| The most amazing video on the internet!
| For a good time go here
I don't know why, but this is one of my favorite pieces of music:
Actually I think I know why ... it has a rock/pop sensibility while also being art of the highest level.
That last chord always makes me smile.
| And now for some politics
| Jazz Studies?
LN, I finally got to read the whole article and I have many feelings about it. It would make an interesting discussion if anyone is game.
Here is a quote:
"As more composers expect instrumentalists to be able to improvise, music colleges are adjusting their curriculums. The National Association of Schools of Music, an umbrella organization that sets standards in music education, added improvisation to its list of required subjects for the bachelor's degree in the early 1990s. At the Manhattan School of Music, improvisation is part of a new graduate program in contemporary music, and is open on an elective basis to all classical-music students."
When I went to Manhattan School improvisation was all but unheard of. I learned a lot about jazz improvisation, but not from the teachers. I learned from jazz players in the school. We used to stay up to all hours jamming and listening to jazz records. I also went to many jazz concerts in those days.
I remember calling up the head of the Doctorate program a few years after I got my Masters in Music. I asked her if we could design a Doctorate in Jazz Performance for me as a cellist. Her response was that there was an exam that all students had to pass. "Learning jazz is all well and good, but how would that prepare you to write an essay contrasting the Strauss Tone Poems, or an essay on the cycle of Haydn symphonies?" That is the kind of small minded mentality that I had to face.
On the one hand I am glad that "academia" has finally taken a step into reality. I recently did a gig with two young female violinists who studied jazz in college. But part of me feels a little resentment because I was not afforded the opportunities that I should have been due to the climate of the time. I guess there is a price to pay when you are 30 years ahead of your time!
| Classical Star
Are you agreeing or disagreeing? Or are you bemoaning a fact?
And isn't it weird that people are called "rock stars" but not "classical stars"?
| All classical musicians secretly ...
Don't know how I ended up here
Classical Musicians Learn to Improvise
but I did.
Ah, that last line ...
| Coming up the back stretch...
I get a kick out of watching this page:
It lists all my youtube videos in order of views. It is like watching a slow horse race as some videos surpass others and work their way up the charts. For instance, we see that Iron Man has passed Crazy Chicks, part III, after only a few weeks. Will it pass Crazy Chicks, part II? I also see that Cello Freak Out is one view away from passing All the Things You Are. How cool.
By the way, there will be a whole bunch of new videos soon.
| And you didn't even call!
You went all those places in the U.S. and you didn't even call?!
Well, I'm glad you had a good time. My summer was very busy. But guess what, someone from Spain just subscribed to my videos.
well im back jack
nyc vermont buffalo miami
london madrid murcia
i bought 3 laptops from dell and am now configurating them wifi bluetooth the works but none have that spanish n with the line on top..
mom not well but still knows my name
86..wat more can i ask
aarons link is great
| Sad Summer's End
Isn't it always somehow sad when the summer comes to and end? I find the end of every season a little sad. The fall has the best ending. It goes down in a blaze of color. Summer, on the other hand, just kind of fades slowly away. Then, BOOM, September comes and all hell breaks loose. It pretty much goes that way until Christmas time. Then things mellow out for the deep winter freeze.
When I was in my teens and twenties we would pull all-nighters. There was no Denny's in New York City but we used to go to places like the 24 hour Kiev Diner in downtown Manhattan. You'd go there with about ten friends at four in the morning only to find the place packed with other groups of ten friends. I would say, "Those were the days", but they weren't the days. They were just another stage in life. Best we can do is adapt to each stage and enjoy it while it lasts.
Maybe that's the sadness I feel at summer's end. I tried to enjoy the summer as much as I could (considering all the things that got in the way) and as much as I would like to hold it back on a string, it still manages to slip away. It's like the pull of the ocean, there is no way to stop it. We are just travelers in this strange world of ours. Just passing through...
| Oy, my aching head!
How did I spend the last weekend of the summer? Well, I decided not to sleep last night into early morning. I've spent the weekend with my friend from college and her friends from rural Vermont, now living in Essex. Friday night we went to a bar in Essex to celebrate a friend's birthday party. I got drunk -the most drunk I've ever been in awhile. Luckily I got to sleep on Friday night. From that point on I made the vow never to go to a bar again - realized I really don't like the atmosphere, nor the noise, nor the people who frequent late-night revelry locations.
Saturday I got to sleep in late, thank god, but I had a wicked hang-over. Saturday night I found myself with the same friends again, but I had a much better time with them then I had the previous night. We went for a late dinner to TGI Fridays - ate the best salmon and rice I've ever had, and then went back to their house in Essex for a little game called "Beirut", or "beer pong"....it involves cups of beer in a triangle formation on either sides of a table, and two teams of two, who have each have ping pong balls you try to throw into your opponent's cups.
