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Guitar hero

January 13, 2011

More teaching goodness at Studio 2 last night. I’m not sure which was better: the middle-school-aged student who spontaneously exclaimed, “This is so much fun!” during her lesson or the enormous smile on another middle schooler and wannabe rocker when I let her try out my violin with pickup mike run through a distortion pedal and amp. Of course, I undid the good feelings by mistaking my last student’s sister for herself. In fairness, they look very much alike, it was from across the room and I’m long overdue for an eye appointment. But I felt like an idiot, which might be why I stayed a half an hour late talking to her about college applications.

This morning I got to hear myself on Chicago’s sole remaining classical music radio station. Last year, my favorite DJ asked for a recording of the choir I founded/directed/sang with (along with slacker bloggers Green-Eyed Siren and Permanent Qui Vive) in the 1990s, to play for the birthday of a mutual friend, who sang in the group. I didn’t realize he was thinking of playing it again this year. It was a lovely surprise to start the day.

The rest of the day I’m going to have to be a workaholic. After an overdue trip to the grocery store, I’ve got to buckle down and finish a chapter draft before meeting with my adviser tomorrow morning. I will have to try to keep my hands off my guitar today if I expect to get anything done. It will be a challenge, as after replacing the ancient nylon strings which have probably been on there for 20 years at least (the guitar was living in my mother-in-law’s basement for a long time) with a set of bronze wrapped strings recommended by the guitarist owner of School of Rock, it sounds like a million bucks (all for a measly $12), even when I play it. And that’s saying something.

Even a guitar taboo is no guarantee. I have just discovered that at age 43, given loud raucous music and a house to myself I am not above playing air guitar and singing into a hairbrush in front of the bathroom mirror.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 1:53 pm

    Ooh! [said like Elmer Fudd]

  2. January 13, 2011 3:45 pm

    I love the violin. Really, I devoted a lot of time to it. But having a guitar slung around my shoulder makes me feel infinitely cooler. Sigh.

  3. January 13, 2011 4:38 pm

    It’s so true, Reva. And the coolness is definitely an issue now that I teach in a place that caters to rock musicians. I don’t want to be the only nerd on staff. I’m also enjoying learning something new. My brain works differently when trying to figure out how to play the less familiar guitar than the might-as-well-be-a-third-arm violin. I actually think the process of trying to figure this out is helping my violin practice habits (not very disciplined) and my teaching . At the very least it’s good to remember what it’s like to struggle a bit to map what’s on the page onto your hands.

  4. January 14, 2011 7:32 am

    They are slacker bloggers who must spend all their time singing. They haven’t even noticed the category I’ve listed them under for a month now.

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