Monthly Archives: June 2015


I’ve been making music with my man for over 17 years now.  And as of yesterday, if we want to, we can go to Birmingham, AL and get married.  Or Tupelo, MS.  Or Dallas, TX.  I’ve been working hard for this cause for most of my adult life – I can’t believe we did it, […]

Elevator Ride

Ryan Libel: May I ask what kind of instrument that is? [eyes toward unfamiliar shaped case strapped to stranger’s back] Random Stranger: It’s an Oud. RL: Hmm!  How do you spell it? RS: O-U-D pause it’s like the granddaddy of the lute. RL: Oh!  Pause I play the violin. RS: Hmmm! From Wikipedia:  “The oud […]

Recital II

My father-in-law and brother-in-law have been visiting from Virginia this week, and last night I had the opportunity to play my violin for them for a bit.  It was my second little recital ever, the first being back at Christmastime.  It was a treat to get to play my instrument for my father-in-law.  Faithful readers […]

Practice Overhaul

In yesterday’s lesson I confessed to teacher that I probably need to change my practice method, which I’ve been using since the beginning.  My method has always been to play through all the songs I know well, maybe repeating them if they give me more trouble than usual.  A few songs into Book Two, I […]

Up Against a Wall

Teacher was pleased with my bow hold alterations, so we are capitalizing on my ability to change at the moment – a major theme of yesterday’s lesson became corrections to my posture and mechanics of moving my bow arm.  In order to accomplish what she had in mind, we located a bare wall (well, technically […]

It Takes Time to Learn to Gavotte

The new song is coming along – it’s a Gavotte, by Martini – there is a theme with about seven variations – the theme is definitely coming along, and I’m pushing through the variations.  Yesterday I reached the spot where I can play through the whole thing, more or less.  I’ve barely begun to memorize […]

Rapturous Joy; Divinity

A few weeks back I wrote about The Minnesota Orchestra’s goodwill tour of Cuba – the musicians gave two concerts in Havana and participated in other educational programs while on the tour.  Learning of that excursion was my first exposure to the organization.  The Orchestra has gained some acclaim for its recordings – two are […]

A Palace and Birthday Magic

Alma Spreckels was the sugar queen of San Francisco – she married well from extremely humble beginnings, and quickly became one of the leading ladies of the city, widely influential in creating culture as well as in fighting for working San Franciscans – her likeness now sits atop a pole in Union Square.  She amassed […]