Now that we are in double digit October, what are your favorite signs of fall?
The changing color of leaves?
Soybeans ready to be harvested?
Field corn turning brown as the stalks dry out?
The clamor on the high school gridiron on Friday nights?
The collegiate gridiron contests?
The crunch of leaves underfoot as you walk on tree-lined paths?
The pumpkins, scarecrows, and characters that decorate the lawns?
What is my personal favorite?
Decades of participating, watching, supporting . . .
Marching Band was one of my favorites that has endured the test of time. I love to watch the band at football games and in parades. Within 28 hours this weekend I had the opportunity to see high school and collegiate marching bands and here are a few of the highlights (including some links).
And then High School Marching Band Competition in Muscatine, Iowa . . . a rainbow en route guaranteed this auspicious trip would be highly enjoyable!
What are your fall favorites?
How many years have you enjoyed those favorite traditions?
And the best part of this weekend?
Celebrating Fall with my sister (Iowa alumni flag), my nephew (Director of Bands at Central DeWitt), and all of the other relatives over the weekend!
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
The sun is shining. The temp is in the 60’s and rising. What a fabulous weather report that takes me back to my farming roots! It’s spring and I’m thinking of home (after a writing workshop last Saturday)!
And yet . . .
Spring is a time to celebrate . . .
rebirth as plants nudge their way through the ground cover
life as baby animals appear with their families
longer days of leaving home in the daylight and still having daylight on the return at the end of the day
end of the year activities . . . concerts, track events, music contests
And all those dreaded LASTS . . .
The last time the seniors . . . before they graduate
The last time the juniors . . . before they move to the senior world
And so on . . .
But today I celebrate last Sunday’s reprise . . .
All seven of us who went to Rome . . .
Together . . . plus a few more!!!
“We set off on a journey to Rome, yes a religious trip, but also a trip to the heart of civilization. This is a city of 300 churches with 200 more in the suburbs. It’s a city of many diverse nationalities and personalities. It was a pleasure to be in a group of seven . . .
within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).” “SOL16: Travel Trivia”
and here we were again . . .
But this time in Iowa
A band concert
Taking advantage of time together
Eight months later to gather for a celebratory meal (Leo & Shirley’s upcoming 9th anniversary)
And a high school band concert directed by a son / grandson / nephew/ husband / father . . .
Central DeWitt: Sunday, April 30, 2017
And always, one of the fans in the seats!
Home can be family.
Home may not be one specific physical place.
Where do you celebrate and call home?
Check out for celebrations at the link with Ruth!
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Verizon Foundation on 06.01.14 tweeted this link to the 25 Most Promising Graduation Speeches of the Year and I was immediately intrigued to think about “HOW” that rating would be determined. After all, Commencement for me is all about the music. It’s hard to imagine a graduation ceremony without Pomp and Circumstance played as the processional tune at graduation. Majestic, inspiring, regal, stately! That is my view as a “listener”!
Pomp and Circumstance totally sets the tone for graduation ceremonies.
What does a musician need to know?
He or she would need to understand the sound symbol relationships in musical notations including: time signature, “allegro con molto fuoco”, “poco allargando”, treble clef, bass clef, notes, sharps, rests, crescendos, codas, etc. Could you pick this music up and play it expertly right now? If yes, how many years have you been playing the piano? If no, what would you need to learn in order to play this piece? What knowledge gaps do you have? Would you need to begin at the beginning? Or with a little refresher or review of some basic skills and a piano to practice on, could you play one of the lines reasonably accurately? Do you REALLY know Italian or do you just know some of the musical phrases? And then what about the intricacies involved when multiple instruments have their own parts in the band or orchestra? How does it all come together at that graduation ceremony?
Listen to a bit of Pomp and Circumstance: Pomp and Circumstance for graduation
Expecting a novice musician to play this score well is like expecting a novice reader to read and understand the nuances of the Preamble to the Constitution. Instruction is needed. Appropriateness of the text is also a consideration. Background knowledge and motivation come into play. Depending on the age and experiences, some scaffolding may be necessary. And then deeper understanding to be able to compose or improvise something similar involves understanding the mathematics involved in scales in terms of the progressions in scales and the relationships between the black and white ivory keys. Many, many, many layers of knowledge similar to reading a text . . .
What other connections to life can you make?
I can appreciate the beauty of this music without being able to play it all personally myself. But if my passion is reading and writing music and reading and writing words, will I have to somehow learn the notation system in order to put it altogether? When and how will this happen?
How many different “reading systems” are there in my life?
How did I learn them all?
How many systems will the kindergarten students need to learn in their lifetimes?