Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to iBegin® and digitising Vivaldi

Well the opera nearly killed me. Unfortunately, I sang the role with the 'flu (ordinary variety) and two days after the final performance was rushed to hospital with severe chest pains. My diagnosis was digestive failure caused by complete exhaustion as I didn't have any other symptoms of a heart attack or angina. My heart specialist agreed, but it's taken me a month to recover. Fortunately, I was well enough to accompany my ex-student, Andy Scott at the World Saxophone Congress and it was good to see him and perform with him again after 25 years. Andy also made some suggestions that I added to iBegin®, so that my beginning saxophone students handle their instruments with safety and not damage them through mishandling due to their inexperience of the saxophone. Thanks Andy!

So now it's back to iBegin® and digitising some Vivaldi concerti. I also digitised J. Strauss junior's "Im Krapfenvaldl", printed by a Viennese publishing house with more than a few wrong notes, which I corrected. Whilst I was doing that, I was contacted by a local school, Regents School Pattaya, who asked me to substitute for a music teacher who failed to return after the holidays. As Regents Pattaya is a lovely school with polite, hard-working students and a very supportive staff, I was more than happy to accept. The Strauss and Vivaldi will come in handy sooner than I thought. My thanks go to Tom Myers of I.S. Bangkok who sent me jpgs of a Vivaldi concerto with my original bow markings.

Mark Stephens of IDR Solutions kindly sent me the Windows version of a wrapper for iBegin® Reader, which will allow me to place all the iBegin® pdf and Sibelius files into one iBegin® file. This will make it really easy for my younger iBegin® users who only need to download the Sibelius demo and the iBegin® file to be able to use iBegin®. It really is "plug and play" and no more fiddling around with preferences/properties which was very awkward for younger users. Thanks Mark!

So now I'm rationalising all the iBegin® chapters to make sure that they all have an adequate number of exercises for beginners to practise each new skill they learn. Once I've done that, I'll be putting iBegin®, one book at a time, on the internet for download.

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