Outside Practice Scenes That Prevent Boredom

Hi everyone. I recently wrote about the benefits of practicing outdoors. I thought it would be fun to share some recent outside practice scenes that prevent boredom.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope these outdoor practice scenes have inspired you to spice up your musical practice sessions whenever possible. 🙂

Find interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE:
Marie Buckner owns and operates this site. She is a classically-trained musician/flutist with over 50 years of performance experience. She enjoys introducing others to the joys of the flute.

Contact Marie for your next live entertainment need. Whether it is a private or corporate party, retirement celebration, wedding, or birthday get-together – the flute is the perfect solution. Trust her to work with you to develop the musical entertainment you seek.







Short Poems To Kill Time

Hi everyone. Here are some short poems to kill time that I came up with while taking a ferry ride. The creative juices started flowing after watching a Red Green episode where Harold and Red were singing a tune that made no sense whatsoever. It was great!

Anyways…

Being a song writing novice,
Can be rather overwhelming
When it comes to being stumped,
Just do it and quit whining….
**************
Red Green on guitar,
Harold on spoons,
Sing about life,
While sitting in the boons.
*********
So worried about not rhyming lyrics,
Just sit and sit while tossing proses,
Only to watch a Red Green show,
Prove it comes and goes in doses
***********
It don’t rhyme,
It don’t jive,
Makes me laugh,
And that’s no crime.

That’s all I have for now.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE:
Marie Buckner owns and operates this site. She is a classically-trained musician/flutist with over 50 years of performance experience. She enjoys introducing others to the joys of the flute.







Benefits Of Practicing Outdoors

Hi everyone. Are you like me and just tired of practicing indoors? Do you feel like you need a change of pace because the “oompf” factor is gone? Well, I wanted to spice things up. What did I find? Here are some important benefits of practicing outdoors.

Fresh air.
There really is no explanation needed for this. It just needs to be said in case we forget about the air we breathe.

Meet new people.
When practicing in public places, I marvel at how far my music carries. People from across the park approach me. Those not in my eyesight approach me. It’s always fun to hear from people who listen to my practice sessions.

New opportunities.
One never knows who is listening. I have had listeners approach me and offer me new opportunities. Opportunities that otherwise would have not happened.

Stimulates others.
There have been many times when small kids walk up to me and just watch. I like to think that they may be a future musician. One never knows.

Then there are the dogs. It’s fun seeing a dog approach me and sit down. He may or not tilt his/her head. One owner mentioned how her bulldog loved music. Fun…

Birds love the flute. Many a songbird joins in. I even had some crows join in one time. Yikes..

New scenery.
It can be tiring looking at the same four walls everyday. Even though I may have different setup sites throughout my house, it started to get old quick.

Getting outdoors provides a fresh outlook on things. Being able to look up from music sheets to different surroundings is magical and refreshing.

Improves foul weather playing skills.
Whether it is wind, sun, cold, or other weather condition – practicing outdoors improves playing abilities.

It reminds us that clothes pins come in handy for holding sheet music in place during windy weather.

It reminds us that plastic sheet covers come in handy during wet weather.

It helps us realize the importance of gauging shady areas. Knowing we can pick up our stands and setup to move it to appropriate, more user-friendly areas is crucial for playing success.

It reminds us that hot weather expands instrument sizes. For instance, I completely forgot that flutes become flat when warmer weather sets in. Heat causes the instrument to expand, making it larger. The larger an item, the harder it is to be in tune.

On the opposite side, cold weather contracts an instrument – making it smaller. The instrument takes on a sharper tone. The keys are more difficult to maneuver, also. How interesting is that?

Outdoor gig preparation.
Nothing prepares a musician better for an outdoor gig than practicing outdoors. In addition to the above-mentioned foul weather situations, outdoor practicing improves player confidence, tone recognition, and overall musicianship.

Improves confidence.
This is a surprising one to me. Sometimes I am hesitant to practice scales and other studies within earshot of anyone. It is marveling to me that people don’t seem to notice that. I still get compliments about how lovely the music is. That improves my confidence.

Well, that’s about all for now. Can you think of any other than these key benefits of taking practices outdoors you want to share?

Find interesting? Kindly share with others…

AUTHOR NOTE:
Marie Buckner owns and operates this site. She is a classically-trained musician/flutist with over 50 years of performance experience. She enjoys introducing others to the joys of the flute.

