For the past term and a half I have been busily teaching young string players in Education Qld’s instrumental music program for 2 days per week, so haven’t had much time to write blog posts! This work – teaching group lessons and conducting ensembles is certainly not without it’s challenges, but it is also lot’s of fun and rewarding. In many cases, the students would not have the chance to learn an instrument without this program. Now it’s time for me to take off my “music teacher” hat, and swap back into performer mode, with rehearsals starting this week for performances of “Venus & Adonis” by Pepusch. Instead of starting the day with school orchestra rehearsals at 7.30 am I can sleep in a little, and luckily my daughters have also finished their before-school rehearsals for the rest of the year.
Still, apart from an adjustment to the daily schedule, it also requires effort to switch off that sometimes overly critical and analytical mindset, and switch into a more imaginative and intuitive mode. This is where opportunities to keep performing, even in less formal situations, can be invaluable for those of us who combine perfoming careers with other work. The Early Music Society of Qld, and Australian Strings Association, are a couple of groups I belong to which provide these kinds of opportunities – informal concerts, chamber music soirees, etc, throughout the year, giving people a chance to get together and share their passion for music-making, in a relaxed, non-competitive environment. In fact, this past weekend I’ve been to two such occasions, and realize on reflection that the fun of these gatherings reminds me of the essential love of music that inspired me to choose a career in music.