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Entries in 365_2019 (18)


Photo 40/365 {series: Solo and Ensemble, with videos}

Calvin's first ever Solo and Ensemble event was held today. It was a long day for him, appropriate after a long period of preparation. Long mostly for us parents, I suppose, who tried to convince the kid to get down to practicing in earnest back in December, and instead had to listen to his cries of despair ("I'll never get this ready in time!!!") just two weeks ago. Teenage (or preteen?) lessons are rarely learned the easy way I am finding. But he has a lot to be proud of in his no-nonsense work since that moment of panic (and a few mini panics between), because when today was finally here he was, if not in possession of the confidence that long practice brings, at least well prepared.

He played a bassoon solo, a bassoon/clarinet duet, and a piano solo, and he played them all well. His bassoon judge sounded very pleased when she told him that one of her undergraduates was playing the same solo piece for his juries, and she was amazed to hear Calvin play it so very well. Later, his piano judge told him he clearly had "this piano thing down" and that he "must have a very good teacher", to which Calvin and I both inwardly giggled, I think. He came home with three Division I ratings and a newly invigorated dedication to his instruments. 

Bassoon Sonata in F Major, 1st movement - William Hurlstone

Sonatina (Op. 20, No. 1), 1st movement - Friedrich Kuhlau — Calvin's first performance by memory!


Photo 39/365


Photo 38/365


Photo 37/365, with a training update

Gimli is now almost 14 weeks old. He weighs just shy of twenty pounds, and his ears are considering standing up. At this point we have been training fairly consistently for four or five weeks now using the Zak George Dog Training Revolution, and things are really coming along swimmingly.

With regards to the basics, we haven't had a potty accident in the house that wasn't our fault (i.e. not knowing he was waiting at the front door) in several weeks. Gimli is solid on look at me, leave it, sit, lay down, come, and stay in any controlled environment, and I'd say he's 50/50 in environments with high distraction, which I figure is pretty good for such a young pup! In those situations we are continuing to train with a 1:1 reward ratio to improve results, and the 50/50 is already an improvement over a week ago, so I figure we're on the right track. The other day I had him in a long lead stay in our front driveway when the neighbor drove into their driveway and started unloading the car...and he stayed! 

In the world of fun tricks, Gimli has a pretty solid spin, roll over, and high five. We started working on speak last week but abandoned the effort when it got too noisy. But I sat in on Calvin's training session yesterday and realized that he has started teaching some of the agility practices, including circling, traveling through, and climbing to rest on an elevated surface. The relation to agility I think was just a coincidence—Calvin was just looking for fun new things, but the two of them are doing great together, and I love that. 

Tonight Gimli, although younger than all the other participants and clearly more high strung, maybe due in part to age, was the star of his puppy class, with Calvin performing the duties of handler. 



Photo 36/365