Back at it yesterday, accompanying ballet classes. I was flattered by the teacher, Angie, in front of the her class. She had requested that I do her class yesterday. She wanted to tape her class (something they do to analyze their own technique) and had found my accompaniment before the break helpful to the dancers. She told her class yesterday that she wished I could be their accompanist every class. At this point I (and the other pianist) move back and forth between the three teachers who have class on MWF at 8:30 AM.
I’m not sure what I do that this teacher approves of. I know that I tend to play rhythmically and change the music to fit the movements. I don’t usually use a lot of pedal on the piano (this might make the sound a bit more percussive). And my improvs tend to the simple so that dancers are sure to know where they are in the 8 measure phrases.
Who knows? I do know it’s satisfying to be treated with such respect by people who are good at what they do. I was talking about this with Amanda (one of the other teachers) yesterday in regards to the dance department itself. She asked me how my class with Angie had gone in the morning (I do Pointe class with Amanda on Monday and Wednesday). I told Amanda that I had enjoyed it (I had) and that I enjoyed working with all three teachers. Amanda remarked that they were all a bit crazy and enjoyed working together. I told her that was excellent and unusual in the world of music and colleges.
I guess I’m not sure how unusual it is. I just have seen up close and personal several universities where studios of different music teachers are engaged in mini-wars. And at this point, I feel very isolated from other musicians. I regularly see musicians from Hope and Holland. They tend to keep me at arms length. I think this makes sense because I represent a bit of a threat or an unpredictable and confusing presence as a musician. Whippy skippy.
This brings me to this article in The Anchor, Hope College’s student newspaper.
I think this is an interesting break down. (I also can’t believe that the Anchor doesn’t have an HTML online version online a pdf one. Good grief.) It seems to confirm my own impression that Hope is a typical provincial conservative small liberal arts college.
This is another of the graphic books (it’s not a novel) I checked out the other day. I was disappointed in this one. It’s not really “stories” or “tales.” It’s more like visual essays about the nature of mental health treatment. I put it down after reading about half of it. It has nice pictures, but I didn’t find any true stories in it, just some descriptions interspersed with lots of insider talk.
I have to stop and go to work.