Contact her for your entertainment needs. Whether it is a wedding, birthday party, retirement celebration, or private gathering – a flute can make all the difference.













Musicians: Know Your Paperwork

Hi everyone. I recently experienced an event during a performance gig that I believe is worthy of sharing with other performing artists. Musicians: Know your paperwork.

First: In order to protect yourself, you must understand the paperwork you sign, agreements you enter into, and other pertinent business endeavors. Failing to do so can result in embezzlement, misunderstandings, illegal/hindering contracts, and other possible dilemmas.

Case in point: I always make a point of telling my clients I expect payment date of performance. If this is not possible, I schedule a date that allows payment processing time.

So, with all the prior agreements (verbal and written) handled, I show up at the gig venue.

As I was setting up my performance area, my scheduler approached me. “We need you to sign this before we can pay you,” is what I heard. She handed me the piece of paper.

I read the document. It was a RECEIPT. I was to sign a receipt stating that I received payment before payment could be processed. WHAT??!!! No, I wasn’t going to sign it.

“This is a receipt. I have not received payment. I’m not signing something stating that I have received your payment when I have not. If I sign this, it appears that we have settled payment,” I explained.

“Oh, I don’t understand this. I was just told by Administration that you need to sign it. All entertainers sign this without putting up a fight,” she said. “No. Can I speak with the Administration person?” I asked. She went and got him.

He arrived. “It’s standard protocol for musicians to sign this document in order for us to process payment,” he stated.

“Can you explain to me what a receipt is?” I asked him.

At this point he was huffy and losing patience. “It’s a document stating the person received payment,” he said.

“Right. So, since I have not received payment, why is it you want me to sign a receipt stating I have?” I inquired.

He didn’t have an answer other than “it’s standard protocol”.

“Well, your company protocol is wrong. The only time I’m signing your receipt is when I have payment in hand,” I reiterated, “I was promised payment upon performance date. We discussed the performance/payment details two months ago when we set the date.”

“OK. Hold on,” he went into his office. I never saw him again. The scheduler came back, however, with a check for an agreed upon amount.

After I had the check in hand, I signed the receipt. “Thank you. I’m glad we got it all worked out,” I replied.

The musician paperwork situation was successfully completed. The performance went on as planned.

Moral of story: Please know your paperwork and what you are signing. Never sign something you are uncertain about. Always ask what a document is for. Obtain assistance when needed. Study up on the basic business paperwork.

Find interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE:
Marie Buckner owns and operates this site. She is a classically-trained musician/flutist with over 50 years of performance experience. She enjoys introducing others to the joys of the flute. Available for weddings, retirement parties, children’s parties, and other events.







Four Powerful Reasons To Practice

Hi everyone. Some of you have been contacting me wondering the importance of regular practicing. There are many to consider. Below are four reasons to practice your musical instrument.

Keep embouchure fit.
This applies to wind instrument players. Practicing regularly will keep your mouth/facial muscles in shape and/or taut. This will lower your airiness sound (if playing a flute or piccolo).

For myself, I notice that if I do not practice at least every other day, my tone is hindered. The sound of excess air is obvious.

Keeping your embouchure fit lets you play for longer periods of time. It increases your endurance. Your muscles will be in shape. Like any muscle, the more you use it, the more you benefit.

Improve your mood.
There will be times when feeling down is part of the day. Bringing out your instrument and playing a tune or two will change your mood. The hardest part is getting motivated to bring it out. You can do it!

Improve your technical skills.
Every musician needs to work on technical skills to play/perform efficiently. Practicing makes this possible. You will find better fingering, hand positioning, mouth positioning, and other attributes.

Build self confidence.
Every musical piece, whether new or old, offers something that will help build your self confidence. Practicing involves working on challenges, enhancing discipline, and learning new things.

All of the above factors play a role in building self confidence. The better you play, the more confident you will become. You will feel comfortable performing for others.

These four powerful reasons for practicing are all I can think of for now. I am certain there are more. Make practicing a part of your lifestyle to reap the best musical benefits.

Good luck!

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How To Provide Musical Inspiration

Hi everyone. Being a musician offers many perks. One of the most rewarding is experiencing the reactions of others. We all know that music is the tool. Read below to find ways on how to provide musical inspiration.

