theremin major

notes from me and my moog etherwave pro

Week One March 8, 2007

Filed under: Week One — jenhammaker @ 12:39 pm

Well, the good news is, once the actual classes begin, the stories get shorter.

My first week at [A Paradigm of Higher Learning Specializing in Classical Music Education] was kind-of a default week. I had to re-arrange my schedule several times, and I didn’t have a lesson or any type of class where I actually got to play my instrument.

My overall opinion at this point in the game: DREAM COME TRUE. Cheesy sentiment, and please forgive the fact that I’m using all caps like a 14 – year old, but who the crap cares. I get to spend ALL DAY learning about music! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

It was in this week that I remembered that music was my first love.

I started taking music lessons when I was 4. The music lessons were group lessons that included basic basic basic theory (”this is what a note looks like, this is what a rest looks like”) and gradually worked towards piano lessons. We didn’t have a piano at the time, so my teacher sent me home with a long, laminated picture of a keyboard. All the other kids had pianos at their house, so they advanced faster than I did. Finally, I think it was my grandparents who bought me a used upright. In elementary school, I looked forward to music class, which we had twice a week. Miss Campbell was the music teacher and to me, a celebrity. The same thing applied to my impression of my piano teacher, Arlene. I continued with private piano lessons until I gave up piano at age 15 for theatre. Theatre was more social. Practicing for theatre was fun and not frustrating. How often do you hear, “I wish I’d never given up the piano.”

But I get to take it all up again!!

I’m enrolled in typical music-school classes, I suppose: Theory, Ear Training, Dictation, History, Chamber Music, Private Lesson, and two electives – Voice and Piano.

I am in the basic levels of most of these classes with the exception of Ear Training, Voice, and Piano. Since I missed the placement tests, an over-the-phone evaluation determined that my 10 years of piano and high school “advanced” vocal ensemble work could exempt me from the basic level of ear training and move me straight up to level 1A. My background also put me in Advanced Voice and Piano level 4.

I had to audition for the Chamber Music Professor as well as the coaches that also teach the class. They’re all in a chamber music group together. I still don’t know much about her as of yet. I’ll talk more about her and the other coaches in later posts (they are all really good at what they do). At the time of the audition, which was at her apartment, she took an instant interest in the theremin as a sort-of ear-training study.

The classes are really small and have anywhere from 4 to 10 people in them. Since [A Paradigm of Higher Learning Specializing in Classical Music Education] is so small, all the professors know who I am.

Who am I? That crazy theremin player, that’s who!!

This is actually quite nice. Back in college, (the first time) it took a professor months if not years to remember my name. It’s great! We take up class time with the Q & A’s about the theremin and the stories about everyone’s first theremin experience.

My piano teacher held a special interest in me (or, at least, the theremin) for personal reasons. At Mannes, many years ago, guess who his teacher was?

Nadia Reisenberg.



2 Responses to “Week One”

  1. Max Says:

    Hi, I got your blog from Thereminworld. I just caught the theremin bug about a month ago, when I saw Lydia Kavina playing Clare de Lune on Youtube and burst into tears at the beauty of her playing. My normal instruments are trumpet and keyboards, but after 2 weeks of obsessing, I finally ordered a Moog EW Pro. It hasn’t gotten here yet, but I can’t wait! I know how hard it is to make real music with a theremin, so it’s very inspiring to read about someone who shares my enthusiasm for more than just space sound effects.

  2. jenhammaker Says:

    Hi Max~ It looks like you’re theremin – whipped. Welcome to the jungle! Thanks for reading.

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