Sunday 18th January.
I mentioned in a previous post that I have been teaching at the same school for 9 years. I started out one day a week, then two and for a couple of years I’ve been there three days a week, fully booked from 2 to 5:30. Last year was a bit quieter – I had four open places.
The head of the music department has gone on early retirement. https://wordpress.com/post/28207134/512/ She was the one who phoned and offered me the position, and I always felt we had a good working relationship.
Normally the beginning of the year is somewhat chaotic, with new pupils phoning and me juggling timetables and scribbling madly on bits of paper. I’ve even had people phoning in November for a place in the new year. Lessons officially start tomorrow, and I’ve had the grand total of one call – someone wanted piano lessons with the possibility of guitar as a second instrument.
Things do change, and maybe I’m heading towards the end of my teaching career. I’ve had a great time with something that wasn’t planned in the first place. I trained as shorthand typist in pre-computer days. The first electric typewriter I’d ever seen was the day I started work in 1973. That was a hoot. Manual typewriters need the keys struck firmly – you are powering the machine with your fingers. Electric machines with repeating keys? I had a LOT of lines that were all one letter. And this meant starting again. It may have been an electric typewriter, but it had an actual piece of paper in there, and there is a limit to how much erasing one can do before disintegration occurs.
Maybe it’s time. I’m having problems with arthritis, particularly in my left hand. For a guitarist that’s your fretting hand, and if you can’t press the strings quickly or clearly enough, and you can’t get the stretches anymore, you can’t play much past beginner pieces. It’s difficult to teach if you can’t demonstrate properly.
My doctor has been muttering about operations, but I have very little trust in orthopedic specialists. Several family members have had neck, back and hand operations. None have been what I would call a complete success. I’d rather stick with the problems I have, than perhaps end up with a whole new set.
Tuesday 20th January
Some pupils haven’t come back, and there have been no new pupils at all. Being a private teacher at the school, I am somewhat out of the loop. I only come in on the afternoons I teach. Ever had that feeling that something is going on and everyone knows about it but you?