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Stringed Flute update.

Posted by Freischutz on Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hi yall. You may remember poor old me and my blogs about trying to play the violin in an all-winds concert band. This is now my third week of doing so.

It's still hard, but I think my intonation is finally getting better with all those flat keys. The G# still bothers me a bit (but not the D#, for some reason...) but calling anything a sharp in Concert Band is a no-no, so I will say Ab.

My biggest problem is still not being able to hear myself, but I've noticed that I need to improve my finger-memory so I won't need to hear myself. I'm getting better.


Well, yesterday we got our grades posted online.

All the other teachers except McCreary post our grade updates once a week or more often, every time we finish an assignment. McCreary? I don't know, maybe he posts every three weeks or month.

Anyway, as soon as I clicked on the "private reports" part of the school website and saw the long-anticipated "CONCERT BAND" report, I just about lost it. Holy crap, holy crap, what have I done now! What if I get a C or something! It will spoil my immaculate record!

Literally I ran into the living room, dancing around in a way that suggested there was a mouse in my pants, and said indistinguishably that my grades for CB had been posted, finally.

Just as the page loaded I got knocked off-line and had to start all over...

eight minutes later...

I confronted the page once more. I was squeezing my eyes shut and got redirected to several other non-concertband homepages before I finally reached it. But I did, eventually, suceed in clicking it...

And there it was, those little bars-- class participation, class playing, assignments...


No, no, this wasn't right. I looked again.



I thought about sending McCreary a message asking why I'd gotten these grades. But I didn't. "Well, you want something lower?" would probably be his response. Maybe I will anyway. I don't understand, my playing isn't worth that. But I have worked pretty hard. I've had no lessons and I am not playing music for violin. After all, I am the Stringed Flute, and the only one.


Still I wish I could make some kind of connection with McCreary. There is this huge distance between us, I just can't bring myself to talk to him or ask how I'm doing, I'm just not myself around him. I don't want him to think I'm ungrateful or indifferent to him but it's so hard to confront him. He does scare me... because I know WELL he can hear my playing, no matter how quietly I play. My first impression was a mess. When I came into St. Pius High I was thinking, "oh, this'll be a breeze, McCreary will just love me, being entirely self-taught and a player of so many instruments." But no, that's not how it's been. How in the world do I ever resolve this?


With the great sincerity of the fiddle-player,

BM, der Freischutz.


PS to those of you who like my short stories, I promise I'll lay off of this stringed-flute business and post another something or other soon.




11 comments on “Stringed Flute update.”

richdissmore Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @8:53:05 AM

things will improve only when you start taking a out side music teacher and make awere of what your doing to improve your self to Mr.McCreary this is the best.beleave me and i,m very happy for you and the drive you have to improve you may know a lot but to have a teacher will speed up your learning

Freischutz Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @9:14:27 AM

I don't think I could afford to take lessons. I don't think it would be easy to find one around here, either. I live in a very rurual area. About how much do they cost?

richdissmore Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @11:33:40 AM

will some are cost any were from $10 to $25 for one hour some can be for half hour depends on were the teacher is and who they are and what they teach. saying if you can find a teacher they set the price for what they charge. have you looked for a teacher you said there are no music stores around is there any place that sells strings may be you could post a note in that store looking for violin teacher i know there are many fiddle players and teachers in the state Mo. were you live fiddle hang out i think has a list of teachers you could look at you could post on fiddle hang out looking for a violin teacher were you live some one may help its worth a try then you can ask how much for how long and cost and so on you may have to go on your computer there are teachers on skype try to find one that does not charge a lot or may be alesen ever two or three weeks all you can do is your best take addvantage of the free teacher on fiddle hang out man my spelling stinks sorry

KCFiddles Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @3:02:06 PM

There are always online lessons. There are several good teachers who advertise on this forum, who offer online lessons.

notlwonk Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @3:55:55 PM

Why do you have to confront him? Talk about the weather or what they served in the cafeteria, start with small talk to establish a dialog. Ask about some thing specific about the music. He obviously likes what you're doing.

fiddleiphile Says:
Sunday, September 9, 2012 @7:39:07 AM

He is your teacher. He is on your side. Any thing you do to improve only makes him look better. His whole profession is about helping you become a better musician. I;m sure he will be approachable if you give him a chance. Most likely he can only read a little bit of your mind.

richdissmore Says:
Sunday, September 9, 2012 @8:29:28 AM

remember there are no stuped questions ask questions about music questions why you want to know what this or what that is .its not being dumb to ask question you what to know you have a thurst for knowlage so asking questions are a good way to learn

paulinefiddle Says:
Sunday, September 9, 2012 @7:37:24 PM

I agree that you should talk to your teacher. He gave you an A, so he thinks you're doing well. Speaking as a teacher myself, my guess is that he'd be very happy if you approach him.

GodblesstheUSA Says:
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @11:41:06 AM

Woohoo!! Congrats on an A!! You're obviously doing something right. I wish I got grades for music.
Yeah, I seem to have that same kind of problem with my conducter Mr. Seward. He seems like a nice guy, and I've really learned alot from being in orchestra (a full orchestra, not just strings like before), but he's been a conducter and band directer for 20 years!! Every time I play I get the paranoid feeling that he can hear every single wrong note that I'm playing. I, too, am going to try and make an effort, though. Rehersals haven't started back yet, but I intend to try to at least have a five minute conversation with him. Perhaps five second. : )
So is it a "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream deal??" Or, rather, a you scratch my back I scratch yours??" Or neither?? : ) We'll both try and see how it goes.

As far as the online lessons goes, heave-hoe!! Go for it. Every little bit helps. And as far as funding goes, remember the quote from Benjamin Franklin: "The investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." Anywho.....

God bless!!!! I'm praying for you. "Der Freishutz!!! Die arcade-est-geiger im westen!!!" : )

fiddlerjoebob Says:
Saturday, September 15, 2012 @4:53:13 PM

Learning is about effort and progress, not perfection.

wilford Says:
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @8:00:05 AM

Best wishes. You're on the right track heading in the right direction.

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