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

Brünnhilde wearing the fabled helmet, breastplate, spiked bracelets, wolfskin, and white skirt, and red cape. Her arms are both extended to to the sides but bent at the elbows. Her right hand is extended and left hand his limp. There is a glow behind her.

Ring Cycle Mythology

Every year, All over the world, Opera companies produce and perform Richard Wagner’s monumental four-opera series The Ring Cycle. Even more companies will include one of the Ring operas on their season. It’s awesome. The music envelops you. The take-aways from the plot are as pertinent and relevant as ever. Lots of people who don’t think they’ll like it end up loving it. The Ring Cycle is based on Norse Mythology, the same stuff J.R.R. Tolkein drew from to write his epic Lord of the Rings. And the idea is similar. There … Continue Reading

Send this to a friend