2012. A Reflection and Goals for 2013.

2012. A Reflection and Goals for 2013.

To say 2012 was a busy year would be an understatement. I celebrated a milestone birthday, saw the birth of Zachary Andrew (our second son) and bid farewell to my friend and mentor Michael Carney. As I wrote on my FaceBook wall, “It is very hard to say goodbye to someone who has meant so much to me and my family over the past 22 years. I was grateful I had the opportunity to study, teach, work and be around someone like Dr. Michael Carney for so many years. Being in the room today and spending time with former students and singing for Michael will be something I...
Audition Advice 102

Audition Advice 102

Last month, I wrote an article about Audition Advice. We received a lot of good feedback on the post. Be sure to check out the comments for additional tips. I am planning on releasing my tips as a PDF document in the new year. I also wanted to draw your attention to some videos on this same topic that feature professors from Indiana University. We have previously featured “Kevin Bobo explains how to “play hurt” in an audition” from a video series called “Project Jumpstart Workshop: The Art of Winning Auditions” from February 8th, 2011....
Audition Advice 101

Audition Advice 101

Auditions are just around the corner and I thought it would be a good idea to crowd source an audition advice post so that we can give some advice to incoming freshman and transfer students who will be auditioning soon. To start off the discussion, I thought I would present my observations and suggestions from past auditions and ask other teachers and percussionists to add their comments below. In a couple of weeks, I will compile all of the comments and create a master list of audition advice. Audition Advice Run your entire audition several times prior to your live...
How Effectively Do You Use YouTube?

How Effectively Do You Use YouTube?

We all know that YouTube is a valuable source for any musician. According to YouTube’s statistics, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We all know that there are a lot of bad videos included in this number, but there are also many videos that are educational and worth watching. So how do you use YouTube? Chris Robley wrote a blog post on the D.I.Y. Musician Blog (a service brought to us by CD Baby) detailing the “Top 5 Tips for Effective Music Video Promotion on YouTube.” Some of the top tips included: 1. Add links at the top of the...
Digital CD release/marketing/distribution

Digital CD release/marketing/distributio...

On September 12, Tom Burritt and I sat down for a somewhat impromptu google+ hang out to talk about digital/CD recordings and their marketing and distribution. Take a listen to hear about how to get your recordings into iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. And, a few other services you may not have heard about. After watching please leave your ideas/thoughts below the post. —– Originally posted on DrumChattr.com on September 13, 2012. The photo in this post is used under the Creative Commons License: Attribution – NonCommercial – No Derivs 2.0...
Navigating Social Networks Article

Navigating Social Networks Article

I was interviewed for an article called “Navigating Social Networks” for Halftime Magazine. The article is now available online. Thanks to Jeremy Chen for asking me to be a part of the article. Below are some excerpts from the article. Click here to read the entire article. Navigating Social Networks By Jeremy Chen With social networking now being a significant game changer in the entire world of communication, marching arts organizations must ensure that this medium is being understood properly and being used in a manner that benefits—rather than hurts—them....
John Luther Adam’s Inuksuit Resource Guide

John Luther Adam’s Inuksuit Resour...

“…to act in the capacity of the human” John Luther Adams is one of the 21st Century’s most important composers. He has written a lot of extraordinary music for chamber ensembles, orchestras, solo instruments and specifically percussion ensembles. Most of his music draws inspiration from the outdoors, especially the landscapes of his home in Alaska where he has lived since 1978. Inuksuit (2009) was premiered at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta and received it’s US premiere on the campus of Furman University in South Carolina. I am fortunate...
2 Mallet Double Sticking Considerations

2 Mallet Double Sticking Considerations

The semester is in full swing and have been continuing to teaching marimba fundamentals to my students at CSU, Long Beach. One concept I talked about was 2 mallet double sticking considerations, so I thought I would list my ideas here and see if anyone in our community had any additional thoughts. 2 Mallet Double Sticking Considerations: 1) When executing a double sticking, use your dominant hand whenever possible. We strive for evenness between the hands, but you are always going to have more control of your dominate hand. 2) Do your double sticking on the smallest...
Three Things

Three Things

The other day during one of my college percussion lessons, I mentioned to a student that with all of the things we need to learn as percussionists, I think there are three things that we should always be working on. I know it is naive to believe that these are the only things to be working on, but if you can continue to improve these areas, you will become more “marketable” as a musician. Student performers tend to think about the next thing they need to prepare for an audition, a rehearsal or performance. We all get stuck in this train of thought, especially...
The Working Percussionist

The Working Percussionist

For the past 13 years, I have been a lecturer at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music @ CSU, Long Beach, and every semester my students ask me what it takes to succeed as a working percussionist. Now that it is February and the semester is up and running, I thought I would include some of those thoughts here. I strongly believe we need to create our own opportunities in order to “succeed” as a working musician. Sure, some of us are going to win a Symphony audition or be at the right place at the right time, but more likely, you are going to have to work hard,...