Keep your skills current. This goes without saying, but can be easily forgotten. The better your technical skills are, the more pleasant your sound. Practice as much as possible.

Play different music genres. Each genre offers something different. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Being able to alter your musical choices to suit others will reap its rewards.

Offer free entertainment to shut-ins. This is especially helpful when the person is a retired music teacher or symphony support. Your music will spark their life.

Learn composer and genre background information. Listeners love to learn about how a piece or composition came about. Find out the date composed. Learn about that era including dance, economics, and other pertinent facts.

Share information about the composition’s intricacies such as time signature, staccato, legato and style. You may be surprised about the interest level you receive. I know, I have. 🙂

You will be enlightening others and yourself.

Music is a fun learning tool. Being able to share it with others will provide musical inspiration. It might be the perfect tool to transport a person from hopelessness to hopefulness.

Good luck!

Find interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Marie’s Flute is operated by Marie Buckner, a classically-trained flutist with over 50 years of playing experience. She provides live entertainment at various venues and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others.







Happy Holidays Everyone!

Hi everyone. Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. No matter what your belief system, be sure to enjoy the festivities.

Music plays an important part of everyday life, especially the year-end holiday season. Whether it be spiritual-related or fun-oriented, be sure to take the time to marvel in the magic of music.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Enjoy!







Just A Common Soldier Poem

Hi everyone. It’s important to remember how much our military veterans sacrifice for our freedoms. Veteran’s Day, Remembrance Day, and a variety of other tribute days are upcoming. I believe it is worth sharing a timely poem titled “Just A Common Soldier”. It is written by A. Lawrence Vaincourt.

I am sharing this as a way to pay tribute to a trombone-playing friend of mine who served in WWII and another one who served in Viet Nam. My Viet Nam veteran played a mean Jew’s Harp. 🙂

Let us never forget…

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
For ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier–
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.”

Pass On This Tribute to as many as possible. We must never forget…
YOU can make a difference!

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!







Why Play Classical Music?

Hi everyone. Some of you have been contacting me asking why classical music is even necessary. Since my musical background began with playing this genre, I thought it appropriate to discuss why playing this centuries-old genre is important. So, here goes…

Improves Focus

Musicians must stay focused when playing classical music. With all the factors involved in successfully playing this genre, it is far too easy to miss things. To say classical composers are focused, is an understatement.

Treble Clef Clipart

Improves Counting Skills
As frustrating as it may be, classical composers are forever and a day challenging musician’s counting abilities. Musicians must keep track of extensive measures of rest, how many beats are in a measure, and start all over if need be.

If you don’t believe me, next orchestral performance you attend – look at how discreetly some of the musicians will be counting on their fingers. That’s why their expressions are so blank. They are concentrating and counting.

Teaches Honing Abilities
Many classical composers “stole” from each other. Only this was done in a non-threatening, sharing manner. Throughout pieces, listeners will catch a “clip” that sounds familiar. It increases listener’s attention while also stirring “where do I know that from” thoughts. Fun and challenging…

Improves Listening Skills
Classical music develops, and improves, listening skills. Different instruments come into play, either individually or collaborately. Listeners will start to recognize how a violin differs from a viola, cello from a bass, and flute from a piccolo.

Enhances Musical Appreciation
Once a musician plays a classical music composition, thoughts of “how”, “why”, and “what about” come into play. Suddenly, different parts of music start to make sense. It’s a very interesting area – in my opinion.

Improves Technical Ability
This goes without saying. Classical compositions are known for fast trills, sixteenth notes, and other similar notations that keep a musician’s fingers and embouchure moving.

Puts To Life Practice Sessions

So many times when learning to play an instrument, practice sessions seem mind-bogging, frustrating, and boring. Thoughts of “why bother?” come to mind. Playing scales was the foundation for learning to play my flute. Why? These delights are found throughout all musical compositions.

Practicing scales pays off in so many ways.

Well, that’s about it for now. Hope this has been an insightful piece for you from someone who is a classically-trained musician.

Find interesting? Kindly share…(especially to those youngsters learning to play a new instrument and succumbed to all its intricacies).







Canon In D: Another Wedding Music Clip

Hi everyone. I thought it would be fun to share another music clip I just finished. This classical composition – titled ‘Canon In D’ is a very popular wedding choice, dating back to the 1800’s. Composer is Johann Pachelbel.

Here is only a small bit of this beautiful tune played on my silver flute: