What I Did On Hiatus

Date Posted: June 17th, 2011

For various reasons I don’t feel like writing about, I took a bit of a hiatus from the blog. I am back now. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Piano Teaching and Tutoring

When last I left you I had given two piano lessons and was about to start tutoring. Four months later, I now have 9 piano students and that 1 tutoree. Not a bad growth-rate and I still love what I’m doing too.

My current goal is to get to 10 hours a week. I’m more than half way there. :)

I’m also in the process of buying a new piano. This hasn’t been that fun because pianos are expensive and the ones I’d be really happy with are out of my budget. Also figuring out what exactly my budget is hasn’t been easy. Technically we can afford a lot, but how much do I really want to spend right now? I don’t know.

French

For the past few months I’ve been practicing French with my dad in the evenings. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for years, but apparently now is the right time.

The method we’ve been using is to read French books out loud and translate them into English. Also on my own I’ve been working through a progressive French grammar book.

Without a doubt my French reading and pronunciation skills are improving. I’m not so sure about my speaking and listening skills. I’m also not so sure how much the grammar book is helping. Sure, I can do the exercises in the workbook, but can I remember them later? Je ne sais pas.

Early Music Workshop

I’m giving a workshop at a Renaissance Dance Symposium in July. The paper for the proceedings needed to be in by June 1st, so the week before I was frantically working to get that finished. Believe me, “symposium” and “proceedings” sound a lot more impressive than they are. The symposium is for my reenactment group, and the proceedings are made up of class notes, not impeccably researched scholarly material. No one should cite my paper. Ever. :P But still, I put in a decent amount of time on this thing, and it’s not entirely crap. (Although I already found one, somewhat significant, typo. *facepalm*)

The way I see it, the paper is a work in progress. I want to turn it into something that is worthy of being in a peer reviewed journal… it’s just not there yet.

Draperies

I made draperies for my living room window. This is more impressive than it sounds. For a few weeks they were my primary project and I let myself go into obsessed seamstress mode. I’m very happy with how they turned out.

And that covers the major highlights. I’ve done other things too like reading, playing video games, watching great TV, planting the garden, playing music, washing windows, etc. but the things above were my big projects.

Where I’m Going From Here

I will be doing more writing. Other than that, I’m not sure. I’m trying the “pay attention to what I actually want to do” method with all of my projects. We’ll see where that takes me. :)

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Progress Report: Tonal Harmony

Date Posted: February 7th, 2011

Piano Teaching
I gave two lessons last week. Both went really well. The time flew by (for me at least) and I felt kinda giddy afterward. Definitely a good sign, although I’m not making any promises. I was excited about my last job too. But this does feel decidedly different. So here’s to hoping.

I’ll be giving three lessons this week. Whee!

Piano Website
It’s up! Not complete, but I have something. Now I just have to resist the temptation to leave the blank pages as they are…

Tutoring
I’m going to start tutoring a girl in Algebra this week. Should be interesting.

Music Self Teaching
I spent a fair amount of time reading my mom-in-law’s college textbook on Tonal Harmony last week. And I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the fake “I’m reading this because I wish I liked this stuff” it was “this is really cool and useful.” I’d probably feel differently if I had this as a class in college. I like being able to go at my own pace (way ahead on the reading, taking my time on the exercises) and I like not have the stress of grades or exams.

As for actual practicing… yeah. I just wanted to do music theory. I did inadvertently do some sight singing exercises since it was part of the exercises in the music theory book, but… yeah.

Focus for This Week
My focus for this week is to continue my music self-teaching. Meaning: read more of the Tonal Harmony book, practice sight reading, practice sight singing, practice jazz chord stuff.

Also if I can fill in one of the pages on the website, that’d probably be good.

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