Well, this was fun...much better then a bar since I could hear myself talk with my friends while we were playing the game. Turned out we stayed up untill 3 in the morning playing beer pong. We then hit the road to Denny's for an early morning breakfast- say about around 5:30-6:00. I was then driven home and finally went to sleep. Now I'm up finally and it's almost Labor Day. Ahh, the life of a college grad! I'm going to have dinner with my bible study group tommorrow on labor day. Plus, I'm officially on vacation for work! a sorely-needed vacation let me tell you.
comming up on my radio show - my special "pre-talk like a pirate day" show on Sept. 12th, and a special show with accordion-playing theater director as guest. Not sure when that will be.
One more thing, my show is now year-round on Friday 5-8pm. I will never have to switch timeslots again!
Ahh the life of a guy who does lots of volunteer stuff but does not get paid for it!
| Last weekend of the summer
The Beach Boys had an album called Endless Summer, but as we all know, summer does come to an end. And how does a musician spend the last weekend of summer? Playing gigs of course.
I sit hear enjoying the serenity of a Saturday morning knowing that later this day I will be putting on a tux, lugging equipment up and down steps, saying "yes sir and yes maam" to caterer and clients, playing all kinds of repertoire with energy and style, driving long distances, getting home late and tired. Ahh... the life of a musician!
But that's okay, it still beats working for a living!
| Look what I started!
In Yiddish there is a very famous word, "Oye!" That is the perfect word to describe the tirade that came in answer to my little post about relaxing and enjoying the loving Jewish vibes. Anti-Semitism is an amazing phenomenon isn't it?
Maybe senility is not so bad. At least you don't have to deal with reality!
| Well, back in my day.......
Von Cello wrote (probably quoting from another source):
"THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference".
This is really scary, but at 26 I can relate to the prayer parody above. I have the worst memory out there for remembering people - faces sometimes, but mostly I forget names. The other day I was at mass at my alma mater's chapel and I ran into old classmates of mine, or they could have been students not in my class but have since graduated...anyway, they knew my name but I did not remember their names for the life of me. Their faces, yes...they were very familiar, but I could not think of their names and I was really embarrassed. They were actually getting ready to leave for home so luckily I did not have to ask them their names. We said a quike hello, and "nice to see ya" then good-bye....that's probably the last I'll see of them for a while.
At the mass there was also a former college roomate of mine from junior year, but I did remmber his name and face. We got to chatting a bit; it was good to see him again.
BTW, Junior year was my worst, and most mischevous, year in college. I had side-burns back then, and was a little more over-weight then I am now (lost some this past summer working with a personal trainer).
Quite simply, I hung out with the wrong crowd Junior year and ended up drinking every weekend. And my grades slipped because of it. I guess I felt like it was my time to rebel and you could say I felt the need to...my mother worked at the college and she still does. It's a small campus and word gets around everywhere about everyone at St. Mike's, so I guess I was trying to change myself and experiement so no one would recognize me anymore and refer to me as "Stephanie's son". I love my mother, don't get me wrong, but I guess these days I still have a desire to change myself. On the radio I am now known as DJ Seamus (to go along with my Celtic music format), but I used to be known as "DJ Sterling" (my college nickname, long story). For a while after graduation, I signed up to sing with the liturgical choir at Sunday morning mass, and sometimes at Sunday night masses with the students....all well and good; I like singing and all - I'm a bass and I love singing those low notes-but eventually I quit liturgical choir. I felt I needed as much "closure" from St. Mike's as I can get. These days, my radio show, and being a memeber of the congregation at mass are my only contacts with the campus.
Where was I? What was I talking about? Oh no, I'm senile! 26 must be the new 62.
| Youth and Age
You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.
Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.
If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin. Keep away from children."
My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.
These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."
Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up.
THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
| Deja Vu all over again!
You know, back in the sixties there was a rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. There were all kinds of hints on Beatle albums. Of course we know that he really wasn't dead.
OR WAS HE???????????????
Thanks to the internet the truth can finally come out!
| Ooops, another misspelling!
Repitition - (pronounced "rep-pie-tishon"
The act of repeating something over and over again untill you get it right, or untill you realize that you already wrote that repitition is the act of repeating something over and over again untill you've gotten it right.
example sentance: "Repitition is the act of repeating something over and over again until you've got it right, Aaron! Did I mention that repitition is the act of repeating something over and over again untill you've got it right? I can't remember if I did or not, and plus, I can't remember if did or not.
See also: Deja Vu, or Comming Full Circle, or karma, or "It Comes Around" by Von Cello.
| Repetition is good, repitition is good, repetition...
You can say that again!
| Repetition is good
Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good Repetition is good
| Repeat the Beat
"I don't know exactly what happened in her brain, but I am sure I made a difference in her life. And that felt good"!
I know the answer to this, or at least will make a guess as to what the answer is here - it was repetition. You helped her to practice over and over again and eventually what she had to do just "clicked". Repetition certainly has been the key that's unlocked many of the difficult doors I'd had to open in my life. All it takes is practice, and the WILL TO practice; If I am interested enough in something I will pursue it untill I am really good at it.
| Children of Different Abilities
I have had some string students who had problems with certain functions. I'll never forget a viola student I had. She could read the notes... actually her reading was better than most, but she had no sense of rhythm. First she was in a group class and it was very hard not just on her but also the class. I was able to get her into a private lesson group and thank God for that.
