Is This Really My Life?

Who here has ever had that moment of realizing that they teach music for a living, but pretty much no one else in their circles (or even outside their circles) who isn’t a musician knows what that means? raises hand

Well, this blog’s for you. And me. Because sometimes just to maintain sanity in this crazy free-lance, self-employed lifestyle we’ve chosen, we’ve got to be able to talk and laugh about it.

As is the same for many of you, I make a comfortable living as a musician, but that of course means piecing together various jobs. Currently for me, that means teaching positions at two different universities (piano studio instruction only at one and piano studio instruction, keyboard skills courses, as well as aural skills courses at another), maintaining a private music studio in my home, playing organ and piano weekly for two church services and a weekly choir rehearsal, and working for a non-profit chamber music organization as an administrator as well as performer.

No day is every the same! Which I love. But it also drives me crazy sometimes. No one, not even my husband, can keep up with my schedule. At one point we tried syncing calendars, but that turned ridiculous quickly because have you ever been able to do that successfully when you end up needing to constantly rearrange your schedule every day/week to accommodate sick or busy students or to adjust it to fit around your own performing schedule? Nightmare.

To complicate things further, we have children, so shuttling them to and from school/activities while working around my schedule is either numbingly rigid or comical in a sisyphean sort of way.

So here I’ll share daily happenings from my studios or home and hope that you’ll find something you can relate to, or, at the very least, laugh at.

Today’s story is a sweet one for me.

My son and I attended a concert this afternoon given by the chamber orchestra I am a part of and this particular concert featured winners of our Youth Concerto Competition. Two young musicians, one 12 and one 16, each performed a movement of a concerto with the orchestra and I wanted to take my son to have him see what some other musicians a bit older than him are doing. Normally when I ask him to come to concerts with me, there’s a fair amount of moaning and flopping around on the couch or floor in protest, but today he happily agreed to go.

The concert was lovely and the young musicians shone. To add to that joy, my son really enjoyed it. The bonus I suppose of raising a kid to endure my own marathon practice sessions and concerts from birth is that they can sit through a full-length concert without much effort. After the concert we decided to walk around the city a bit and enjoy a treat together.

He may never do much with music as an adult, but I hope he’ll pleasantly remember these times we share enjoying concerts (and sweets) together.