Five Links I Love

By Maia Jasper White

Hi from El Niño-soaked Marin County! Philip and I are here catching our breath for two nights in the middle of a relentless few months of work. (Thankfully, oxygen is plentiful here.)

The past few weeks have found Kevin and I prepping for Salastina’s concert with Sarah Chang in Palm Springs later this month. Setting up adequate rehearsal time around 15 busy musicians’ schedules is like herding cats with ADHD. But all kvetching aside, I can’t wait for the week of March 21st — when our nightly rehearsals are slated to begin.

Sharing some of my favorite links from the week:

1. Cellist Steven Isserlis gives the “low, low, lowdown” on audition acceptances (and rejections) with humor, candor, and humility here.

2. My friend Conor Knighton, a college classmate with whom I reconnected here in LA, is on a year-long exploration of America’s national parks — “from Acadia to Zion” — for CBS Sunday Morning. Three segments have already aired. Catch them here, and follow his adventures (and many witticisms) on Instagram here.

3. Podcasts keep me sane, entertained, and most importantly, awake during long drives to and from work. This wonderful list of the best podcast episodes of 2015 includes many of my personal favorites (including “Belt Buckle,” “Living Room,” and “Entanglement”). I’m looking forward to brightening my commutes with some of the many great episodes I haven’t yet heard.

4. A beautiful piece about Maurice Sendak’s preoccupation with death and the grizzly — and how he tapped into an awareness more natural to children than we’d like to believe. (I’d forgotten about Sendak’s involvement with the performing and musical arts through his work turning “Where the Wild Things Are” into an opera.)

5. As a teacher, I find this article — about the detrimental effects of overly “coddling” students —  thought-provoking. I have certainly had my fair share of experiences that back up the author’s argument. And I couldn’t agree more with the following:

Teachers today have to navigate the minefield between the conflicting emotions of students and parents, and the responsibility to improve their students’ playing. The route to success requires complete honesty from the teacher, together with the appropriate compassion for the feelings of the young player.

I’ll save a fuller weighing-in for its own post.

6. A bonus post-script, courtesy of our Resident Violist Meredith Crawford: puppies, or food?