accompanying

Currently: December 2017

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I’m currently out of town in Raleigh, NC for a concert with my friend James Newcomb on cornet, so it’s time for another Currently post!

  • Feeling a mix of disbelief and relief that this year is over (I always love a fresh start, new year or not).

  • Getting excited about having only 3 teaching days left before winter break.

  • Thinking about the projects I want to finish before the end of the year - launching my sheet music store and a free 5-day course with bite-size composition prompts for busy musicians.

  • Trying to finish up the Braid Branding E-Course so that I can revamp my website and business cards a bit.

  • Refusing to get swept up in holiday madness - I have a few more gifts to buy and wrap, but nothing else is obligatory.

  • Soaking up the energy of my friend’s adorable and goofy 3-year-old son (who would play with me nonstop if it were possible).

  • Bringing winter with me wherever I go (apparently) - it’s supposed to snow here in Raleigh today.

  • (Wishing I had brought a winter coat.)

  • Drinking massive quantities of tea (what else is new!)

  • Loving having my drawing habit as a way to unwind, and proud that I finished a drawing and sent it to print (look for those in my sheet music store, launching soon!)

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  • Listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast - I forgot that I hadn’t finished all of the episodes! It’s great flight listening.

  • Feeling triumphant to be finishing Brass Week - on Monday I accompanied my friend Lauren Husting on a concert of low brass works by women composers, on Friday James Newcomb and I presented a concert/workshop at an area high school, and tonight we will perform a program of music by Jewish composers at a synagogue in Cary, NC, all great collaboration experiences.

  • Enjoying a break from the normal routine while I’m out of town, but also…

  • Looking forward to being home with Tom and Rusty (this damp rainy weather is really making me feel the lack of a cat on my lap!)

  • Reading Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor and about to start Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown, probably on my flights home tomorrow.

  • Still pondering my plans for 2018 as it gets even closer - look for a 2017 recap and 2018 goals post at the beginning of January.

  • Celebrating the awesomeness of others, and telling them about it (seriously, do this, it’s great).

  • Reminding myself to rest. Whatever holidays you’re celebrating (or not celebrating), don’t forget that you’re allowed to take time for yourself, as much as you need.

Tell me what you’re celebrating right now, big or small - write it in the comments below!

Currently: November 2017

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I always like to take time during holiday breaks to slow down and reflect on what’s been going on lately. Here’s what I’m up to this week:

  • Relaxing for a few days with very little on the agenda beyond eating and having a game night with friends.

  • Enjoying two lovely Thanksgiving meals with family.

  • Feeling grateful for so many things.

  • Still walking daily. I’ve gotten so attached to my daily walk for its effect on my mental health and meditative power to affect my mindset that I’m committed to bundling up even when windchills here in Minnesota are reaching single digits (😬)

  • Drawing a lot with my new markers😍

  • Releasing expectations on my time (for once!)

  • Listening to: NPR Music Turns 10 yearly recap episodes of All Songs Considered, Chris Thile + Brad Mehldau (I LOVE their cover of Elliott Smith's Independence Day), Tulio Araujo, Eunbi Kim playing music of Fred Hersch, St. Vincent (Strange Mercy is still my favorite), Maria Rita, and Sharon Jones’ new posthumously released album (RIP!)

  • Pondering the question "What Makes A Great Album Last?" (also inspired by NPR Music). I love how Robin Hilton expresses it in this episode: “I think for a record to truly stand the test of time, it's got to find a way to weave itself into your DNA.” Those albums that I had strong emotions about, related to formative times in my life, are definitely imprinted, especially albums either from the late 90s/early 00s or that I discovered then: Ben Folds Five's Whatever and Ever Amen, Elliott Smith's XO and Figure 8, Radiohead's OK Computer, Joni Mitchell's Blue and Court and Spark, and basically all of Stevie Wonder's albums from the 70s, especially Innervisions. (This topic could be a whole post!)

  • Reading: Grit by Angela Duckworth, and just finished The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

  • Catching up on The Good Place Season 2.

  • Roasting all of the vegetables (squash, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower!)

  • Rehearsing for this concert of pieces for trombone by women composers with my friend Lauren Husting.

  • Experimenting with breathwork

  • Pondering my plans for 2018 - I'm 90% sure that my word for the year is going to be CONNECT.

  • Looking forward to getting out of town to someplace slightly warmer in a couple weeks - I’m going to North Carolina for a concert with James Newcomb.

  • Getting ready to finish up my set of composition prompts next week and brainstorming about what form they’ll evolve into next. To stay informed about this resource when I finish it, sign up below!

I’m wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving (unless you’re not in the U.S., then happy Thursday!) - if you’re reading this, I’m grateful for you!

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