This past year I had to deal with more health problems but finally two weeks before Christmas I finally had surgery that fixed the problem that had been plaguing me for the last few years. I was quick on the road to recovery and ready to get back out there and play again and visit the music retail and repair shops to try out more instruments to review and recommend when the world changed seemingly overnight. As this is not a scientific or medical blog, so I won't go into things that I am not qualified to write about as far as that goes. I may however get a little political here because it is that apsect of this whole lockdown that is effecting every musician, music student, club owner, concert promoter, theater managers, and music patrons, etc.
This "pandemic" put an abrupt halt to just about all the musical activity in the country, as well as the world. Working musicians have found all their gigs, present and future cancelled with no indication of when they can begin to play again. Music teachers had to cancel lessons, schools shut down so music studies or activities shut down with them. The only bright spot for students is that it's possible to have music instruction live online via Skype for example. There are also plenty of online resources for music lessons and information.
I find it a little ironic that as soon as I took care of my health problem and was ready to get back into action that other people were getting sick and I was finally feeling the best in years, and still do. The lockdown here however was pretty severe, and for a while most stores were closed, and just a couple of markets were open and you had to stand on long lines and also find you couldn't always get what you needed because they were out. The toilet paper run was one of the most absurd things that people did.
In New York City, as well as in many other cities, things got worse when riots broke out and businesses were looted, burned and destroyed, and it's still happening in these cities. This is the nail in the coffin of any city not just economically, but socially as well. In New York City alone, many businesses not looted or burned still went out of business because they no longer had money left to operate.
As businesses here start to re-open, they are facing obstacles from a political front as the mayor and the governor, whose names I won't mention because I despise them and they are not worthy of mention, are fining and revoking the licenses of establishments that have "violated" their rather arbitrary and not well defined rules. Add to that, there has been no guidance from the state as to when things can get back to normal. They keep moving the goal posts. Some places have already closed permanently, and others will likely close soon because they can't sustain their business under the circumstances.
On the musician side of things, I know a few players who are getting back to the odd gigs, playing under limited conditions, but at least they're getting back into it even if it's a little bit. Some players I know are doing podcasts and other online programs to keep active and to keep their name and their music out there. Some have re-opened their repair shops and see clients by appointment and have expanded their online mail order businesses. Then there are players who have started doing online lessons via Skype or other online sites.
One of my old teachers Tim Price, a top player, has been doing Skype lessons for 22 years, and if you need lessons and can't see a teacher personally, or there is no one available where you live and you are serious about wanting to learn from a genuine pro, I highly recommend him. You can inquire at:
If you are serious about learning and playing, he is the man to learn from, and as long as you have an internet connection, it doesn't matter where you are.
If you are needing information about saxophones as well as buying saxophones and saxophone accessories, music, etc., I recommend the following:
Saxophone sales, service and repair:
These links should keep you busy. No reason to let a lockdown or limited movement keep you from pursuing your musical goals.
I will continue to write more articles now that I am back in action I hope soon to find a way to arrange to try out new models of saxophones and revisit previous models to see how they've held up over the years. I will also keep looking for what I consider the best saxophones that fit whatever your budget allows. I still believe that a beginner needs not just good guidance on how to play, but that they can play on something that will not fight them but instead allow them to develop their musical skills, talent and ideas. Of course, I will also continue to write about my opinions on various subjects, keeping in mind that they're just opinions.
Until next time, here's hoping that you are all coping with this pandemic and lockdown as best you can!