Finger troubles/recording

I have been plagued all week by a hurt left index finger.  This happened to me about a year ago, and I don’t know why.  I assume I am producing too much tension in that finger, perhaps from my vibrato, but it seems to just come on suddenly with no warning.  I was hoping to be back into a practicing schedule by today, but I made a small effort and decided I shouldn’t push it.  I feel like this is the story of my life…practice, make some progress, oops, injury time, take four steps back.

After putting away the old fiddle, I decided I really needed to just DO IT and ordered a digital recorder from  I have been meaning to get something to record myself for several years.  Previously I used a tape recorder, but in this day and age, there is no excuse to NOT have a digital recorder, particularly when the prices are just not that bad for what you get.  I think this will help my playing, and also just be great to have on hand for a variety of reasons.  Nothing tells me I sound terrible better than listening to myself!

Yesterday I taught for about five hours up at SIUE.  I was a sub for the tour group (a fabulous group of advanced Suzuki students, high schoolers) and several private students.  It was a nice change from the beginners I am used to at home (no offense, guys!!).  I think I relate to teenagers better than young children–I assume it is because I recall being a teenager easier than I recall being a child…and since most of what I do is based on my own experiences, that makes sense.  In any case, I had been sort of dreading the morning, thinking it would be both exhausted and terrifying, I ended up really enjoying myself, and the rest of the day really felt like a real, useful member of society again!  Next week I am subbing for a different teacher, but for less time.  I will be teaching a bona fide Suzuki group class again, however, so I’ll be a bit terrified about that, as my loyal readers know!

I haven’t been watching as much NCAA basketball as I sometimes do, but I must say I enjoyed the Kansas upset last night!  I didn’t do a bracket this year because I just really hadn’t been following the regular season, but I wonder if I would have put Kansas in final four?  Either way, I certainly wouldn’t have predicted what happened.  On a related note, what if orchestra auditions were done via bracket style, single elimination?  Or…are they?