At band practice last night, perhaps the best music teacher metaphor, male band director division: the flutes and oboes reached a spot in a piece where they were in unison (playing the same note), and exposed (not many other parts playing), and they were, well, a bit out of tune.

Our conductor stops the band and says, “Well, that spot at measure ## sounded kind of like when you wear your bikini for the first time in the summer, and you don’t have your baseline tan yet.”

My mouthpiece is still somewhere in my small intestine.


  1. LOL Phil. Having spent a lot of time sitting in on my kids music lessons I noticed that music teachers use analogies on a regular basis more than anyone I know. Clearly I was onto something. But this one is pretty impressive!

  2. Carroll:

    I sense a crescendo of new material for blog posts on the horizon here, Phil. We’re going to enjoy this new band gig right along with you.

    By the way — coming up for your concert? Were it not for the arrival of my friend from New Zealand on October 25th at LAX, I would SO be on a plane to Seattle! I’m driving down to pick her up (there will be hugs) then up to visit The Kid at Big Bear Lake, and then back to LA to play tourists for a day before leisurely road tripping north (PCH, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Santa Cruz) to be home in time for Halloween the following weekend before she continues on her way. Anyway you look at “the end of October” (this year, at least) is not likely to work for me. GREAT idea though!!

  3. Phil, that is a laugh riot!!!

    My bro-in-law in Bellingham is a music teacher, conductor, all-around excellent musician: Mark Schlichting (been with the school district since the stoneage). I’ll have to tell him this metaphor - priceless.

  4. Phil:

    Sue - I think it’s hard to take a student who’s used to the standard curriculum down the rabbithole of arts or music. You have to extend your communicative repertoire. This guy is one of the best I’ve played under.

  5. Phil:

    Carroll - too bad. There may be a Youtube version to attend. Have a great time with your friend.

    Tara - Our conductor’s name is Michael Clark, and I think he’s teaching in the Mukilteo, WA district. I have a soft spot in my heart for all of my music directors. I think they were the most effective teachers I had, in high school or college. Check out this post