livable and looks very lived in.  Male-ness and kid-ness has taken over.  But never fear!  I will take up my cross again in the fall!  :)  Here's one thing I've done:  the new old hutch. (translation: old hutch that was here is now painted some fun colors and I LOVE it and it makes me feel like it's worth going on in life...or at least coming in the house as it's the first thing I see when I walk in):

 the before: brown honey stained wood
the after: black with cloud blue inside

The garden

MY TOMATOES ARE GROWING!!!!  (commence Hallelujah chorus)

friends and family happenings  

My hubby is enrolled in his seminary classes for the fall and is very excited.  I am halfway through my masters for my second of three summers and am a little overwhelmed but love being there learning what I'm learning.  Jeremiah is doing summer preschool and liking it a lot better than last summer and is probably going to be 6 feet tall by the time he's in 1st grade.  Isaac is walking more than ever and so cute and thinking he is 4 years old as well.  Jon's mom and gram were here to help with the kids the past week, and it was so nice having so much help.  Jon's sister and her family just moved here from cross-country and we will see them so much now!  Blessings abound.  :)

Hope you have a great rest of your summer...maybe I'll post more at some point, but I have oodles sonatas to analyze and choral pieces to conduct and tests to take and papers to write and and and.  It will all be over soon, and then it's back to the real world of teaching.  I'm trying to enjoy this while I can.  :)  'Cuz it is pretty great.   

Saturday, July 07, 2012