Who would have thought that having a baby would mean I had a little less time on my hands? (Everyone. Everyone thought that.) So, that's my excuse for this being the first newsletter of 2021 despite being the third week of teaching for the year.
For those of you who have resumed lessons already, it has been fantastic hearing about what you've been up to over the past couple of months and to check in with you again to find out whether your goals have shifted, what you're finding frustrating and rewarding when practising, and who your musical heroes are. However, I have been surprised at how many of you don't have a musical hero. WHAT!? No-one to aspire to? No-one to inspire you? No-one to fastidiously study the lyrics of, or dream of playing their pieces note-for-note?
Firstly, I thought it might have been a generational thing, but the age range of my students has convinced me otherwise.
Secondly, I thought it might be an embarrassment thing, but most of you know me well enough by now to know that I'm very open to all of your music tastes.
Thirdly... well, I've come to accept that I might just be more obsessed about music than a lot of you. It's all I've wanted to do since I was about 10 - be a musician, write songs, perform - and so it was natural for me to search for a role model that I could loftily dream of emulating.
I will admit that obsession is not always healthy - I know far more about the life of Ben Folds than is useful other than being my special quiz subject topic - and so there's a level of admiration I have in those of you who are casual fans more than obsessives.
I did change the question for most of you who came up blank on the "hero" angle - which musician would you have at your dream dinner party? This was apparently easier to answer, and I heard some surprising results.
All this to say, I love being your teacher and finding out more about you and your musical loves, likes and passing interests. It helps me open up my horizons and I may very well uncover a new musical hero thanks to your recommendations. So keep thinking about it, and let me know if your hero (or dinner party guest) has presented themselves to you before our next lesson.
Things I've been watching/listening to this week: