I published Scale Studies for Beginner and Intermediate Flutists in 2007. In our fast-paced internet age, that seems like decades ago so I’m so delighted that my book just received another review! Many thanks to Dr. Tammy Evans Yonce, Assistant Professor of Music at South Dakota State University for the lovely review. Here’s an excerpt:
Overall, I think this is an excellent book for beginners (with the guidance of a private teacher) and intermediate students. It does a good job of preparing a modern flutist, including a variety of relatively complex rhythms, expanding to use the entire range of the instrument, and providing a fingering chart that gives the entire modern range. These are skills that modern students — even the younger ones — are becoming expected to know, and it’s nice to see them addressed in a concise method book.
Read more here.
PS. You can buy the book from AMAZON, FLUTEWORLD, CAROLYN NUSSBAUM MUSIC and WEST VALLEY MUSIC
“If you fear it, you’re doing the right thing.” – Seth Godin*
Half-way through the recording/editing stage of my second album, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel fear. Fear of bad reviews. Fear of disappointing the composers who wrote pieces for me. Fear of disappointing myself. Fear of failure.
Every major career-related milestone in my recent history has been due to hard work and risk taking accompanied by fear:
- May: Decided to commission composers on my own. The commissioning part is easy, the follow-through of paying for the piece and learning/performing it was the tricky part. Prior to this, I had limited experience performing extended techniques and new music.
- July: Decided I would record my first CD in time to send out as Kickstarter backer rewards. Did not know much about making a CD at this time.
- November: Start recording CD with a mix of new music and old stuff so I could prove to myself that I can play the old and new stuff.
- January: Successfully raised over $5K from friends and strangers via Kickstarter. The risk was that I set a very high goal of $5K that I had to meet, otherwise all funds raised would be returned. I could have tried to renegotiate the commissioning fees with Daniel Felsenfeld but my Korean upbringing would not allow such a public display of failure so failure was not an option.
- May: My first CD is released. Those who bothered to review it wrote very kind reviews.
September: Start recording my second album…
I’ve only listed the things with a HIGH fear quotient. Along the way there were many smaller fear inducing projects that succeeded and those that failed – failures that could have deterred me but I pressed on despite the fear. (The list of failures would be longer than the above list.)
Interestingly, all of the projects with a high fear quotient have been successful so far. This is probably because the fear makes me work harder, run faster, climb higher…like a squirrel being chased by a dog. When failure is not an option, I have been able to rise to the challenge thus far.
As I look back further into my past, I wonder where I would be now if I had tackled more of the opportunities that I feared instead of looking for the safer paths.
(Yes, I wrote this blog post as a way to encourage myself to keep going and embrace the fear.)
*If you don’t know who Seth Godin is, I highly recommend you get acquainted with his work!
On October 21st I will be teaching a 3-hour Body Mapping course called “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body: Balance, Breathing and Arms for Better Performance” in Campbell, CA. This will be the same course I will be teaching at DePaul University in November.
You will learn about Body Mapping and how it helps musicians become better performers. We will focus on learning about Balance, Breathing, and the Arm Structure. Plenty of time will be spent on experiencing movement in these areas and applying what you learn to performing with your instruments.
Enrollment is limited to 6 participants. The cost is $100. Please email me if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who: For adult musicians (16-17 yr olds welcome if accompanied by guardian). Taught by Meerenai Shim, Licensed Andover Educator.
What: Body Mapping course, “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body: Balance, Breathing and Arms for Better Performance”
When: Sunday, Oct, 21, 2012, 2-5pm
Where: Campbell, California
The ability to hear is very important to everyone. Most of us live in a world full of sounds. The auditory sense is one of our treasured senses but we don’t worry that much about it in everyday life because hearing loss usually occurs gradually and only “old people” need hearing aids. Imagine what your life would be like if you started to lose your tactile sense – your sense of touch. Imagine life without being able to smell or taste food. Losing your sense of hearing would be just as tragic for me. I started researching this topic for my flute students several years ago but I think everyone would benefit from this so here is my updated article: Continue reading
One should create art and allow for tons of mistakes while creating it!
Poets Allan Andre and Erin Likins
On Sunday July 15, 2012, I met Allan Andre and Erin Likins at the Campbell farmers’ market. They were traveling poets who study at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. (Yes, that’s a real school within Naropa University in Colorado.) This summer they will set up in a different city every weekend and write poetry on the spot for those who request one. I requested a poem and Erin asked me for a topic. There is a photo of the poem that Erin typed for me below.
One of the reasons why I am blogging about this is not because I’m such a rabid fan of poetry (I have a casual appreciation) but because I admire and envy their ability to make art on the spot – interacting with different people and locations every week. These poets depend on an idea or inspiration from the audience in order to create the poem. They also create on the spot, replying on their instincts and experience without much concern for mistakes. This is a kind of art making that is alien to me. When I perform, every note is carefully planned, calculated, rehearsed…or at least Continue reading
When I met Noah Luna, several years ago, he was a college student at CSUEB. He was working at a local music store at the time so I ran into him quite often. By the time he was a masters student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he won some composition competitions, started Beauty in Cacophony Press, and wrote a short flute and guitar piece for me. When I was ready to embark on a series of commissioning projects, he was on top of my list.
Thank you Noah, for participating in my first composer-collaborator interview:
M: How and when did you decide to become a composer?
Noah Luna: I decided to be a composer at the ripe old age of 16. I was in love with the game Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, particularly the music. I thought to myself: “Whose job is it to write the music to a video game? I wanna be that guy…” After finding out that there is SO much more than that out there, I fell in love with studying and writing music of all genres. Any job that allows me to write concert music, rock, jazz, and hip-hop, and still pay my bills was a dream come true.
M: Where did you get the idea or inspiration for Entrometido? Continue reading
How to send unsolicited scores or make first contact with someone you don’t know.
- Research. Does this person/group perform new music and do they enjoy learning new music? (You can still send scores to folks who don’t specialize or perform new music but set realistic expectations)
- Be professional and honest.
- Ask in your first email (or first meeting/tweet/contact) if you can send them a score or mp3 link, etc. Or include detailed links to pdfs or recordings in the first email. (If you don’t get a response, try a different method like facebook or twitter. Stalk performer/group in a non-creepy way by networking in person at concerts or via social networks…or ask a mutual acquaintance for an introduction. After you make first contact, go to #5, then #3.)
- Send a score/mp3 if requested.
- Keep in touch. Follow up with an email once a year or once every 6 months (but not too often) with your upcoming concerts. (It can be a personal email or mass Continue reading
Just a few notable flute makers and dealers. This is of course not a complete list. I’m just listing a few that I support.
- West Valley Music (Mountain View, CA) – The best music store in Mountain View. The best store for flutes and flute related items in the Peninsula and the South Bay.
- Flute Center of New York (New York, NY) – one of the best places to look for quality used flutes (and new ones)
- House of Woodwinds (San Ramon, CA)
- Flute Specialists (Royal Oak, MI)
- Flute World (Farmington Hills, MI) – One of the biggest flute/flute music stores in the country.
- Carolyn Nussbaum Music (Plano, TX)
- Weiner Music (Minelola, NY) – Woodwind specialists
- Palo Alto Violins – (650) 327-8465 – (345 N California Ave, Palo Alto, CA)
- Kamimoto Strings (San Jose, CA)
- Rolland Feller Violins (San Francisco, CA)
- Ifshin Violins (Berkeley, CA)
- Cellos 2 Go (Schenectady, NY)
- Shar Music (Ann Arbor, MI)