2020 Updates & the COVID-19

Holy Cow!

 

I have really been so busy that I haven't updated this site or a blog for quite some time.  Let's see, it's been 3 years.  Over the last few years, I've been so gratefully busy that I haven't paid much attention to updating this website.  I will try to be better about that.  I've been teaching like crazy...both privately, group classes, camps, and clinics, as well as my beloved Rex Putnam KINGSMEN THUNDER DRUM LINE.  We finally clawed our way up the food chain of Winter Indoor Percussion shows competing on the NWAPA and WGI circuits and won 1st place last year, 2019 in Scholastic A.  Also, this year, we were on track for huge wins (not just squeaking by our competition last year), but huge point spreads and took 1st in the two competitions we were able to do before COVID-19 pulled the rug out from EVERYBODY, including Winter Indoor Competitions, DCI Drum Corps, and school, life, and the world.  

 

Since they I've converted my private music studio of drummers, mallet players, and piano students to online.  Most made the switch, a few stopped and I'm filling in with new students.  I was playing in 3 bands, Nicole Campbell Band (you MUST check her out, voice like butter female singer-songwriter power trio), I was playing in an all-female David Bowie Cover band but am no longer involved in that group.  I was also filling in for the ever-popular Nu Wavers, one of the most sought after cover groups in the NW.  My husband plays for them and I found myself filling in for a few gigs.  I also did some other freelancing in other bands, recording some marching drums on Kit Taylor's album, taught at Free Beat Nation summer camp last year, and the Alan Keown Drum Camp (the premier marching camp in the NW, I'm honored to be on staff there for at least 4-5 years now).  

Soooooo....yeah....pandemic....It totally sucks.  Especially for us musicians.  We make our living performing, instructing, sharing our knowledge to inspire all ages, to sooth the souls, anything from a night out with live music to music therapies used in medicine, to stress relief and back to the ultimate creative outlet.  DRUMS ARE THE OLDEST INSTRUMENT y'all.  Our tribe is the best.  We hang out in groups, support groups, and are the backbone.  Our skills sets are the highest in any musical group and those of us who pursue excellence and knowledge end up being the most vital rhythmic part of the musical economy.  Yet, here we all are, (not just drummers, but musicians who do this for a living), scrambling to make a living adjust to online, having to roll out entire new lesson plans, and marketing, investing in equipment to get ourselves out there.....Jeez.  

Yet, part of this does reconnect us in certain ways.  I'm blogging here again.  Working on updating my site.  I'm reconnected to Tom Tom Magazine and will be doing a live Instagram mini-lesson for thousands of drummers all over the world.  Pretty cool.  I joined Drummergirls on Facebook and am looking forward to strengthening new relationships and old.  

Another fun thing is my now 14 year old son, is HEAVY into the drum line I teach, has become quite the rudimental chorister and he is padding with me on a regular basis since we're stuck inside and as a result, we're both getting better.  In some cases, he is smoking my left hand.  Jeez, where did that come from?  So proud of him.  At 14, he is starting to audition for DCI World and Open class drum corps in our area (Columbians and Seattle Cascades) and he will probably enter that world as a younger than usual player.  I'm very excited for him.  Our house is full of drummers.  I'll be doing more videos.  

A funny thing about videos is that i have this great website, but I've been so busy teaching that I've never posted much in the way of videos of my playing.  I'll be fixing that so stay tuned.  Folks know I've been around awhile, degreed, credentialed, experienced,...blah blah blah, but it's time to put it out there.  I may even enter the Hit Like a Girl Contest.  It's time people.  It's time.  Stay tuned.  let me know you read this stuff, reach out.  I'm here for all things drumming and music related.  Peace and wash those hands for gawd's sake!

 

Rene'

 

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