A Little Ray of Sunshine

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The weather, the drivers, and music

It is snowing here today. I always find it amusing how when there is a foot of snow on the East Coast it is national news and that entire half of the country comes to a halt, brakes squealing.
Here, we get a foot of snow, and it is business as usual. Two feet will perhaps suffice to close the schools for a day: people need their children at home to help shovel, don't you know?
I wish I could find the microscope, I think the boys would like to see a snowflake in it.
Drivers are getting stupider lately. Yesterday, going to the grocery store, I was crossing a traffic light intersection and had to swerve around some man going the other direction who had pulled into my lane intending to turn left out of it. He gave me a very nasty look with an expersion as if to say what did I think I was doing? I had a green light and cars behind me, of course we all went. At least, since he was in our lane, the left turn lane he should have been in was empty so we could get around him.
After the grocery store, I was in a left turn only lane at a different traffic light, and quite suddenly the people ahead of me decided to turn even though it was the cross street's turn to go. Three of them pulled out right into oncoming traffic. So did someone turning left coming from the other direction. I don't know how they all avoided being hit.
I don't worry about the teen drivers, it is the adults who have had an onset of driving insanity! With the snow today, perhaps they will all crash and total their cars and thus take themselves out of the driving ranks, but that is probably too much luck to hope for.
My first student of the day told me of a possible gig. Unfortunately he was a little sketchy on details. There is an artists' exhibition Downtown the first Friday of every month. His adult son, a potter, mentioned to the lady whose shop he was exhibiting in that his father is a 'cellist. The shop owner reacted with enthusiasm. Now his father, my student, is preparing for his second performance right now and is at the almost amature stage (studying the Prelude of the First Bach Unaccompanied Suite, among other music), and is quite correct that he could not yet handle an hour performance. He hasn't an hour of performable music, unless he included beginner peices. So if I can track down the lady who owns the home decor store on Main Street, perhaps I can play there. It wouldn't be for pay, except possibly tips, but it would get my name and music out into the community, and maybe attract paying gigs or more students.
I use the Suzuki books through 3 to teach with. I am not entirely pleased with book 4. There are only four peices in it. I insist that my students buy the entire Bach Unaccompanied Suites, so they own or will shortly own the two movements in the Suzuki in another book. Then the Suzuki has two movements of a Breval Sonata and two of a B. Marcello Sonata. The Marcello seems to be transposed from Bass. The fourth work is the Tschaikovsky Chanson Triste. I am not pleased with transpositions from other instruments: there are so many lovely and suitable works for that level written for 'Cello, and a transposition is useless for later performance. I think we will be doing some of the Wm. Squire pieces, the Bouree and Tarentella, maybe, and perhaps buy just the Breval to go with them, instead. As well as the Golterman Concerto in G, and maybe Saint-Saens' Swan for something slower. And of course, some of the Bach, how much depends on which student, as some of them, like I did at their ages, positively hate him, and probably I won't do more than enough to expose them to him a little. Why discourage their practicing by giving them music they cannot stand? I had plenty of experience as a teen with a teacher like that.
Which reminds me, it's really time for me make time to practice the Bach. I'll need it for the 25th, and if this other opertunity pans out . . . well, I only improvise so much, and I'm a bit short of solo arrangements of popular tunes, I need to do some more.


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