Friday, October 21, 2022

Return to the Confessions of a Traveling Music Teacher

 It is raining in Madrid. I’m back in my cozy apartment gifted to me by an Orff student (now colleague) of mine who organized four short workshops at two Universities over two days. 

I am here, but part of my Soul’s body is still flying over the Atlantic Ocean trying to catch up with me. As one music teacher once cleverly told me when I picked him up from the airport, “I’m in canon with myself.”


After three short workshops at Autónoma University yesterday, I went out for a lovely dinner with my friends Carmen and Isabel. Great food, spirited conversation and in the way of Spain, dinner wasn’t over until 11:30 pm. In bed by midnight and wide-awake a 4 am. Two hours of puttering around and back to sleep by 6 am. Awakened by my telephone and Carmen greeting me with, “I’m downstairs.” My next course at Cumplutense University was to begin at 10:30 and I had slept until 10 am!!! Five minutes to brush my teeth, splash water on my face and run to her car, ten minutes to prepare the class in this new space and off I went at 10:30 sharp— with some 100 plus University students!!!!


Needless to say, we had a great time! They were a bit nervously chatty and with over a 100 it made a bit of a buzz, but I was able to keep my sense of humor and be strict at the same time. When there’s music playing, that background chatter is like nails on the blackboard or static on the radio. As always, when you explain the reason for a rule or demand or strong suggestion, it helps a lot, whether you’re 19 or 9. They got more comfortable with the activity, got better at putting away the chatter and we ended up with some energetic and joyful music and dance.


I began this trip wondering if the old pants tucked away two years in the back of the closet still fit. And here’s my confession that will surprise no one— they do! Perfectly! And I love wearing them again! And while I enjoyed the four 90-minute classes with an age I don’t get to teach that often,  I’m looking forward to digging in a bit deeper with two six-hour days in Ourense, Galicia. 11 students instead of one hundred, so less of the Lone Ranger galloping in and riding out anonymously into the sunset and more digging in and working in the garden together. 


Without jet lag, please.  

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