This past school year, I had the pleasure of working with a great bunch of horn students. A friend of mine saw a video I posted of me playing Frippery 21. He sampled it and turned it into a track. I took that track and made this short video of some of my students from the school year.
One of the most common issues I find with horn players is hand position. Hand position is one of the most important aspects of playing the horn, yet it's one of the last things young horn players think about.
Here's a quick video that shows where the hand should go and why it's so important. There's a few cameos from my students, too. This was a fun one to shoot.
I asked my 8th grade horn players why they like playing the horn. They have so much personality, I knew I had to get their answers on video. I also asked them to give some advice to new horn players.
It's day 2 of the music challenge! Today's song is a song you like with a number in the title. This one was a little easier than yesterday's. I was obsessed with both of these songs when they first came out and they're still in heavy rotation.
24k by Bruno Mars
I was always a fan of Bruno Mars' live shows. Live band, dancing... he puts on a high energy show. But, I've never been much of a fan of his music until he did Uptown Funk with Mark Ronson. And then he dropped 24K. I love almost every song on the album. This is the one that fit the challenge.
1 Thing by Amerie
I fell in love with Amerie's music when she released her first single, "Why Don't We Fall in Love" during the summer of 2002. Then she followed up with the 2005 release of "1 Thing". The fusion of go-go and R&B will (almost) always win with me. Amerie and her then producer Rich Harrison make magic together.
The other day on Instagram (follow me @jsquaredhorn), Kadeem Hardison posted a pic with a 30 day music challenge. I decided to get in on the fun. Why not?
This was actually harder than I thought it would. I must've had brain freeze because it took me at least 10 minutes before I could even think of one song that had a color in the title. Of course, after I posted the challenge on Facebook and everyone started posting other songs, I remembered all of the songs mentioned. I still came up with a good one, though.
Orange Moon by Erykah Badu
One of my favorites. I remember hearing Erykah Badu perform this song live before the Mama's Gun album came out. I was mesmerized and I usually don't like to hear songs that I don't know. Erykah has been my favorite ever since she came onto the scene with On & On.
Come back tomorrow for Day 2!
Music has been in my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories are of being with my dad at his friend's house and hearing Hall and Oates' "I Can't Go For That" alongside Earth, Wind and Fire and Parliament Funkadelic (who scared the mess out of me with those costumes!). I remember riding in the car harmonizing along with cassettes of Take 6 and the Winans. Then, one day, I was given the opportunity to actually play and not just sing music.
When I was 9, a family friend gave us her daughter's old flute. I hadn't thought about playing an instrument before and if I had, I knew the flute wouldn't have been the one I picked. But, since I had no choice, I was stuck with it. I had to give it a try.
My mother enrolled me in a summer band program and my musician days began. For the first week of class, I sounded terrible. There were 14 flutes in my beginner class and I was 2nd to last. The only reason I wasn't last was because I could actual finger the notes I was supposed to be playing. Only problem was that there was barely any sound coming out of my flute.
One day, my teacher asked if he could take a look at my instrument. He looked amused as he inspected my flute. Apparently, it was old and all of the pads needed to be replaced. Plus, there was a loose screw that made two of the holes that were supposed to be closed stay open. After tightening the screw, he handed the flute back to me. I closed my eyes and blew the most beautiful note I had ever heard. I surprised myself. Immediately, I was moved to 1st chair. It was never me, it was the flute. I had been doing everything right. My love affair with music had begun.