Sunday, September 25, 2011

Top 7 Reasons I live with Kids

Kids go through stages. Much has been written of these stages. I've even studied many of these stages. From my personal experience, however, I've learned to readily recognize these two stages: Whiny Little Girl Syndrome, and Temporarily Cooperative. The "Temporarily Cooperative" Stage (my personal favorite) often comes as a surprise and sometimes makes up for the "Whiny Little Girl Syndrome." It is always good (read healthy) for me to make note of the times the kids have surprised me. So here are the top 7 reasons (this week) that I live with kids.

Reason No. 7 - We totally made a wetlands biome out of construction paper and clay.

Reason No. 6 - Sitting through early morning orchestra so we can race to early morning choir as soon as it is over. This way I can be a "soccer mom" and work full-time. It's like having your cake and eating it too.

Reason No. 5- Listening to Bobo belt out "I Will Survive" on ukulele and realizing it would sound better with a horn section. Not only do the boys agree, they grab a sax, a trumpet, and a trombone and back her up. (More on this next week)

Reason No. 4 - Coming home, after working late, to find the kids have a concert in 10 minutes. When I say, "Give me one reason that I should attend," they give me two words, "Herald Trumpets"

Reson No. 3 - Watching kids improve through perseverance and hardship. All throughout high school, Jojo never knew how many clarinets were in the orchestra because he, "never looked behind." This year, as a freshman in college, he knows (that's the percussion behind him).

Reason No. 2 - Kids make great friends. I go to concerts to support my kids, but the bonus is that I also get to see my kids' friends perform as well. The more people I know in the concert, the more I love every minute of it. (Go Jenna!)

And Finally,

Reason No. 1 - It gets me out of the house and encourages me to tackle the hassles that I would otherwise pass by. The Dixie State College orchestra performed at Pine Valley, over an hour away -- listening to Aaron Copeland in the wide open spaces of nature was beautiful. But the most touching song of the set had to be the 1812 Overature. I've heard this song performed on multiple occasions and I know it is supposed to have a canon. But to hear church bells peel as the symphonic orchestra plays brought tears to more eyes than just this writer's.

As a post script to all of this. I would just like to add that I love old people too. I can't help but notice that the audiences of all these concerts I attend is more often than not composed of seniors and above. This is a cross section of people who do not let the hassles of age and stiffness keep them in the house. And when the National Anthem was played in Pine Valley, the conductor announced, "Stand if you are able." The entire audience laughed. They were not going to let a little weakness of flesh keep them from respecting their country's anthem. They all stood and sang.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Der Taktstock

The DocUtah 2011 is in the can. For those of you not acquainted with DocUtah, it is an international documentary film festival in part hosted by Dixie State College of Utah.  Judea wrote and directed last year's commercial. This year she directed the sequel.

Last year Judea entered her film "Blackfire: A Modern Warcry" (congrats on the honorable mention, sis). Here is a clip from that film.

My favorite film from last year was a German film entitle "El Systema". It was a documentary on the afterschool orchestra program for students in Argentina. This year my favorite film was also a music oriented film from Germany. "Der Taktstock" was an audience favorite. Judea talked me into seeing it a second time. And she snuck off for a third viewing.

If you get a chance to watch or purchase this film, I'd highly recommend it. It reminds me of the joke "How many conductors does it take to change a lightbulb?" The answer is, "Nobody knows, cause nobody watches."

This movie is great for anyone who aspires to conduct, any musician who has ever been conducted, or anyone who has ever gone to an event that involved a conductor. (And everyone whose mother wouldn't let them touch her baton.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

This Week, Last Week's Photo's

Naji on Carousel

Naji at waterpark

Naji finally smiling
Bobo's new grey contacts
I knew even when I wrote last week's post that it needed photo's. But that is one of the write blockers -- waiting until all conditions are met before posting. So this week is going to be mostly pictures with no text and then hopefully by next week, my narration and visualization will be back in sync.
Last week I talked about practicing, but as you can see below -- it's not all practice. Notice, however, there isn't much difference between the practice faces and the fun faces.
Bobo on Carousel
Bobo With Cello
JoJo with Tenor Sax (notice it's much bigger than his beloved alto sax)
Naji with viola
Bobo finally smiling