[Menvi-discuss] BLINd flutist in Temple Symphony in Temple Texas

Jared Rimer - MENVI webmaster menvi-webmaster at menvi.org
Sun Sep 17 12:16:35 EDT 2017


I probably couldn't have said this myself as accurately.  I have had a 
hunch when the original thread came up that sighted guide would be good, 
but I also indicated it depended on the person and situation.  This was 
an excellent post, and thanks for sharing!

Jared Rimer
Music Education Network for the Visually Impaired
bridging the gap between the blind and music education

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On 9/16/2017 10:11 PM, Sheryl Goodnight via Menvi-discuss wrote:
> Hi Leslie
> My Name is Sheryl Goodnight. I play Principle Flute with the Temple 
> Symphony Orchestra in Temple, Texas. I just arrived home an hour ago 
> from playing the first concert of the 2017-18 season.  We performed 
> Dvorak Symphony #9, the New World, Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, and 
> the Beethoven Piano Concerto #5, the “Emperor” with James Dick as 
> soloist. I have held this position since December 1994.
> To answer some of your questions
> 1.I use a sighted guide going off and on the stage, especially at the 
> break half way through the rehearsals, but walk on stage with my cane, 
> and carrying my instruments(2 flutes), a bag with the flute parts in it, 
> and my purse and water bottle. My driver, a woman, walks behind me or 
> beside me. My colleague from the flute section guides me on and off 
> during the break.
> 2.I learn the flute parts by having them recorded far in advance. The 
> Conductor and I work well together, and we have always had good repor, 
> and he is very considerate of my needs. When the parts are recorded, I 
> have an adult student record the parts, and I mark the rehearsal letters 
> A, B, etc. by stopping the recorder. Therefore, I can go from track to 
> track, learning where the various rehearsal letters are located in the 
> context of the work. I use an Olympus DM620 to record. I have worked on 
> these pieces above since May 30. My goal was to have them memorized and 
> learned by the end of July. Then, I could finish polishing the parts 
> soon before the first rehearsal on Sept. 6. We had four rehearsals prior 
> to tonight’s concert. During the learning process, I acquired the full 
> orchestral scores to the above pieces from the Fine Arts Library at the 
> University of Texas at Austin, my Alma Mater. The scores are regular 
> print of course, but I had my adult student, play a couple of measures 
> prior to each of my intrances. A conductor’s pet peve, is when one 
> misses entrances. So, knowing what is going on before your entrance, and 
> what is happening at the same time that you are playing is very important.
> 3.I have the person recording separate the slurs, so I will know the 
> beginning and endings of the slurs. Once the pieces are completed under 
> tempo, then we go through a second time, and they play the measures 
> where the dynamics and accents are indicated.  They need to state what 
> the dynamics are and where they occur, and play where the accents occur.
> 4.It is very important to go to the first rehearsal being able to play 
> the part all the way through without stopping. To do this, i 
> recommendthat you play along with a professional recording. You need to 
> go from section to section without stopping and hesitating.
> 5.As far as entrances where nothing is moving rhythmically, the 
> conductor can give you a breath, on either the previous downbeat or 
> upbeat. Then, you can follow. The person sitting next to you can tap 
> your foot during a very slow sustained piece, and where there is a 
> silence, or, a sustained note before you enter. Tapping is very helpful 
> in a rubato situation and during various tempo changes.
> I have just begun to learn to read Braille music, and it is very 
> interesting. Everyone always told me that I wouldn’t like it because it 
> is too clumsy. So, since I have perfect pitch, learning by a recording 
> under tempo, is very easy and most time efficient. I am in my late 50’s, 
> so I don’t know how quickly I will be able to master Braille music. But 
> I want to be as self sufficient as possible.
> I also teach flute part time for the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in 
> Belton, Texas, and for Temple College in Temple, Texas. Plus, I tteach 
> some students at a middle school and privately in my home.
> I hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Piano from the University 
> of Texas at Austin and a Performance Certificate in Flute as well. I won 
> several flute competitions during the 80’s, and that is how my career as 
> a flutist began.
> I look forward to hearing from you.
> Sincerely,
> Sheryl Goodnight
> P.S. Where is Elmhurst, the town where the orchestra is 
> headquartered?sherylgmusic at gmail.com <mailto:sherylgmusic at gmail.com>
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