vrijdag 4 augustus 2017

New Website, New Blog!

Hi everyone!

I've moved to:


Hope to see you there!

vrijdag 2 december 2016

Creating a Wechat post

Hello! I've been learning about making posts on Chinese Social Media.
It's been quite a messy experience but more importantly: it's fun!!
This is the body where the text goes in
This morning as I was creating a new post, I realised that I was writing in two non-native languages, that thought amused me quite a bit! 
After completing the post you can see how the welcome screen will look on a phone
To be honest: it is a little bit nerve wrecking to write in Chinese, but I've decided to be brave ✌🏻
Speaking is much easier so that's why most of info comes in the little video's that I post.
There's a 20MB upload limit so it is vital to be fast, hahahaha. There'a also an external way to upload longer vids but I haven't figured out how to do that (yet!).

You can also check the message body
Here's an example why writing Chinese is so tricky. All of these characters are pronounced as "de":
的得地德锝底........ 🙄🤔
How about "yi"?:
So yeah, you can see the problem, right?
A warning message appears before sending your post out!

It is also quite interesting to see how differently I express myself in English and Chinese as I'm trying to be culturally sensitive in both languages. Some ways are perfect in English but really weird in Chinese, also the other way round.

After acknowledging that you in fact really want to post, you have to scan this QR code with your phone.

Yesterday my student was being brilliant and I created a post from my phone about it.
Little did I know that you can't send a pic AND text (I mentioned that I was still learning, right?).
As a result only a text went out.... Oopsies.
So what to do?

我的学生吹了sol fa mi re 就停下来了。


My student stopped playing at "d".
I asked him why. His response?
"The last note has been crossed out"

I included the above in my post from today and apologized in a funny way for being so silly.
Since then I have had 64 page views in one hour. Not bad for a page that's been open for a week and a half! 
From my phone I will have to press "confirm" again

I'm also having fun on my brand new Facebook page called Jo's Music Stream. I'd love for you to join me there for more fun and giggles.
Tadaaaaa, success!
I hope you enjoyed my little blog up here and the struggles I endure to entertain you 😜

vrijdag 25 november 2016

A peek into my Wechat adventure!

第一个小视频是英文版,请听一听!下面有中文版哦 😃
This first video is in English, the second one is in Chinese 🀄️

(I haven't worked out how to select a better still yet and I'm not sure if these video's work abroad either. Hey, chaos is creation, right? The rest of this post is unedited. It is also kinda scary to type in Chinese......)

Tonight my good friend Kato and me will be playing in the metro concert series. Our concerts will be at 6 and 7PM at the entrance of the APM line at the Guangzhou Tower metro station. One of the pieces will be the Rossini you just heard.
We went to try out the piano and the sound system last Friday.
We had so much fun!

Please share this page with your friends, thank you!

vrijdag 28 oktober 2016

Blog time (finally!!!)

Hurray, finally another blog. Time flies by so fast!
Well, here I am :)

Lexie and Izzie on a rainy day
I've started to teach flute and clarinet at one of the international schools in town (ISA). I'm teaching kids from P1 (P for Primary) up to middle school. The school is located in Rectory which is an arts district in an old brick factory. There are lots of separate buildings that house galleries and restaurants. It is a very green area with nice lanes and beautiful old buildings. The school is new and modern.

Some of my ISA students
The system is that I go to the classroom to pick the students up, and I take them back after class. This is pretty nice because I get to walk a lot and also climb loads of stairs in the process and by now you know I have a thing for stairs 😋

🎶Morning has broken.....🎶
Some of the kiddos are really small so holding a flute is a bit of a problem. We use a special kiddy flute and also "just" recorders. For the clarinet students I've bought a clarineo which is a super lightweight plastic clarinet in C. The kids love it! The sound is not bad at all.

Class with Justin
Besides ISA I'm still teaching in HuangPu where the new first year students have also started their classes. Argh!!! So many new names to learn!! Every Tuesday I'm off to HuangPu for the afternoon. Not this Tuesday though, as we had an unexpected day off. That was fun too as I treated myself to a massage and a manicure, after a nice quick work out and general chilling out.

Hi sun! ☀️
I've also been subbing at the American School which is very nice as well. I get to see the sunrise!
The trip to the school bus has become more enjoyable and much faster due to new city bikes. You download an app on your phone, reserve a bike and go. Once you lock the bike it is available for the next person so you don't need to worry about your bike being stolen. I tend to move around town in circles so using my own bike is not an option.

Making a wish!
Tuesday was also the day that Lexie turned 5. We had a celebration during the weekend with nice food and a lovely cake. She went to kindergarten during the day and had an extra celebration on Thursday. The kindergarten has a once a month birthday party for all the kids that have their birthday in that month.
Gimme my cake!!!
Some more pics:

Super cool yet sweet kungfu Lexie

Mommy! Me too!

