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22 September 2007 / April

Saturday morning musical matters

When you’re at a violin group class, one of the things you are least expecting to hear is “Try not to run over your neighbor.”

The usual teacher is on sabbatical this year, and her stand-in is nothing if not energetic.   She was having the kids  physically walk (or run) forwards and backwards to simulate the dynamic changes.  It was a little distracting for the pianist (probably less so than for the violinists, though).

I was also reminded that I should be sort of learning these accompaniments.  And yes, I did practice them!  Very hard!  (Yesterday.)

I came out to find, as usual, people my actual age level, waiting to go to orchestra.

Ping: “Hey, are you still the Kreisler class accompanist?”

Me: “Yeah…”

Renee: “Do you get paid?”

Me: “Oh god yes.”

Ping: “No, she does it for fun.  Because I can think of no better way to spend a Saturday morning than playing piano for a bunch of degenerate–”

Me: “Shh!  Shh!  They’re right there.

Then, after locating a piano bench (I was not about to abandon my nice Yamaha for some other room with a bench), I had a good 2-hour practice session.

You never appreciate how quiet the IC practice rooms are until you’ve spent a couple hours in the Luzerne practice building.  Or anywhere at Luzerne, really.  You could be in the most remote part of camp (Studio A, anyone?), playing your loudest piece (Chopin!), and still hear Scags singing along to the orchestra rehearsal.  Scags being the conductor.

But wait!  This was supposed to be about IC, not Luzerne.  At IC, the only people you can hear are the ones practicing right next to you— and usually they don’t bother you at all while you’re playing!  I had to stop every once in a while to poke the walls and marvel at their glorious sound-proof solidity.  Or just to think, “What is this?  A real wall?

If I had to summarize my four weeks at Luzerne in a single statement, it would be this: Little things matter.



Leave a Comment
  1. Amily / Sep 23 2007 1:30 pm

    What? Sabbatical where? Who’s the sub?

  2. April / Sep 23 2007 1:33 pm

    Don’t know where she is or what she’s doing. Kirsten is the sub.

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