I just returned from a workshop for young guitarists at the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Guitarist Peter Vonk recently started the program, and invited me to come back to Nebraska and teach the workshops. It was a great experience, due in part to many of those participating being former students of mine. Most of the students were technically solid and some well beyond. It’s great to be able to work with kids on musicality. It’s really fun to give the ideas and the technical tools for expression, but even more fun to let them try their own ideas.

While in the airport, on standby (I was emailed the wrong departing time by the conservatory), I caught some CNN with the sound off. I saw a cheerleader being carted off a basketball court strapped to an ambulance bed. Her arms were still frantically doing some sort of hand jive that I assume was a cheer. Now, I imagine that this was a news story about how she was injured by falling from a human pyramid, or wiped out by an out-of-bounds player but still had the courage to keep cheering. But with the sound off, I couldn’t help but wonder if a cheerleader droid hadn’t short-circuited, prompting its removal from the premises. Her movements were so convulsive– more animtron-like than courageous. I was reminded of the toys in the Nutcracker, being carried off while still fulfilling a set of directives already set in motion. It was disturbing.

Leave a Reply