My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Finding my roots in new soil

The last few years have been interesting.  I have gone from both my husband and I teaching in universities and performing to both of us moving out of academia, relocating to a new town, and taking up a job in a completely different field.  For the past two years I have been working in retail in toy stores, most recently as a manager of a new one.  I decided to put aside my music for an indeterminate time to give my ailing elbows a much needed break and to give myself the space I needed to revisit how I approach the piano, hopefully opting for a more healthy one.  I had also put aside this blog and my practice coaching business because I wasn't convinced that I was being effective in what I was trying to do: I didn't necessarily know if people wanted to hear what I had to say; my website for my business wasn't getting enough traffic in spite of trying to do what I thought was necessary - SEO optimization, use of ideal tags, and other factors I really don't understand; I wasn't getting any new practice coaching clients; I wasn't getting very much feedback after delivering my talks on practicing and learning music.  In short, I felt like I had reached the end of a road.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason so in spite of the challenges and insecurities I've faced these past few years, I have always had a sense that music and my research on and passion for the process of reading and learning music was simply in hibernation mode.  In spite of my silence, I can assure you that my mind still manages to stay in high gear most of the time.  One of Rainer Maria Rilke's lines from his Letters to a Young Poet come to my mind at this point...
Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.  Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.  Do not now look for the answers... At present you need to live the question.  Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
That's where I am right now, friends.  I am living the question.  I am living in the moment.  I am living.  And in this new place where I find myself, a place without any clear future, I am realizing that I don't necessarily care whether or not I am a "professional" musician.  I am a musician and I am me.  That is, at least for right now, enough for me.

I am back to practicing and learning new music.
I am back to performing again and have set up 6 recitals over the 2016-2017 year that will enable me to perform all 24 preludes and fugues in Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, a project I started many, many years ago.
I am back to playing music with others and with such great joy and excitement!
I am still working in a toy store but also hoping to write again and to teach anyone who would be interested in finding out the way I perceive of music.

I am, in other words, being me once again, only in a different type of soil, with new roots, a new environment, and lots of fresh air.

Not a bad place in which to find myself.