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#1807987 - 12/18/11 09:07 AM just making conversation
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Since Gary mentioned the dearth of comments lately on PW, I decided to start a thread about whatever you want to say. Just a thread to keep conversation going.

So I'll start. Here's what students gave me:

One family gave me a tall container of truffles and a $20 gift card to Joseph Beth Booksellers. So I really feel appreciated!

A new student gave me an unwrapped Coach box. Inside was a Coach coin purse with a price tag attached (had been marked down to $69). It's a silver colored leather with a cloth lining. The gift paper was extra crinkled which made me certain this is a re-gift. I have a feeling the 7 year old said he wants to give his teacher a present, so the mother pulled this out of a storage closet. But still, I was delighted! This is the one parent who I get the feeling doesn't really like me. (She thought I spent to long on pre-reading skills with her son, but I think it was necessary work.) So this may indicate that our relationship is improving.

A 7 year old brought me an ornament she had made in school. The kind where the child has white paint on their hand and imprints it on the glass ornament. Then paints snowmen faces on each finger. She did a very careful job, making nice faces. And again, I feel appreciated!

And lastly another 7 year old gave me a bag of Dove dark chocolates which she had obviously wrapped herself, and a hand written message on a card. She wanted me to guess what was in the wrapping. I said "Something to eat?" She said "yes". I said "Chocolates?" She said "Yes. You can stop guessing now".

Most students do not give me a present, and that really is fine. But still, I am happy when a few do give me something.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1808020 - 12/18/11 10:57 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
Today is Sunday... For the past few months I've been working non stop throughout the weekends to make it in time... I've been extremely busy and was working even up to 03:00 in the morning, in my studio (which is NOT in my home). Most deadlines have been met and everything is out of my hands (almost) now and thus any delays are coming from other people.

Last night I e-mailed by web designer and very dear friend Matt, who is a Canadian (I work with people all around the world), complaining about his delays and stuff... Didn't get a reply... But it felt good getting it out of my head.

So today, for the first time in months I slept from 02:00 last night until 09:00 this morning! (This is special for me, because I usually wake up at 06:00 with 4 hours of sleep, so I crash wherever and whenever I can throughout the day to make it...).

It seems that my mind and my body decided, without consulting me, that I need rest and that I actually need the Sunday for my family self, not my workaholic self... And it feels good...

If everything goes according to plan I should:
a. Have a lot to show the coming week (or the next).
b. Be done with anything very urgent and impossible to avoid.
c. Attempt to cycle every day... I love cycling!
d. Have friends visiting and visit friends.
e. Have the occasional lesson here and there (I told my students that they should carry on working and if they want they should carry on with one more lesson in the XMas period (which is two weeks of no classes in Greece).
and finally
f. Be composing again. I haven't composed anything that for the past 3-4 months... Other gigs have kept me extremely busy (and computer game music doesn't count exactly as 'composing what you totally adore and would die without... Not that I don't like it...).

Pfff...

Thanks for the thread Ann. Not entirely sure if this was it's purpose but even if I did derail it it felt extremely good!

_________________

And some comments for you:

The student who brought the present from the parent who don't like you: Oh well... at least the kid likes you and this is what counts!

Having student thinking of you is SO AMAZING, so it really means you're doing the right job and you're doing it right! (And I love SO MUCH chocolate... brrr...)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1808117 - 12/18/11 02:22 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
nice thread idea..

because of many issues i am quitting my awesome accompanist job to go solo and tried to quit well before Christmas but as they say... oh well.

I have been fortunate.. all of my students' parents have been giving me raises. I have the time for longer lessons and supposedly am somewhat magical.. that makes me feel good.

off to practice for Christmas.. bye bye.. I have a killer organ piece to completely learn.. it is sooooooooooooo hard and it is just a 'Gloria' if you are familiar with the Catholic Mass... lots and lots of footwork, volume and stop changes.. it has to be simpler than the way it is written.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1808118 - 12/18/11 02:24 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Now that I am quitting my demanding job, i am thinking of taking piano or organ lessons..

Kogi Attwood lives in my town.. I wonder if he teaches at all...? tho i really should focus on the organ.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1808190 - 12/18/11 04:24 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
Nikolas,
Computer game music can be great, so I would certainly consider it worthy of a skilled composer. But I suppose it usually avoids nuance and may have requirements that composers may dislike.
One of my favorite pieces is Build Theme #6 from The Sims (the original game, not one of the sequels). It sounds pretty, it is easy on my hands, and no one else knows it and therefore I always play it perfectly wink
There is something pleasant about unpretentious little songs that can blend into background music if the player prefers. It just seems nicer than a piano shouting "Hey everyone, I'm playing La Campanella over here! It's LA CAMPANELLA, so you better gather around and listen!"

