I’m wearing horns today.

It’s reminding me how conservative this school is – sort of a “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas (New Orleans) anymore” moment. I left off the latex body paint – for now anyway. I created a Zombie Apocalypse playlist on Grooveshark, so that’s accompanying my horns quite well as I sit here in the library procrastinating and prepping for a seminar this afternoon.

This past week or so has been kind of a hot mess.  I haven’t been feeling well, which has resulted in a lack of productivity, procrastination, and all of the consequences that go with it.  My partner is off recruiting all next week – Boston Center for the Arts, somewhere in Philly, somewhere in D.C, Juilliard, and up in Rochester at Eastman. Just prior to her leaving, I always get in kind of a tizzy. Being from the Northeast myself, I also get a tinge of jealousy that she gets to go ‘home’ so often. I’m fortunate if I get there once a year. All part of the package, I suppose.

Classes have been going very well. I was prepared for them all this week, and they’ve become a refreshing sort of stability. There’s one in particular where I feel like I have to walk in so prepared that I feel armed. When I accomplish this, it feels great. When I don’t, I walk in feeling vulnerable – like I should be hiding behind a bunker.  The good thing is this feeling has only happened once, and I definitely learned from it.

I can’t believe how fast this semester has been flying by. My main professor is leaving for a couple weeks to present at conferences. When he returns, we have two weeks left.  Also, our Gamelan performance is this coming Tuesday. I feel very prepared for this show – my first time performing on gangsa and jegogan, the latter of which is much, much easier.  We’ve turned The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” into a Beleganjur tune – the most interesting aspect of that is balancing the traditional with the non.

My thoughts are broken up into themes based on paper topics and readings. Meanwhile, different concepts keep playing pong in there, ricocheting off walls (more like stockades): reflexive ethnomusicological writing, compiling my own reference tools, how to make a documentary, the need for a new digital camera and having no idea what to buy, choosing ensembles for next semester, and musical gender norms.  I have about 100 one or two sentence word document files saved in a ‘random’ folder on my desktop. They all have project ideas or questions I want to answer. I have to be careful not to get so caught up in the ideas and start working on some of them.

Travel plans are becoming solid. We had decided to go on a cruise that included Rome, Palermo, Malta, Tunisia, Barcelona, Marseille, and Savona. With credit card in hand, she found out she couldn’t leave until the 23rd and the cruise set sail on the 16th – this was definitely disappointing. Two days later, I was talking with a friend who is spending her break in Kuwait with her father. I told her about a Whirling Dervishes Festival in Turkey that I wanted to go to, and an hour later she had confirmed those plans with him. Again, this is all earlier than the 23rd so I had to grit my teeth and say no to what would probably have been an amazing trip to Kuwait & Turkey as well (all with a male escort, even!). So, after several hit and miss trials, we decided to go back to our original plan: Rome. I’m going to spend a week with the family in Massachusetts, she’ll join me right before Christmas, and we’ll fly out of Boston to spend the New Years holiday in Italy. Despite the cool things we ‘could have done’, I’m super excited about this trip. I get to see my family in Massachusetts for a while, plus I’ve never been to Italy, and we’re kind of making it into an “off-the-beaten-path” kind of tour. We found a quaint little dyke-owned B&B a few blocks from the Forum, and it looks like they have a great New Years Eve celebration.

Time to go be productive…

Music Student Resources

Today I decided I wanted to be useful. I know – doesn’t happen very often. Freshmen music majors always have that ‘deer-caught-in-headlights’ look for a while. I decided to make a list of REALLY useful websites for folks who study music at the undergrad level. Feel free to let me know if there’s any good ones I’ve missed.

Finding Musical Scores & Parts… for FREE

Sheet music of "Indiana". Page 1 of 2.

Image via Wikipedia

Petrucci Music Library – free public domain sheet music & scores. Printable. – This is a good resource, but not nearly as comprehensive as the Petrucci Library (above). If you just type in the address, it will come up in French. Click on the British/American flag in the top right corner of  page to change it to English.

Watching & Listening… for FREE

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase – self-explanatory. You can find a lot of things from your drop-the-needle exams here, among other things.  One other great thing you can do with it is sign up for an account and upload short videos of yourself practicing. Keep them private if you want, but it’s a great way to self-reflect or let your teacher critique your practice. – Find thousands of songs, stream them as often as you want, make your own playlists, and SHARE THEM. Also great for listening exams. It’s completely legal (because there are ads). Make one playlist and share it with the whole class. Or share a “mixed playlist” with your crush (new version of a mixed tape?).  ** Grooveshark also has a mobile app!

Image representing Pandora as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase – Create your own radio stations. Downside: Can’t repeat specific songs. However, you can do some genre searching and find some great new music here. – put your OWN music on the web with this awesome site.

Online Metronomes & Tuners…for FREE– for quick & easy access while practicing. They also have some great articles. – another great free online metronome tool – online tuning for electronic instruments – simple note-based tuner. Gets the job done!

Music History Timelines and Lists… for FREE


Image via Wikipedia (by Sony) – an excellent but super-basic chronology of music history – an online timeline of music history and hymnology

Music Theory Lessons, Trainers… for FREE by Ricci Adams – this is interactive and VERY useful. It’s definitely my favorite in this section. Great for training keyboard skills as well as theory. – AWESOME for learning how to analyze music once you know the basics. – Music Notes,  an interactive online experience. You can practice theory, music history,  and musical styles here. – EMusicTheory – interactive note names – EMusicTheory – interactive piano/keyboard skill builder – EMusicTheory – interactive scale builder.

Ear Training &  Resources… for FREE – a great interactive online  ear training site. – Big Ears – the original online ear trainer. Teoria – another interactive ear training site. – Great for rhythmic dictation.

Other Great Resources

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a neat online tool to organize it all? What if it were something that held bookmarks that you could access on any computer? Check out Symbaloo.

Do you like to stay SUPER organized? Check out


I hope someone finds these a little bit useful.