Archive for year: 2014
What’s in your closet? Well, in my closet I have: an African drum called a Djembe, two Chinese flower drums, hand drums of various sizes, a rain stick from Bali, a stringed instrument from Thailand called a sueng, pan-pipes from Peru, recorders of all sizes, a two headed drum from India called a dhol, a tambourine from Turkey called a daf, glockenspiel, xylophones, metallophones, harmonicas in various keys, a jaw harp, a banjo, a guitar, an electric bass, two Yamaha synthesizers, a portable Hammond organ, an accordion and most recently an acoustic/electric mandolin.
I guess you could say that I’m a collector of instruments, or, as my husband says, an instrument whore. I can’t seem to own enough instruments. My weakness are the folk instruments like the accordion and flutes that are so universal.
I am a kindergarten through 8th grade general music teacher. My students are accustomed to me playing different types of musical instruments in our music lessons. They learn how to play small patterns of rhythm, melody and harmony (ostinati) on xylophones and metallophones, and various kinds of percussion and how to play as an ensemble and therefore accompany themselves in school programs. I enjoy introducing different kinds of musical instruments and showing them how they work. I don’t always know how to play the instrument but that never stops me.
Some years ago I was teaching in an East Bay private school and had a particularly surly and uncooperative group of 8th graders. There were 42 of them! One day I brought in a case and just set it down in front of the class making no mention of it. Naturally hands went up . . . “what’s in the case?” My response, “Oh this? Let’s get through the lesson today and IF there is time, I’ll show you.” That was the most cooperative, attentive and productive lesson we ever had. The time came for the unveiling of the mystery. I hoisted up the case onto a desk — whew! It was so heavy! I clicked open the clasps — you could have heard a pin drop. I slowly opened the case and pulled out . . . . an enormous concert sized accordion! The gasps, the woe’s, and then the realization “hey, that’s what Erkel plays!” I showed them how it worked and we took turns wearing it (especially the boys because it was so heavy), pushing buttons, and pulling on the bellows. I asked them if they thought I could play the accordion and they all said “NO WAY” and I said, “true but is that going to stop me from playing for you?” they said “NO WAY”.
In Fleetwood Mask the ultimate Fleetwood Mac tribute band, the opportunity to play mandolin on a a couple songs has come up. I have a mandolin now. Do I know how to play it? Not really! Will that stop me from playing it? NO WAY! Now I need to find out how to squeeze in bagpipes. I don’t have those yet and I MUST have them!
Fleetwood Mask, the ultimate Fleetwood Mac tribute band
We enjoyed a really fun New Years Eve party with many local musicians and tribute band players. Fleetwood Mask played a few sets and we had a mixed jam session that went until early in the new year.
The new year is shaping up to a big year for the band. We already have festivals and club gigs lined up through the fall. Our dedication to performing Fleetwood Mac’s songs as they were created is what people seem to like. Early this month, we decided to add a second guitar and backup vocalist who can add more texture to our sound and fill in the complex arrangements that others laid down in the studio over the last 40 years.
We will expand our set lists bringing in more early Fleetwood Mac from the Peter Green and Bob Welch era. We will add more new songs, too. With Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and the full Fleetwood Mac band touring (less Christine McVie of course), there is a broad set of choices for us to create unique show compilations.
Thanks to everyone who has been with us through these years. This coming year is going to be a great year for live music and a fantastic year for Fleetwood Mask, too!