Sunday, May 27, 2012

a viola in the house

There is a viola in the house. It's been at least 12 years since I played a viola. And about five since I dragged out my violin for more than five minutes. I am extremely rusty. Extremely. My intonation makes me cringe. Still, let's start at the very beginning. Well with some Bach anyway. I love love love these Bach cello suites. This is one of the easier and more well known movements. I used to be able to play some of the others when I was playing regularly. I am determined to improve...and perhaps start going to the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra (always known in my mind as the Bundaberg Sympathy Orchestra....a title it gained for me after a faux pas by a Mayor of long ago when I was younger). Here I am playing it this afternoon.....

Friday, May 18, 2012

here I sit in my jim jams

Way back in February I requested that I work from home every Friday. Yes, wonderful, that's fine Wendy. It's now the end of Week 11 of the term and I am having my first Friday working from home. The term has been hectic to say the least and there always seemed to be something that I had to go into campus for. Never mind. Here I sit in my jim jams, drinking my lovely cup of green vanilla tea and deciding what to do first. The birds are singing outside and it's a perfect autumn day here in Bundaberg. Blue skies, light breeze. You get the picture. So what will it be? Written case outlining why preparatory students should still have access to hard copy study material in 2013 rather than having only online access? Last lot of Moodle resources created and uploaded for the term? Third assignment for management unit? All of the above is what I'm hoping for. In between times I might do some washing and general household duties which are sorely neglected by this time of the week. Then this afternoon I shall go out to accompany a double bass student for their music exam. And that, my friends, will be Friday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I didn't expect to cry......

I didn't expect to get home and start crying. It's okay I'm not wracked with gasping sobs. I am just a bit teary and sad. Emotional, I believe it's called. Tonight was probably one of my student's last performances at the Eisteddfod. I started teaching her when she was a little girl of 8 and now she is about to turn 17. She is completing Year 12 and working towards her AMusA on the piano. Together over the last few years we have travelled the ups and downs of public performance together. She gets nervous playing in front of audiences. Exams (where you play in front of one person) are not so scary. So each year we have prepared for the music eisteddfod. We have spent hour upon hour working our way through learning the notes of ever challenging pieces, mastering the technical difficulties, having lengthy discussions about style, tempo, mood and character. We have talked about Debussy and Chopin, Brahms and Grainger. She has challenged herself as a student and I have enjoyed every moment of the challenge as a teacher in helping her to mature as a musician and interpret quite difficult repertoire. This week she played Elena Kats-Chernin's Russian Rag and Debussy's La Soiree dans Grenade. And as I sat and listened to her finish her Debussy tonight, I was suddenly overcome with the fact that something was ending. Something that I have done for so many years has drawn to a close. I will miss it greatly. Every student is different and I have others who are just starting on their musical journey. They have all done very well this week placing in their sections. But this ending is something I was not ready for. I hadn't given it much thought. I wasn't prepared! And now, I'm sitting at my keyboard with a huge lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.