I'm in Last Place



OK, so I'm the big slacker in the Practicing Pact this week. I've spent most of my waking life at school (in-services and preparation), and when not at school I've been at my desk at home, working on lesson plans, or (ahem) reading the summer reading requirements for my students so I can test them on it.

Others did better, though. And it's my hope that I'll be more "in their league" this week.

March practiced the dulcimer (solo practice and rehearsals) for 415 minutes. She's a member of a group called Pas de Deux that plays a mix of classical and traditional pieces. Among the traditional pieces are compositions by my beloved, bewigged, and bejowled one, including Sheep May Safely Graze, Sleepers Awake, and Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Much to my delight, she provided a link to a clip of Sheep May Safely Graze (a slower version, for guitar and flute) for our listening pleasure. She writes about her group, Pas de Deux, in her blog this week.

Hilda the oboist practiced for 210 minutes this week--an amazing feat, considering all of the job-quitting excitement in her life these days. Her repertoire includes "Funeral March of a Marionette" and the two Preludes from the "Well-Tempered Wind Quartet." Hm, "well-tempered" ... yes, she's playing music by The Man as well. Her few posts this week have all been about music, so I'll just link to the whole blog. It's so exciting and inspiring to read about (1) her love affair with music, and (2) her dwindling time in corporate America. Been there, done that, and am glad I did it!

Pei Yun logged 150 minutes on the double bass for this week (though I have an inkling that she practiced more than that, since she's Pei Yun and all). She's working with the orchestra on Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto. Her blog this week featured pictures of her orchestra playing at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, as well as pictures of an ensemble she played with (along with other pictures from her Scotland trip). She writes, "I have learnt that one way to keep myself interested and disciplined in playing on my instrument is to find a group of like-minded people to make music with. Then we schedule dates to rehearse together, regularly, and soon I find myself practising more than I would when I am on my own."

Good advice. It sounds like everyone who logged minutes this week (except me) plays with a group of some kind. And everyone (except me) logged lots and lots of minutes! I logged a big 60 minutes for the week, and half of that was practicing the tunes for this morning's pre-service praise music at church.

Great job, all. Feel free to post your minutes for the week of August 28 (today) through Sept. 3 (Saturday) in the comments to this post. All amateur musicians are welcome to participate. Let the practices begin!

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