May 7: Woodshedding

When I first heard the phrase “to woodshed,” in
The context of rehearsal, I inferred
That it meant chipping at a score, therein
Discovering the sounds that should be heard,

Such as an ancient master might have done
To find the form inside a marble block,
And though painstaking work is rarely fun,
To get it right’s a satisfying shock.

But no, the phrase supposedly derives
From banishing musicians to the shed
Where of amenities they are deprived,
But they may practice, uninhibited.

Regardless of whose definition’s right,
Woodshedding is what was required tonight.

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4 thoughts on “May 7: Woodshedding

    • I heard it from the conductor of Master Chorale. I always called it note-pounding before, but woodshedding is a lovely word, even if it describes a rather drafty place.

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