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Dear Readers,

Summer! Even this year, when I’ve been home for about 10 weeks, I am excited by the idea of summer break. Today I am smack in the middle of my annual two weeks of vacation, which I had to learn to demand for myself as a self-employed person. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been practicing differently than I generally do, simply because I have the time right now to encourage my very best habits in a way that is sometimes impossible when I’m preparing for multiple performances each month. Having the time to focus on fundamentals, études and new repertoire has reminded me of the joy and value involved in honing a skill set. It has also reminded me not to hunch my shoulders and stick my neck out!

This month we have four wonderful links for you. Kelly has written a column on the ways that excessive computer time can adversely affect our body awareness through posture and hand position. Keith provided a column on the importance of annual maintenance, especially where the headjoint cork is concerned. In our collaboration this month, we feature Faye-Ellen Silverman’s Xenium, a work for flute and piano. Finally, I interviewed Ilonka Kolthoff, an accomplished piccolo virtuoso who is spearheading an initiative to create more contemporary solo works for piccolo.

We hope that May finds you well, readers, and that you are also finding ways to stay engaged and entertained in this season!

—Jessica Dunnavant, Editor

image Piccolo Playing in a Light of Great Joy: A Conversation with Ilonka Kolthof

JD: Tell us about your background. How did you come to music as a career? IK: When I was seven years old, I…

image Zooming Back to the Basics

“My old pain/discomfort is coming back.”  “My hands hurt.”  “I’m getting headaches all the time.”  “Why am I noticing so much more discomfort…

image It’s All in your Head–An Often Overlooked Maintenance Issue

There comes a time when we all start to wonder if our headjoint is starting to fail us or is ceasing to be…

image Xenium by Faye-Ellen Silverman

I have always wanted to be a musician. I started composing with weekly assignments from the Dalcroze School of Music, which I began…

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