Thursday, June 25, 2015


Let me go ahead and say this post has nothing to do with Jim Morrison.

Last week I competed in the Great Plains Marimba Competition, an interesting experience and one that I will write about in the coming weeks. (Distance is good in some cases, yes??)

Now, I'm by no means a person who has taken many competitions. There is an interesting moment, though, when finalists are announced and your name isn't called. You start to wonder if this sort of playing scenario is meant for you, if a "competition player" is who you are or who you want to be.  And this time, for me, it became very clear that I view competitions as a stepping stone, not the end of some glorious road, but hopefully a little push to a new adventure.  Those that have won have undoubtedly participated in many.  As Ji Hye Jung said during her concert (and I paraphrase), "How did I win the competitions? Let me tell you -- I only mention the ones I didn't lose."

Last week's day of final announcements was an interesting one for another reason.

Hours before learning I was eliminated I learned that I am going to present a masterclass at PASIC.  Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat????

I must have read that email 8 times before saying a word to anyone about it. "Dude... I got it."

Interesting, the way these things happen, right?  Maybe the stepping stone isn't what you expect it to be.

My class is titled Shoulder Anatomy: Easing pain and furthering technique through body mapping.  It's a culmination of my interest and study of Alexander Technique, yoga, and anatomy.  I'm excited to share these ideas, and to hopefully help anyone who has or is on their way to having pain while playing.

I've been preparing posts on the topic of body awareness under a series I'm titling Marimba Body, and I'll start releasing them in a few weeks.  As musicians we are movers, and especially for percussionists - musicians who use both small and large body movements - an understanding of where and how body parts move is essential to a long, healthy career.

Oh, did I mention I'm stoked about it? I'm totally stoked about it. :)


  1. Great news! My wife, Tyler and I took Alexander lessons for 5-6 years when we lived in NY. Looking forward to your presentation.

  2. I'm jealous, Ted! What I would give for a table lesson right about now... :) Thanks for the support! I hope my presentation fulfills all expectations!