Chilling out before work


Higher physics, baby!

Last weekend my music school had a student concert. The kids did great and it was a lot of fun.
Luckily one of our teachers got a nice place for us to use. Everybody was happy, yay!

Lexie and part of ma clarinet gang :)
I've bought myself a new Bb clarinet this week. My old trusty LeBlanc wasn't as trusty anymore. I had it maintained but I'm afraid it is getting too old. It has been used super intensively throughout my conservatory and orchestra days. I tried a gold plated clarinet but I honestly couldn't find any pro's compared with a silver plated one. I actually felt that the sound of the gold plated one was a bit on the thin side.....

Selecting my new clarinet (left one in pic is my old one)
That's my update for now! I still have to write 3 articles for GWIC but I felt like writing to you first! 



maandag 5 september 2016

Quintet Concert

Yesterday we played a quintet concert in Shenzhen's Grand Theatre. There were about 600 people in the audience. 

The "small" hall in the Grand Theatre 
It was a concert organized by our flutist and I'm very happy that she worked so hard to put it all together! It was a very "Chinese" affair to start with..... The dates kept changing, the musicians kept changing but in the end it all worked out. One of the concert dates was particularly terrible as she herself was not available that day, nor was the french horn player as their orchestra was performing out of town somewhere. But as I said, it all turned out well.

Rehearsal shenanigans, testing the mics
The dad of the flutist (her name is Fay) drove us to Shenzhen at 8 AM. We got there a little bit after 10 and we went on stage for our dress rehearsal. In this pic you can see Sihui, our oboe player in the foreground. I'm in the back testing out the mic. After our first piece Fay and I had a mini conversation in Dutch as a comical element in our program. 

After looking at the audience with a I-don't-know-what's-going-on-either-face she switched to English and asked me to introduce the clarinet. I started off in English but then said 啊呀,算了,还是讲中文吧 (Ah, forget about this, lets just speak Chinese). 
The audience really liked this as they love it when foreigners speak Chinese. I told them a bit about the clarinet and then played a chromatic scale ff, then pp, followed by the opening solo of Rhapsody in Blue and a tiny bit of the Mozart Concerto.

Fans :)
We had worked out beforehand who would introduce which piece and their instrument at which moment. Glad to report that this as well worked out very nicely.
Only SiHui and I don't mind speaking in public so we did most of the talking, hahaha. Talking is definitely one of my stronger points! It was a bit scary to do it in Chinese though....... 

We played mostly quintets but also a few quartets (no french horn) and some duets (flute/oboe and clarinet/bassoon).
With the program booklet
A very special occurrence took place during the concert: the flute broke!! One of the springs had come undone so one key didn't open up anymore. We started off a piece and it sounded weird from the start. Fay tried for a bit but then stopped us as it was a serious problem.
SiHui told the audience to take a 10 minute break and we went back stage to fix the flute. 

When we continued we made a joke about how exciting it is to visit a live concert and that you'll never know what will happen. I guess we've all seen strings break before on stage but out of my hundreds of concerts this was the first time that this happened to a flute!

Our program 
We had a lot of fun on stage and the audience was very happy with our performance (so were we).
It was awesome to share the joy of music and I got so many nice comments and texts of people afterwards :)

We drove back to Guangzhou in some pretty awful weather. We still needed to get some food as we were starving after the long drive back. The original plan was to eat something in Shenzhen but we weren't hungry yet and the roads were clear so we just headed back.

We decided on a mall so there was no need to swim outside to get to the food. We went for some lovely Japanese and SiHui drove me home afterwards.

All in all a lovely day and hopefully the beginning of many more concerts like this one :)

donderdag 11 augustus 2016

Time Out

Today I'm home with a case of food poisoning.

I'll spare you the details but let's say last night was not my most comfortable one.
I'm super happy that Lexie and Izzie slept deeply and I didn't wake them up. I would not have been ready to "mommy" for sure. So being sick sucks but somehow I got lucky as well.

I decided to put my essential oils to the test. I used Deep Blue with Peppermint on my neck to get rid of the horrible pressure headache that I was experiencing. I wasn't ready to ingest anything so I rubbed some DigestZen on my tummy. Then I just sat very quietly until I felt better.
The cold sweats started to disappear and I could lay down again.

After a little while I applied the oils again (always just a few drops per time) and I managed to go back to sleep. I woke up a bit groggy but feeling OK.

Now I'm just giving my body time to rest up before going at it again tomorrow with various appointments. I've got a saxophone class scheduled and also a health consult with a lady that just got her oils today. In the evening it is time for some Dutch fun at the monthly Dutch Evening.
Looks like it will be a typical fun and random Joke day, just the way I love it!