Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday morning I went to my favorite elementary school, Valerie.
I was the music teacher there for 12 years.
The principal asked if I could help with the 8th grade graduation music.
I made a few CDs and dropped them of to her.
The teachers looked so beat up!
The parents had a lovely appreciation luncheon and invited me to eat. That was a very nice gesture. I think that they miss me.
That afternoon I went to my old high school position, Dunbar. I had to borrow the drums and I was returning them.
I saw one of my favorite students Ron Wilkes. (I only had about five I could stand). He is the proverbial tortoise who wants to play the trumpet. Emanual Goss was giving him a free private lesson. I am so glad that he is there.
While I took him home, he was telling me that the band never thought that I would leave despite their constant fighting and rudeness. I guess they learned that some people mean what they say.
I think that today Emily and I are going to fly her kite. It is going to be a perfect weather da. i will do my best to make it a perfect family day as well
On Memorial day I hung out the US flag and noticed that I was the only one in the neighborhood that did. I remember when I was a kid that every house was flying Old Glory. The US spirit is fading fast. I wonder if the economy and the War is the problem or people are just plain lazy.
Monday night was our annual "Music Teacher" cookout.
It was really more of a gathering than a party.
Just tables of quiet conversation.
I like this venue best.
I had ten people show.
My nephew stopped by because he wants me to be his personal fitness trainer.
I left the group for about 30 minutes and just left them on their own.
I don't think that they ever missed me! (I loved that).
When the party was over, I turned to clean up and found that they had completely cleaned everything up. All the food was wrapped in the fridge and the dishes rinsed an put in the dishwasher. Classy people.
Sunday was kind of interesting. I was asked by the Hauer Swing Band to play the drums at a Memorial Day celebration at an Opera House. The truth is that is took about 20 minutes to "get my hands back". Some of the musicians there were very complementary about how I improved so fast. One said that the first songs sounded like a junior-high drummer trying to sit in.
By the end of the night, I was back to my old self.
My Dad and his wife were there and I could tell that the old man was very proud.
I did notice that playing the drums is boring after getting to play with harmonies and colors on the piano.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Went to UD today to rehearse with the big band. My friend, Tom, came along and really enjoyed listening. He is production engineer for Clear-channel TV & radio. I really think that he's rather be a professional musician.
After rehearsal, Tom and I took UD senior Brian Panetta to Cici's Pizza. After that, I interviewed Brian for episode two of my musicteachers911 podcast. I must admit that I wasn't nearly as together as this young man. His answers were wonderful.
At night I attended the Dayton Public Schools retiree Dinner. It was so boring and depressing. DPS has downsized so much that everyone looked so depressed and beat up. Because of all the lay-offs last year, there wasn't that many teachers left to honor. Only 20 retired and we used to have over a hundred every year. We won't be replaced. sad, really.
I did find out that my favorite principal got the Rotary Club "Administrator of the Year". I couldn't be happier. Her name is Delores Evans and no one deserves this more.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The performance last night was at the Packard Museum. It was for Fox TV. The event was very classy (open bar, dinner, big band)
I played the drums with the band. It was interesting because I hadn't played the drums with a big band in over thirty years.
Everyone said that I played great, but I found something out. After playing melodic instruments for so long, drums are pretty boring. I have to play with the band again this Sunday and that should be the last time for a long time. I am also spoiled because drums are such a pain to move and set up. I also don't like playing hunched over. (sore back next morning).
On the plus side. My friend Bill Hauer tuned the drums and they sounded very good. I still like electronic drums better, but big band musicians hate them.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Oakwood parade went off without a hitch. Bernie, my blind friend went with us and had the time of his life. I rode a small motorcycle to the parade so that I could manipulate the crowds and get home in time to meet the astrologer partner. Her name is Renee and she is very nice. Her desire to learn astrology is refreshing. She stayed for two hours.
Urban Nights had great weather but the turnout was a little sparse.
The UD big band gig was fun. The five string bass was making an awful static noise. I found out that the thing takes a 9 volt battery. I never had a powered bass or guitar before. I asked the nursing home if they had batteries and they said they'd look. I remembered that my Dad lives around the corner and asked him if he had any extra smoke detector batteries. Five minutes later the bass was working without a hitch. Who know that my Dad would still be my hero i at 88!
Ud asked if I would buy a bass amp for the school's big band. i called my buddy, Jim McCutcheon. He is a guitarist that also owns a music store. He sold me a terrific one at a bargain price. It's here at my house now with the UD bass.
I went to Sinclair College last night to rehearse with the gospel choir and to pick up their drum set to use tonight. I am playing with a big band at the Packard Museum for a benefit by Fox TV.
we all have to wear tuxes and play old time music. It's a dance for charity for the museum.
Power went out today and I am at my sister's now using her wi-fi topost this.
At noon, I am working on an old ladies riding mower. I think I only have to sharpen the blades and change the oil.
all for now. Will tell you about the gig tonight on the next post.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Well, I played the Urban Nights Festival in downtown Dayton last night with the Sinclair Gospel Choir and it went well.
First episode of the musicteachers911 podcast is finished. Now all I need to do is to figure out how in the world to get it posted on iTunes. I am trying to use Podango. Wish me luck!
Today I am holding the Oakwood banner for the Oakwood Centennial "That Day in May" parade. Should be fun. At 2 PM, Renee is coming over to study astrology together. She heard me on an astrology podcast and wants to meet. This should be enjoyable not to think about music for a while. At 6 I play bass with the University of Dayton Big band. I am using a five string bass and it is a little tough getting used to it. It's a nursing home so whatever we sound like will be appreciated.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I have been working on starting a podcast called musictechers911. I have been getting amazing advice from two giants in the Music Tech field. They are:
Keith Mason from podcast, Music Tech for ME
and Joe Pisano, from Mustech.net
They heard a sample of mine already and, except for a few minor technical adjustments, said that it was pretty good.
My first guest was Bands of America Hall of Fame member, Wayne Markworth. He gave terrific answers.
With Keith and Joe helping me, I think that my podcast just might be a good resource for music teachers nationally.
The reason I even started this podcast is that Joe wants 100 music teachers to start blogging and I figured I would at least give it a try. So far.... It's pretty fun!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So I get on Google.com yesterday and start search for a title called Music Teacher Survival guide only to find out that someone already published a book by that name. So I had to change the name of my podcast before I posted the first episode on iTunes.
Today I started a new podcast called musicteachers911.com.
I did a "Google" search for that and the only hit was my own website. So I am now off and running without any worries of being sued.