I used to play the tenor recorder in a recorder ensemble. I think I was around 11 or 12 years old, so that's my excuse, but really it's nothing to be ashamed of, at least not completely. It should be made clear that I wasn't scanning bulletin boards at music stores and rec. centers looking to join a recorder ensemble. I learned about the ensemble in my "general music" class, or rather it was offered to me an alternative to the general music class. It was never clear why the 6 or so other students and I had been selected for this group. I was really struggling with my ADD (among other things) at that time and I'm sure the selection couldn't have been based on merit.
The school had all the instruments from Sopranino to Bass
They were the classic black and white plastic ones, but it was the first time I had seen and played a whole family of instruments and it was very exciting. It was also the first time I had played real music with other people, where everyone has a different part. We were playing the recorder repertoire which it pretty old and limited as are the instruments, but our teach was Mr. Clark and he was a wonderful strange and sweet old man. He had terrible tinnitus so I think he like being around the noise of kids learning music so as to drown out the constant ringing.
I remember Mr. Clark was the one who had come to our elementary school years before and shown us all the instruments that one can play in middle school band. It was magical to me that he could play all of them. He would say how terrible he was with each on and then play something completely beautiful on each one. Later in recorder class, he would show us all kinds of instruments and even brought in his engraved silver trombone. As a boy he had sold a bull calf that he had raised in order to buy it. He told us how disappointed he was when the calf was born a bull which mean he would be able to get as much for it and had to settle for the silver trombone in stead of the gold one.
I really took to recorder in a way that I hadn't with music before. So much that I started taking more lessons from my aunt Mary. She is a classical Flutist, she taught me some Baroque and folky recorder music and would later encourage me to write my own pieces.
Then I started buying CDs and getting into more age appropriate music, and after giving up guitar once around the age of 10, I picked it up again while I was working summers at OMSI claymation camp. The lead teacher and my mentor Mike Mckinney always made sure there were all kinds of instruments around and my love for music really bloomed. I got all sorts of instruments from Mike and started building some to take to camp too.
I went in all kinds of directions with my interests concerning music over the years and and there's always more around and inside.
Recently I've been falling back in love with big C Classical muisic.
Mandolin virtuoso, MacArthur genius award recipient, repellant singer and head bobbler, Chris Thile took his new bajillion dollar mandolin and set about to learn some Bach. He really does a great job of it which adds to a great internal conflict I have about him. I just have to remember that Nickel Creek is not for me and thats ok.
I've been watching a lot of these masterclasses. There are ones on youtube with Segovia as well. Julian Bream has a lot of personal charm despite his combover and goofy expressions.
These are very nerdy videos, but I feel i'm getting a lot out of them as I'm stumbling along trying to learn some classical guitar myself.
Celedonio Romero has become one my favorite guitarist. I wish there were more videos of him.
But I found this mouth breathing kid doing my favorite piece of his, Fantasia. His video only has 75 views at the time of this posting so with any luck this exposure might bring him as many as 77.
This kid plays circles around me but I've been trying to learn a few pieces myself.
In that video I'm playing the my 07 cypress Ramirez that I bought in Madrid. But I've been building a classical guitar inspired by C.F. Martin's antebellum guitars.
You can click through the gallery below to see the recent progress on that project.