At first I tried to just get her to clap along with a beat. She could not do it for the world. We spent a whole lesson on that. For the next several lessons we spent at least half the time on that and she was so pathetic that I wondered if I was just hurting her. Then one day all of a sudden she got closer to the beat. The next lesson she got even better. Eventually the wires connected and she could clap on the beat with ease!
A few more lessons and I got her to do two claps to a beat and other variations. I'd say within a few months she had learned how to play rhythms and she was able to go back to the group class. I don't know exactly what happened in her brain, but I am sure I made a difference in her life. And that felt good!
I would love to do a workshop on this but I don't consider myself an expert. All I can do is relate my experiences. I think it showed me that with patience and commitment most people can learn and improve their skills no matter what problems confront them.
Von Cello wrote:
"I have sometimes worked teaching music to children with various disabilities (if that's the word)".
My theater directer uses the phrase "people of all abilities", and I normally use that one too. I was born with slow physical and mental processing, and a non-verbal learning dissability in math (which also effected my performance in science classes), but all that means is that I am in-efficient in some area, but I exell in other areas of my life. I would have to say I'm blessed with my ability to walk and talk - activites which present some people born with differences with majr difficulty...I find it easy to speak clearly, though sometimes it takes me a while to put the exact phrases I have in my head into words, but when they do get out luckily those words can be understood and heard clearly by whomever I'm speaking with (though sometimes I do have a hard time putting sentences togtether logically...I guess that's part of my slow processing).
Aside from these things I was born with, I am a completely normal 26-year old who currently live alone, cooks for himself, cleans his own apartment, has a job, and pays his own expenses. I presently don't have the roomate, the car, or the girlfriend (I hope someday I'll find the right girl), all three of which would stereotypically go along with the college grad-type apartment, but for right now I'm happy with what I do have.
I am fortunate that working part-time allows me other time in my week to devote to the things I am intwerested in, such as radio broadcasting and my community theater group, the Awareness Theater Company, which works to bring dissability rights and issues to community at large. I perform along side of of other people whom were born with physical and mental differences, some of whom have cases more severe then mine, it is inspiring to see them work and thrive on the stage.
Now what specifiacally do you teach children with special needs, Aaron? Classical music appreciation? Cello demonstrations? Histroy of music? Would you ever be interested in leading a workshop up here? The Awareness Theater Company is sponsored by Vision, Strength, and Access Arts of Vermont, based out of Winooski, VT. (VSA for short). I have their number if you are ever interested.
| Dancing Disabilities
Thank you Edward for those thoughts. First of all, feel free to share any of your thoughts about disabilities. I have sometimes worked teaching music to children with various disabilities (if that's the word). At those times I have felt the power and importance of music as a tool for helping others.
As to the dancing as praise, there are places in the Bible where it talks about the Jewish people dancing. Even prophets danced. Of course it was not the twist or the monkey or the hustle! They did a spiritual kind of dance that was used as a way to lift the spirit toward God. There is a passage, I believe in Kings, where King David dances ecstatically before the Ark of the Lord as they were carrying it to, I believe, Jerusalem. He danced with total abandon and his wife became embarrassed and made some insulting comments about him losing his dignity. She was later corrected by a prophet, perhaps Nathan (as you can tell it's been a while since I read this part of the Bible) who told her that it is commanded to "praise the Lord", and what better way to praise him than with your whole body!
If anyone out there thinks I'm making this up, look this up in the Bible and feel free to post it here.
That is why at Jewish weddings Jews are so into dancing. Whereas in many other cultures the people sit and eat or stand and drink and that's about it. But vive la difference!
| Words I did not know and now I do...
Simcha, yeshiva, bialy, ringalevio, dancing as a form of praise...I'm learning so much on this guestbook. I don't think I would have ever heard these words and concepts before had I not met Von Cello, who not only shares his great music, but his great culture and Jewish faith, with the world. I only hope that I've been able to teach my freinds and family something about life as someone born with learning dissabilties...I guess we all act as teacher at some point in our lives; we all have different ways of looking at the world and I think teaching those ways to others leads to a decrease in ignorance. Ignorance is never good. Dancing, apparently is good. Luckily there are other ways of praying becuase I'm not too god a dancer. That's why I'm a drummer.
Simcha means joy in Hebrew. It is also the word for a wedding. Religious Jews will say, "Are you going to the simcha?" Dancing at a simcha is actually considered a commandment from God. The more you get into the spirit of merriment, the more praised you are.
What strikes me as sad is that there were anti Zionist (or what many would consider anti Semitic) comments on this page. I see comments like this all over the internet, including on many You Tube pages. I don't know if anyone noticed but I did respond on the page we are discussing with a comment of my own. So many times I am tempted to respond, but one can spend all day responding, so I usually don't. But in this case, it pissed me off that someone would use a page with old men sharing a sweet happy moment to spread political venom.
Oh well, such is life. Eat, drink, dance at simchas, and be merry!