Thesis: Communication is important. Letting the other person know your CONTEXT is a part of that.

Scene: We’re walking the doggo, so I can’t step into the co-op with Steve.  We’re all wearing masks, which as you know makes communication a little bit more fraught.

“I’m going to grab some coffee – what can I get you?”





“No, Kombucha, please.”

“WHAT? Cup of joe?”

Bless his heart. He REALLY knows me.  In 22 years of marriage I have given him no reason to think that I would prefer a non-coffee, non-booze beverage under any circumstance.

I’m a complex person, and I reserve the right to change up my order on a hot day when something with a little pro-biotic tang sounds appetizing.  But he was confused, which I get.

I was working with an Invincible Oboist recently, reiterating that the METER must be clear when you perform. It’s remarkable how much of my energy as a listener – especially on zoom, but really always –  goes into trying to grasp the basic structure of what is going on.  We NEED the clarity of a downbeat early in the process, we NEED to understand whether the piece in question is in three or four or six – because until that happens we are just searching for meaning.  We can’t appreciate any of your other magic until we understand the context of what you’re saying.

Be a girl scout for the first bar or two.  Let me get the sense of what I’m hearing.  Then I’ll be prepped to hear the rest of your brilliant ideas.  THEN you can be playful with rhythm, THEN you can elide phrases and make interesting choices. But I have to trust you first.  I have to be ready to listen.

“I feel like something different today.  How about kombucha?”  would have solved our problem.

and three and ONE___ two would have solved my oboist’s.

Communicate! x

Scroll to Top