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#1808206 - 12/18/11 04:35 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
It's 4:20pm. I just finished teaching the last lesson for the day, and now off for 2 weeks.

The last student is new. It was his 2nd lesson. He's a 12 year old beginner. Since we only had 2 Sunday lessons before break I had suggested to the parent that he take 2 lessons an hour long each to get started (instead of my customary 30 minute lessons).

Today the dad asked his son how hour long lessons were going, and the boy said he liked it. So dad asked if son can keep hour long lessons. I said yes, but that it would double the monthly fee. Dad said it was no problem.

So this is my first hour long student EVER. I ended the conversation by suggesting we try hour long lessons for January and then re-evaluate to decide whether to go with 45 minute lessons or hour long. Especially at the primer level I think it will be helpful. Yea!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1808209 - 12/18/11 04:37 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
Maxtor,

Don't get me wrong I love computer games (being a gamer since the age of 7 or so), and I love composing for them. But there is a difference between composing for someone else (who has the upper hand on what happens, how something sounds eventually, and why a track exists), and composing for yourself, or for a commission at least where things appear to be much more self controlled (still controlled, but at least applied from ones self)! smile
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1808227 - 12/18/11 05:01 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
pianoeagle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
So far this year, I've received a Vera Bradley jewelry box, a Maggiano's Italy gift card, and a huge Starbucks gift basket. A couple of other students accidentally mentioned that their parents had bought gifts for me. These students will have another lesson next week, so maybe I'll have a couple more gifts! smile

I don't really care as much about the gift itself as I do the thoughtfulness that went into it. It makes me feel really appreciated and that my teaching is well received!
_________________________
Children's piano instructor
Member NGPT, MTNA/TMTA/PMTA, NFMC/SJFMC

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#1808259 - 12/18/11 05:57 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Since Gary mentioned the dearth of comments lately on PW, I decided to start a thread about whatever you want to say. Just a thread to keep conversation going.

Nice idea, Ann. smile

I love cash, and two of my students brought in very nice cards with money inside. laugh

I suppose over time out students get to know us. I'm impossible to buy for (even for family members and close friends), and although I appreciate "the thought" even when I get something I could not possibly use, it's so nice to have a bit of extra money to just use on anything that comes up.

The worst present I ever got: "365 places to see before you die." It actually said, "A bucket list".

Then there are presents that are obvious "re-gifts". I don't agree that it is better to give *something* than *nothing* when that *something* shows an utter lack of sincere appreciation. frown

I love it when small kids bring me self-made cards. There is real caring in that, and it always makes me smile.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808260 - 12/18/11 05:59 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Nikolas]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Maxtor,

Don't get me wrong I love computer games (being a gamer since the age of 7 or so), and I love composing for them. But there is a difference between composing for someone else (who has the upper hand on what happens, how something sounds eventually, and why a track exists), and composing for yourself, or for a commission at least where things appear to be much more self controlled (still controlled, but at least applied from ones self)! smile

Nikolas,

If you think about it, there is not SO much difference between what you are going through, as a "game composer", and what Mozart had to contend with when he was paid to compose composition X and then was told, "Too many notes!"
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808285 - 12/18/11 06:47 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

This is a Christmas card I received today. Thought I'd share the artwork.



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/18/11 06:49 PM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1808299 - 12/18/11 07:39 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

This is a Christmas card I received today. Thought I'd share the artwork.


Ann, I don't think you can share such cards. The link requires me to give a password and so on...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808327 - 12/18/11 08:34 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
trublues Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 73
Loc: New Hampshire
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I had suggested to the parent that he take 2 lessons an hour long each to get started (instead of my customary 30 minute lessons).

Today the dad asked his son how hour long lessons were going, and the boy said he liked it. So dad asked if son can keep hour long lessons. I said yes, but that it would double the monthly fee. Dad said it was no problem.

So this is my first hour long student EVER. I ended the conversation by suggesting we try hour long lessons for January and then re-evaluate to decide whether to go with 45 minute lessons or hour long. Especially at the primer level I think it will be helpful. Yea!


Congratulations, Ann! What a great way to start having hour long lessons! And having a month to see how it goes and change it if you need to - very professional. I like that you had those first two hour long lessons to help him get started.

I'm teaching this week because I forgot that it's easier on everyone if we have the week before Christmas off. When Christmas falls on a weekday it's an easier call.

We just had studio classes this weekend and had some fun with GarageBand. They'll enjoy using it again this week during their computer time now that I've taught them a few new things.

