21. October 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I continue to work on my Double Reed Musician pages. (It’s a great way to justify watching the World Series; I’m working while watching and I don’t feel quite as guilty!) I’m currently putting up orchestras from both Europe and Asia. I simply can’t see where a clear dividing line is between these continents, so I’ve chosen to do a Eurasian page.

Reading some languages is a challenge. Reading some languages is an impossibility! So if any readers want to fill me in on things, I’ll happily accept your help. Here’s what I need:

  • Orchestra name & URL
  • English site URL if it’s available
  • Names and positions of double reed players
  • I can’t always get the spellings quite right; some characters don’t seem to be available on my computer. Or at least I’ve not found them yet. (TextWrangler lets me know if I have cut and pasted something that won’t work on the site.) If you think you know how to correct my problems I don’d mind hearing about it. (Well, spelling problems, that is. Forget all of my other problems if you are able, please. ;-)

    In any case, check out the page as it is now; I’ve got quite a number of orchestras and players listed.

    There are a lot of double reeders in the world! I wonder if they all stress over reeds …?
    —–

    21. October 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

    As much as I love Beethoven and Mozart, the greatest is Bach. And they would be the first to agree. For me, to play Bach is a matter of hygiene. It’s like taking a shower.

    -Andras Schiff

    (From this article.)
    —–

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, this has been a week of ill students. It has also, I’m sorry to say, been a week of tardy students and lessons cancelled at the last minute.

    I try to be as flexible as possible. Really I do. I hate charging for lessons cancelled at the last minute, and I attempt to reschedule students. If a student is late I often teach past the time we should have ended. But sometimes I can’t do that, as another student is waiting for his or her lesson.

    The plight of a private music teacher is often a struggle. If we come down hard on a student (or parent) we may lose the student. If we don’t, it becomes acceptable to make last minute cancellations. I never charge for illness, so of course if a person isn’t troubled by lying that makes all of this very easy. I don’t think my students or parents are apt to lie like that, though … I have a great bunch of students and parents. For that I’m grateful.

    In any case, to make a living off of music lessons, when not charging monthly, is very difficult. And yes, I could, and maybe should, start doing the “monthly charge” thing. But I’m not only a teacher; I’m a performer. And I don’t really like to be “owing” students lessons due to my schedule. (Thus, one of the reasons I attempt to be as flexible as possible.)

    So parents … students … if you read this blog (I think only a handful of you do) please understand. This is my job. I don’t get paid sick days. I don’t get paid vacation days. If I don’t work—if you don’t come to a lesson—I lose income.

    And … sniffle, sniffle … my poor children are starving.

    All right, all right, not really! We don’t starve here. (As you can clearly see when you look at me.) I’m just joking about that.

    Mostly it’s about responsibility and courtesy and all that jazz.

    Sometimes, I know, I fail in the courtesy department. So I hope folks hold me accountable to that. Really. Of course do it nicely … I can cry too, you know?!

    Okay. Ramble over and out. Sorry to be a whiner today.

    On the bright side; my students are really surprising me these days! This week I had two students who even “wowed” me with their hard work. (Practice does pay off, you know?) And I honestly do love teaching. Students make me smile, laugh, and sometimes shake my head at the crazy things they say … it’s quite fun. Really.

    So …

    Sorry I’ve moaned about lessons today
    but if you just call me ahead of the day—
    you know I want 24 hours at least—
    you’ll keep me from turning from teacher to beast!

    Of course if you’re ill please don’t come to see me.
    Get plenty of rest, and drink cups of hot tea.
    I like folks who share, but please don’t share your flu,
    and I promise I’ll not share my illness with you!

    Don’t you just love bad and silly poetry?

    Or not. ;-)