Monthly Archives: October 2022

Monday Morning Wisdom #386

Monday Morning Wisdom #386

We need to stop just pulling people out of the river.

We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.

~Desmond Tutu

Inktober2022 Day 30


I’m using the Twinchietober prompt today. The pattern is Heart Stack by Barbara Duel Johnson.

Heart Stack by Barbara Duel Johnson

I only managed to make six drawings for Inktober this year, mostly because I started late. Nevertheless, I’m glad I jumped in, because I did more drawing than I would have without the challenge.

From the Creator’s Heart #374


Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2 HCSB).

Skills in Score Preparation


One thing I found while I was decluttering my office was a short paper I wrote in grad school for the course Skills in Score Preparation. I was a music education major. The scores in question were pieces of music, especially multi-instrument or multi-voice pieces for orchestra or ensembles or choruses; the score contains all the parts for each individual instrument and/or voice. The conductor or teacher would need to carefully study all parts of the piece before beginning to rehearse or teach the piece. The conductor/teacher would want to mark the score to remind himself of important points to cover; for example, entrances that would need his cueing, or changes in time signature or key signature.

Skills in Score Preparation was by far the most memorable, interesting, and helpful class I took during my Masters program at Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey). I’ve forgotten the professor’s name, but he was passionate about good conducting and helping us to become better conductors. He was everything you’d want a professor to be: wise, skillful, an excellent communicator, kind, and encouraging.

I wrote the paper in the fall of 1975. I typed it on a typewriter on onionskin paper. The assignment was to list the steps I would take to prepare a score I might use in my career (in my case, in an elementary music classroom). I’m posting it here just in case it might be useful to one of the musicians who follow ARHtistic License.

Steps in Score Preparation:

How to Prepare a Score

for Study in the General Music Class or for Performance by the Chorus

  1. Background Information: by whom, when, and why was the piece composed; what are the characteristics of the composer, the period, and of other pieces of music used for the same purpose; how does this piece adhere to or depart from these general characteristics; what is the meaning of the lyrics, if any; how does the music express the lyrics
  2. Harmonic Analysis: is the harmonic structure predominantly diatonic, modal, atonal, homophonic, polyphonic, monophonic; does a particular chord have a function other than the obvious one; identify key changes and reasons for them
  3. Form: identify major and subordinate themes; examine thematic development; determine pattern formed by themes
  4. Interpretation: determine phrasing, emphasis, dynamics, tempi, other diacritical markings
  5. Musical Elements: glean for terminology which might be unfamiliar to students; check for difficult melodic passages, entrances and harmonies which may require extra attention to master; look for exemplary passages which could be used to illustrate particular musical concepts being studied [After each item in the paper, the professor wrote encouraging comments, like v good, yes, and also good. After this item, the professor wrote the suggestion sustain unusual chords for memory work.]
  6. Fresh Viewpoints: listen to different recordings while following score to hear different interpretations, bring to light aspects that might have been overlooked; read album jackets, books, and articles for additional information

On the cover sheet of my paper, the professor wrote quite comprehensive work, which makes me happy even after 47 years.

Inktober2022 Day 28


I played with one of the patterns from Twinchietober, Champ by Antje Romers:

Champ by Antje Romers

Creative Juice #315

Creative Juice #315

Some pretty things, some scary things, some tips for fiction writers, and more.

Video of the Week: Hymn of the Cherubim


For your listening pleasure.

Inktober2022 Day 26


Tangle Pattern D-D-D by Barbara Duel Johnson. It reminds me of wrought iron scrollwork.

D-D-D by Barbara Duel Johnson

Wordless Wednesday: I Can’t Bear to Prune My Bushes

The jungle in my front yard

More Thoughts on Decluttering

My desk

Saturday I posted about my six-week mission to make room in my study for the quilting machine that is coming the day after tomorrow. (More about that soon.) I can’t believe I still have more to say about the process of tidying.

One of the side benefits of decluttering is finding things that have long been lost. My poor desk was so buried in stuff that when I cleaned it off I found SIX pairs of reading glasses that I have been missing.

In various bookshelves, drawers, and boxes I found I had duplicates of seven books. Some were books I frequently reread and was frustrated that I couldn’t find so I bought another copy. (I thought I’d lent them out to friends who thoughtlessly neglected to return them. Sorry I assumed the worst of y’all.) Others were books I knew I wanted to read but forgot that I had already bought because I couldn’t see them anywhere. Oh well. Excess copies have since been donated to the Little Free Library or to Goodwill.

Another book I finally found was Hal Leonard Ukulele Method and Chord Book that I bought when I was still teaching, because I had a bunch of ukuleles in my classroom and thought it would be fun to teach my students to play them—but I never got around to learning. More than a year ago, my daughter gave me a ukulele and I just could not find that book though I tried really hard a number of times.

I also found my Bible journal that I have been looking for diligently for months.

And my sandpaper block, which I use to clean off my tortillons. The craft stores don’t sell single ones (you have to buy an assortment of art tools), and I always forget when I go to the art store.

I also found a short paper I wrote in grad school, which I realize would make a great blog post. That will appear soon.

When I started my blogging break, my friend, blogger Gwen Lanning (aka Textile Ranger), encouraged me by saying “. . . think of all the new blogging ideas you will get as you sort all your stuff.” And she’s right. I have ideas for two more blog posts: about pivots; and about the meditative quality of walking in nature. So yes, Gwen, you were so right.

If you are putting off a major overhaul of a room or a closet, I advise you to give yourself a break from other obligations (Delegate like a boss! Or just give something up temporarily.) and just forge ahead. It may take longer than you think, or you may surprise yourself and complete it in a day or two. But either way, when you’re done, your quality of life will be improved. It’s worth the effort.