A watercolor painting of a frog saying "Thank You". There is a wooden well to the left with a wooden bucket dangling by light brown yarn. "Thank You" in cursive is written in light brown in front of a blue sky. The green frog is at the center. It is mid-air with its arms open and a smile on its face. It is green and hovering over green grass and flowers than are white and yellow. On the right side in the back, there are red and green shrubs.

Thanks for the Raise!

Dear [Member of Congress], [As your constituent and] as a musician, union member, teacher, and middle-class income earner; I want to thank you for the work you did to bring H.R. 1625 to the President’s desk. Among the many agencies that will now officially receive federal funding for the rest of 2018, I would like to especially express my gratitude for the $152.8M you’ve appropriated to the National Endowment for the Arts. This is almost $3M more than you had previously legislated. With this increase, you’ve demonstrated a genuine commitment not just … Continue Reading

A faun pug with his tongue sticking out the left side of his mouth. There are two silver metal bowls to his right on top of a brown bowl mat, and a clear container of dog food to his left. He's sitting on a black and white tile kitchen.

You can’t spell “Propranolol” without “LOL”

My shoulders and rib cage tighten. My breaths become shallow. My mouth goes dry.  My arms, hands, and legs shake. Not only am I describing the minutes preceding a first date, but I’m also talking about what happens to my body when I’m playing a performance that makes me nervous. The symptoms I’ve listed are examples of psychological stress that manifests itself physiologically. The Fight-or-Flight Response, as it were. Playing a brass instrument with shallow breaths and shaking limbs is…shall we say, not ideal. And sometimes it isn’t the actual music at hand … Continue Reading

A cowboy wearing jeans and brown boots has fallen off a brown horse. The front legs of the horse are in the air, and the cowboy is to the right of the horse. This is happening on a dirt field with metal fences. There is another cowboy behind the fence wearing something similar and a white cowboy hat.

When Classical Music feels like the Wild West

Happy Blogiversary! This article marks two years since the launch of “Who’s Your Audience?”. It’s been an interesting way to put my thoughts to paper…er, computer screen. There have been a variety of issues covered, and my approach has evolved too. At first, I felt compelled to write in “term paper” mode. Now, I feel a bit more conversational with you. Or at least, informal. Like using one-sentence paragraphs. In fact, that wasn’t even a sentence. Anyways, I imagine many anniversary posts are often upbeat, optimistic, having some big announcement, and maybe … Continue Reading

Woman covering her ears. She has short, reddish brown hair, raised eyebrows, wearing a denim shirt, big necklace and a bracelet.

4 Things I’d Love to Not Hear in 2018

The Best and Worst Moments of 2017 have been decided. The Resolutions of 2018 have been made and, with few exceptions, will be broken in the coming days. We’ve all opened up to the first day of our “365 Adorable Pugs” daily desk calendars. Happy New Year, Reader!! You didn’t ask for it, but here are things I’d love to never hear this upcoming year. Admittedly, I write this post wearing my Grumpy Pants. But I’m also donning my Optimism Cardigan. So join me for another list. Because hey, anything to distract … Continue Reading

There are six rows in a lavender field in full bloom, and a girl with blonde hair and a black and white dress stands in the middle holding a straw hat in her right hand.

Emotion Beyond a Child

Last month, CBS’s 60 Minutes featured a segment on the brilliant wunderkind Alma Deutscher. A 12 year-old from Great Britain, she is a pianist, violinst, and a composer, all at an extremely high level. In fact, in just a couple weeks, Opera San José will be presenting her adaptation of “Cinderella”. (Every performance appears to be sold out.) If you haven’t seen it yet, watch this fascinating 13-1/2 minute interview between Deutscher and Scott Pelley. …I wish I could have embedded the video for you to watch here, but trust me, it’s worth … Continue Reading

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