Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Las Mañanitas

In school, I studied Spanish from the third grade through college.  My high school Spanish teacher is the person I credit with being my best teacher ever – I had four years of Spanish with him, and proctored for him as well.  He helmed the National Spanish Honors Society, of which I was a member, […]

Shifting Away

If the final Seitz concerto movement exists in the Suzuki repertoire to help students conquer double stops, the Vivaldi concerto’s job must be to ensure that shifting to third position and back becomes old hat.  I have a whole book of position shifting exercises that I’ve dabbled with – I daresay more focus there would […]

Oklahoma!

Earlier this year, two of my nieces had lead roles in their high school production of Oklahoma! – while I couldn’t be there in person, one of the performances was filmed, and I was able to watch it last night.  Prior to that, I’d never seen the show and really knew nothing about it except […]

Shifting and a Birthday

Despite being extremely short on practice time these past couple of weeks, as well as skipping last week’s lesson entirely, yesterday’s lesson went well. We continued to dig into the Vivaldi Concerto, and I’m now working with over half of it.  Position shifting is rising to the surface as the most important skill I need […]

Graduating Swing Lessons

Over the long weekend, I was out of town visiting family for my oldest niece’s high school graduation.  Her graduating class was 11 people (my own was about 400!), and I think most of them and many more made an appearance at her after-graduation party, which doubled as her 18th birthday party.  It was also […]

Summer Cold

I’ve been struggling with an early summer cold and haven’t practiced much the past week (nor have I been out running in this luscious warm weather).  I canceled my lesson Tuesday, and have generally been feeling too tired to play.  The musical malaise comes at a sad time, when I’m just getting going on the […]

Rightness in the Rhythm

The Chicago Sinfonietta titles its concerts – Rightness in the Rhythm, which the ensemble played last night at Symphony Center, was the finale of the 2016-2017 season.  Teacher subs in, and when she does she can sometimes offer tickets – the last time I saw them was for their Halloween 2016 Dia de los Muertos […]