I'll use this week to update everyone's Repertoire sheet that students keep in their notebooks. We write down all their completed pieces and important notes about the piece. And we'll play Christmas music and lots of duets. I love playing duets with my students.
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher
Member MTNA, NHMTA

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#1808370 - 12/18/11 10:04 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I received a $100 tip from a customer this Christmas on top of my regular tuning charge along with a nice card telling me how much she appreciates me. Very nice lady! I was very pleasantly surprised! She almost always tips me but never this much before. Very nice of her.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1808409 - 12/18/11 11:33 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I received a $100 tip from a customer this Christmas on top of my regular tuning charge along with a nice card telling me how much she appreciates me. Very nice lady! I was very pleasantly surprised! She almost always tips me but never this much before. Very nice of her.

Hey Jerry. smile

It's a good feeling, isn't it? Of course the money helps, but I think for me the signs of appreciation are just as important.

People have been very good to me this year too. :-)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808451 - 12/19/11 01:15 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
I think for one of my New Year's Resolutions I'm going to audition students one month before they can play at studio recitals--one of my colleagues does that for festivals and her kids all play beautifully. The older kids in my studio have stopped taking recitals seriously, or they have suddenly developed the "I'm a precious teenager with a fragile ego" syndrome.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1808462 - 12/19/11 01:37 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Nikolas,

If you think about it, there is not SO much difference between what you are going through, as a "game composer", and what Mozart had to contend with when he was paid to compose composition X and then was told, "Too many notes!"
I know and this is what I tell people who are not composers or musicians...

But it remains that nowadays there's more freedom in composing concert hall music, rather than media music.

I can very well describe how I composed an 1 minute track 4 times in order for the ad company to accept it finally (and making the poorest choice actually grin). The same does not happen for commissions at all! At least not to me. Not that there isn't a need to compose NOW and act like it's a real job (cause it is), but in a different sense than media composing...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1808518 - 12/19/11 08:46 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

This is a Christmas card I received today. Thought I'd share the artwork.


Ann, I don't think you can share such cards. The link requires me to give a password and so on...

https://acrobat.com/#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

OK. Try this link. I went to acrobat.com and had to click on "publish". This is my first scan using my new printer/scanner and for some reason I was not able to upload the scan to the web host I usually use, but it would upload to acrobat.

I especially like the words "fortea" and "pino"...chuckling over all the correct letters there, but the "a" jumped over to "forte". smile


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/19/11 08:48 AM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1808522 - 12/19/11 08:50 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I received a $100 tip from a customer this Christmas on top of my regular tuning charge along with a nice card telling me how much she appreciates me. Very nice lady! I was very pleasantly surprised! She almost always tips me but never this much before. Very nice of her.


I read that you received a $100 tip, and immediately assumed you meant you received advice...maybe a sale somewhere etc. Read further to find out what the tip was and see it was money you received. laugh
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1808612 - 12/19/11 12:39 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSTQ945m7ew

Here's Aaron Neville singing "Let it snow". I heard this on the way home today (from bookstore, using gift card). His voice thrills me to the marrow.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/19/11 01:59 PM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

Top
#1808676 - 12/19/11 02:28 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Do you ever feel like you have about a dozen projects you want to get started on at once... and can't seem to start any of them? LOL.

I guess I ought to be working on my NCTM profile project this week. It is due in September (I needed an extension -- how sad is that?) and every time I sit down to work on it, I get all these other teaching ideas and can't sit still! smile

Spending most of the break in my studio, despite it being... my break! But I get the piano all to myself, so there. :P laugh

Okay -- here is one of my ideas just in general. House concerts are getting to be so popular again (they really never went out of style, I suppose, just getting more media perhaps?). So I'd like to find a way to organize them in my city. Find a bunch of hosts and find interested musicians -- soloists and chamber groups, various instrumentation... I'd have to stick with "classical" for now, since those are the performers I know who might be interested.

Anyone here either host or perform house concerts? I played one for my parents in 2008... wish I had had more time to prepare for it, but the audience had a lot of fun. It was a birthday gift for my dad, who turned 60 that year. smile
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1808678 - 12/19/11 02:30 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky

OK. Try this link. I went to acrobat.com and had to click on "publish". This is my first scan using my new printer/scanner and for some reason I was not able to upload the scan to the web host I usually use, but it would upload to acrobat.

I especially like the words "fortea" and "pino"...chuckling over all the correct letters there, but the "a" jumped over to "forte". smile

Priceless. smile That has to make you feel good!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808696 - 12/19/11 02:44 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: MsAdrienne]
D4v3 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 501
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
Do you ever feel like you have about a dozen projects you want to get started on at once... and can't seem to start any of them? LOL.

