Returning Players: A Logic Model

Returning players: there are lots of them who share similar backstories

Over the past 10 or 15 years I have met quite a few saxophone players who have picked up the instrument again after taking many years off for a variety of reasons. During this same time period I have also chatted online or via email with many players from around the globe, who also have returned to playing saxophone after a many year hiatus.

All this chatting with returning players got me thinking last year about how so many of them had similar stories. Many had started playing saxophone in school. Then, for whatever reason, they gave up the sax, and concentrated on their families, careers, and lives in general.

Once the saxophone spark was reignited in these former players, their stories continued to be quite similar. A common thread in all their stories was the Internet, and very often the largest saxophone forum in the world, Sax On The Web (SOTW), featured prominently in their return to saxophone playing.

A logic model depicting the life of a fictitious returning player

These experiences of returning players inspired me to come up with a type of logic model that represents the saxophone-playing life of one such fictitious returning saxophone player. This model is based on the maps of the subway systems we see in cities around the world.

Although partially inspired by the life events of others, this is a work of fiction. No one person is represented in this diagram, and this is not based on any one person’s real life experiences.

Think of the following as a humorous logic model that makes us take a closer look at where and how our sources of information have changed over the past 15 or so years. I guess it’s the educator in me that wonders if all this crazy-large amount of info available to us is really useful, or if it’s just become a source of confusion and distraction. :scratch:

logic model, sax player's possible experiences, returning player, subway system-inspired map,

In hindsight, there is another area I could have added. Buying beater horns and getting into DIY horn repair is another area that seems to be a common theme for returning players. Oh well, transit systems do undergo expansions as required, and budgets allow. I’ll have to get in touch with the urban planning department. ;)

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Sax On The Brain: Photographic Proof

Sax on the brain? I don’t think so. I’ve been way to sick for that.

On Saturday I finally got the “all clear” comment on my lungs. Meaning that after more than a week of such violent coughing that my abs are still sore, the seven days of crazy-strong antibiotics seem to have done their job, and I’m over my pneumonia.

Since our Christmas party on December 21, I’ve been out of the house exactly twice: once for Christmas dinner, and the second time two days later to go to the walk-in clinic. Somehow I also managed to pick up a secondary cold virus though, which is still hanging on. (My money’s on the walk-in clinic, where I shared the waiting room for 10 minutes with 20 people, who all seemed to have a respiratory ailment of some sort!)

Although I am getting a little bit better every day, I’m still not getting over this secondary virus, which means I’m at greater risk for the H1N1 flu virus that is currently spreading like wildfire in BC. Hopefully by the time I have an appointment with my doctor on the 13th this month, I’ll be well enough to get this year’s flu shot. Until then, I likely will be staying close to home, or only venturing outside with a gov’t approved mask….  ;)

biohazard mask, US government employees, biohazard suites

Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Needless to say all this homeboundness has led to a wee case of cabin fever. Furthermore being as ill as I still am, it is also not conducive to playing saxophone. Hence the last time I played was way back in December.

Finally well enough to have sax on the brain again….

Over the past three or four days, as I’ve started to feel better, and haven’t needed to sleep so much during the day, I’ve slowly started to think about saxophone-related topics again. (Although I did fall asleep for two hours while writing this article yesterday morning, so perhaps I’m not over this illness as much as I thought I was.) Sadly, my brain is still too mushy to be able to take the one profound thought that I have had, and write a proper article about it. The concept requires some logic and research on my part—skills that still illude me to a large degree.

Nonetheless, I can say that I once again suffer from what many of us suffer from: sax on the brain.

sax on the brain, glass skull, Crystal Head Vodka bottle,silver saxophone pendant, black onyx, cyrstal,

As I shake of the remnants of the bacterial infection that has resided inside my lungs and sinuses since late last year, here’s to hoping that the rest of 2014 is much healthier for all of us. They predicted this would be a bad year for viruses, so let’s try to stay healthy.

I know many of you are buried under piles of ice and snow ATM, but I hope that this cold and flu season is a mild one for you. By all accounts, the winter certainly isn’t go to be. It looks like a good season to stay indoors and do a lot of sax playing—in between rounds of snow blowing and shovelling that is!

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Happy New Year 2014

New Year 2014 ws

I wish each of you a very happy and healthy 2014. :toast:

Personally, I would just like to get over the pneumonia that I’ve been fighting for about a week.

Here’s to third line antibiotics, lots of fluids, and so much rest that my leather recliner has permanently molded itself to my body shape.   :party:     :cheers:

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!