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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Callibeth-Sophia Hussein D. Katze
July 2007-May 2016

My cat Sophie died last week, and I can't get past it. It was from complications from surgery to remove a bladder stone; there was an underlying condition that neither I nor the vet knew about.

She was so sweet. She was my baby girl. It's difficult to go home, difficult to go to sleep and stay asleep. I miss her profoundly.

Hug your kitties. Appreciate and admire their beastliness.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How I learned to stop worrying and love teaching Star Wars

My musical education about the horn and how to play it is pretty vast, and was hard-won. I take great pride in my teaching ability especially, and have collected a pretty impressive library of horn treatises, etudes, etc. I have a prescription for every conceivable problem involved in playing the horn; I’ve even written some etudes to address certain problems (I’m looking at YOU, Guilford H.S. horn section, when you had to play Holst’s Jupiter.) In spite of all of this, after more than twenty years of teaching using the “classics” of horn pedagogy, I’ve given up, and not only have come to embrace the whole Star Wars obsession with kids, but am now writing a series of lessons for beginners, which use the best-known leitmotifs from the soundtracks.

Oh no, they’re not getting away without learning from the old classics, but I’m incorporating Star Wars themes into the mix. The elementary methods, with their old-timey songs, just won’t cut it anymore, by themselves.