Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Random acts of music

I saw a beautiful thing today.
Well, actually I heard it before I saw it.
On City Road, out the back of grey, humanless skyscrapers.
A waft of music on the air.
A burly security guard, in grey-blue pants and a shirt, a communication earpiece in his ear, huddled in the fire-escape,
Playing a mouthorgan.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The myth about beige cardigans

I am a musician. It makes sense for me to teach music, both financially and personally. Financially, I can earn almost twice as much per hour as I can doing most other things. Personally, it is good for me to be engaged with as much music as possible, and to "live" music. It is excellent to have to put my ideas about music into words, to find ways to explain musical concepts that I take for granted. And makes much more sense for me to earn my pennies doing something related to the career that I want to have.

So why have I been so reluctant to earn money by teaching? I realised the other day that I have a lot of resistance to the idea of being a "music teacher". Subconsciously I felt that music teachers are unattractive, lonely, boring people who wear beige cardigans (apologies to all music teachers for this terrible stereotype). I don't know why I had this image in my head, or where it came from. My music teachers have always been very vibrant and lovely people who would never go anywhere near beige!

Maybe I worry that I will become some kind of social outcast if I become a music teacher. Again, I don't know where all this baggage is coming from. Lots of very interesting, fascinating, friendly and sociable people teach in schools so what am I worried about? I'm not going to be some kind of gnome that hides in the music room and doesn't talk to anyone! And anyway, the purpose of working is to do just that - work. If friendships grow out of working relationships well so much the better, but that's not the purpose of working to earn a crust.

So I'm going to teach. I'm going to share the knowledge that I have gained in all the years of university and the life experience I have gained from, well, being alive. I want to inspire others and in turn open myself to inspiration and new inputs. I love music and it's time to share the love and blast any remotely beige ideas out the window!

Friday, January 19, 2007


I woke up to the beautiful sound of rain on my roof - rain that we haven't had since Christmas. There are big drops, little drips, pattering on the leaves and plants and drumming on the tin roof. I can almost feel the happiness of the plants, soaking it all up into their parched and yellowing stems.

I am reminded of the wonderful Score for a Hole in the Ground, which uses dripping water to create an incredible musical installation. I am completely in love with the concept of this piece - the gramaphone-like amplifier just sitting there in the woods, the way that people can just come across the piece unexpectedly, the fact that nature (the great creator?) is actually playing the piece now that it is out of human control.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm back

It's summer. It's hot. It's already 30 degrees, and only 7:30am. Yesterday in the city it was 40.8 degrees, and still Melbournians were buying their steaming hot lattes. I love the way this city is addicted to its coffee!

I feel as though I am just ready to start the year now. The last month or so has involved a lot of planning and soul-searching, and re-planning and dreaming. I am quite excited about the prospects for this year, although it is also very daunting.

It's funny how the idea of moving from one year to the next can be such a powerful motivator for taking stock of one's life and making decisions. Who doesn't make new year's resolutions of some kind or another? But in actual fact the difference between December 31 and January 1 is just that the earth has made one more turn - the importance of these dates is purely in our minds. Still, it's a good opportunity to plan and dream!