R is for Recorder

IM001168Blogging from A to Z challenge

Well, I bet you saw that one coming….

I’ve always had trouble with the name ‘recorder’. At the time I first started playing, most people thought ‘tape recorder’ when they heard the word ‘recorder’. For years I called it a ‘flute-thing’ just so people knew I wasn’t talking about playing a tape recorder. In German it’s better because it’s called a Blockflöte and has a cool looking ‘ö’ in it.

I did another video in my Garklein Recorder project this morning. I’m getting better at playing with the video camera rolling— the last two, I only needed one take to get it. By contrast, the first few I had to do over and over because I was so nervous I messed up on tunes I knew VERY well.

You might notice that I’m not doing very well on the A to Z challenge. I guess I’m just not in a very bloggy stage of my life at the moment. But at least I got a couple done.

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G is for Garklein

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

G is for ‘garklein’— German for ‘very small’, and the official name for the smallest size of recorder and the subject of my Garklein Recorder Project. I’m documenting my own self-challenge of working my way through a recorder instruction book playing the garklein recorder instead of the more common soprano recorder.

I’ve made several YouTube videos so far of myself playing songs from the instruction book (Duschenes Method for the Recorder, Pt 1). I find I enjoy doing the videos even though sometimes I have to do it over and over to get a usable version.

My hope is that other would-be recorder players working their way through the same book (on soprano or tenor recorders as well as the garklein) might find the videos of some use. I know when I was a child taking piano lessons I had a hard time sometimes figuring out what an unfamiliar song in my piano lesson book was supposed to sound like.

I also hope it will be inspiring. You don’t have to have great natural musical talent, nor do you have to be young, to learn a musical instrument and have fun with it. A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775c

B is for Butch

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cBlogging from A to Z April Challenge

The word of the day is ‘butch’, as in why do ‘strong female characters’ have to be so…. I mean, really! Think of the last few ‘strong female characters’ you’ve read about. Are any of them housewives? Mothers? Do any of them know how to cook, or sew a dress? No, they’re all off swinging swords or shooting arrows or doing something else macho.

One of the causes is ‘obligatory feminism’. I mean, it seems that even women who hate abortion and don’t think wearing a bra is part of a patriarchal conspiracy feel that they have to call themselves ‘conservative feminists’ or ‘Christian feminists’ or some such, and have to praise those oh-so-butch ‘strong female characters’.

But I’m proud to say I’m no longer a feminist, and as a non-feminist, I believe that women don’t have to give up the female role and adopt a male one to be ‘strong’ or interesting.

Playing the Recorder Mozärtlich

The Garklein Recorder project

Today’s piece in the project is the theme from a piano sonata by Mozart. I really enjoy playing the occasional classical piece on the recorder— not as much as I like some of the more sprightly folk tunes, but still….

The recorder is a new one, a Windsong rosewood recorder, quite inexpensive for a wooden recorder and sounds very nice. It also has a very nice cloth case.

As this is the second video in the series, I’ve started a playlist on  Youtube to make it easier to find the videos in the series.  While the videos all will use the garklein recorder, the book is meant for players of the soprano and tenor recorders, and likely the videos will also be of use to students of those recorders.

[About the title: ‘zärtlich’ is the German word for ‘tenderly’, so it’s kind of a play on Mozart’s name.]

A is for Asperger Syndrome

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cBlogging from A to Z April Challenge

I’ve decided to go for the A to Z challenge this year, already I’m doing my first post LATE. I didn’t realize I’d actually signed up until this morning when I checked my email.

So — here goes: my topic for today is about my most favorite hobby, having Asperger Syndrome. It is THE cool disability for smart weird people. And I am a smart person. My IQ, for whatever that really means, is high enough for me to join the high IQ organization Mensa, if I wanted to do that sort of thing.

But because of the oddness fact of having Asperger Syndrome, I have sometimes been regarded as being mentally retarded. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a person with mental retardation, there are many excellent and worthwhile people with that condition. But it’s not the condition I’m struggling with, and it’s annoying.

The good thing about being an aspie is the Special Interests. The ones currently affecting me right now are: the garklein recorder, playing Civilization IV, baking bread, and re-reading everything Mercedes Lackey ever wrote.

I’m sad to say they’ve found a cure for Asperger Syndrome— they’ve renamed it Autism Spectrum Disorder. I wonder if the new disorder will be any different.