I guess I ought to be working on my NCTM profile project this week. It is due in September (I needed an extension -- how sad is that?) and every time I sit down to work on it, I get all these other teaching ideas and can't sit still! smile

Spending most of the break in my studio, despite it being... my break! But I get the piano all to myself, so there. :P laugh

Okay -- here is one of my ideas just in general. House concerts are getting to be so popular again (they really never went out of style, I suppose, just getting more media perhaps?). So I'd like to find a way to organize them in my city. Find a bunch of hosts and find interested musicians -- soloists and chamber groups, various instrumentation... I'd have to stick with "classical" for now, since those are the performers I know who might be interested.

Anyone here either host or perform house concerts? I played one for my parents in 2008... wish I had had more time to prepare for it, but the audience had a lot of fun. It was a birthday gift for my dad, who turned 60 that year. smile


That's called A.D.D.


Edited by D4v3 (12/19/11 02:45 PM)
_________________________
Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions

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#1808700 - 12/19/11 02:48 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: D4v3]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: D4v3
That's called A.D.D.


No, I do eventually get things done, and am not completely paralyzed. It is perfectionism, which is also not so good. But, um, thanks. I think.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1808769 - 12/19/11 04:11 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Sorry about that, Ann. Didn't mean to kill your thread! smile

Presently, I am refereeing my kids and this neighbor child while they play upstairs. Ready to send the neighbor home now.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1808828 - 12/19/11 05:45 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: MsAdrienne]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
Sorry about that, Ann. Didn't mean to kill your thread! smile

Presently, I am refereeing my kids and this neighbor child while they play upstairs. Ready to send the neighbor home now.


No problems Adrienne! This thread is for ANYTHING you want to say. I'm glad to still see it going.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1808887 - 12/19/11 07:53 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I dream about the day a student gives me a coach bag! Regift or not!
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1808907 - 12/19/11 09:15 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: MsAdrienne]
trublues Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 73
Loc: New Hampshire
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
Do you ever feel like you have about a dozen projects you want to get started on at once... and can't seem to start any of them? LOL.


Yes, all the time!

Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne

I guess I ought to be working on my NCTM profile project this week. It is due in September (I needed an extension -- how sad is that?) and every time I sit down to work on it, I get all these other teaching ideas and can't sit still! smile


I'm working on my NCTM projects this year, too. I also needed an extension - it took me the first year just to print out the project information and buy my Flip camera and figure out how to record my playing and lessons. Mine is due in May! If they offered another extension I'd probably ask for one again.
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher
Member MTNA, NHMTA

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#1808913 - 12/19/11 09:27 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I anyone teaching this week? Our public schools run until Wednesday, but everyone is coming in unprepared (if they come at all!)
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1808920 - 12/19/11 09:49 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Stanny]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I dream about the day a student gives me a coach bag! Regift or not!


laugh It's a coin purse, but still. I'm using it!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1808959 - 12/20/11 12:00 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Stanny]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I anyone teaching this week? Our public schools run until Wednesday, but everyone is coming in unprepared (if they come at all!)


Yes, I teach this week Monday - Friday. Next week I teach M/T/Th only. Every school district has its own "off" day, so some of my students are in school until the 23rd [gasp!].

We just had our Christmas recital. Nobody bothered to practice, and several people cancelled the day before the recital. I may never do another Christmas recital, ever. It doesn't motivate my students, and the older kids have a billion school projects to do and essays to write--nobody is giving piano a hoot at this time of the year.
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#1808964 - 12/20/11 12:10 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I'm teaching this week through Thursday.
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#1809395 - 12/20/11 04:22 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: AZNpiano]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 191
Loc: Chicago
We just had our Christmas recital. Nobody bothered to practice, and several people cancelled the day before the recital. I may never do another Christmas recital, ever. It doesn't motivate my students, and the older kids have a billion school projects to do and essays to write--nobody is giving piano a hoot at this time of the year.[/quote]


You too? I came home from my annual group performance class and told my husband I was not having any more. Out of 30 students maybe 3 performed well, maybe another 3 or 4 OK, the rest were awful. Did anyone practice? No wonder they are nervous. I saw one high school girls hands shaking. She was terrible. Another primer student was so shy she was almost sick, but did she ever consider practicing? Sooooo disappointing and embarassing to have such terrible performances. I'm considering theory work sessions next year instead of performance.

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#1809427 - 12/20/11 05:00 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Nikolas]
wuxia Offline
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Registered: 04/04/11
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Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
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#1809435 - 12/20/11 05:04 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
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Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I have my Christmas recital (Party) early in the month before everyone's projects are due. It seems to make for less conflicts as well.

Today I have a lesson with a student who's piano is covered with plastic this week because of home repairs, so he couldn't practice. But he didn't do a lick of theory either, so I have him doing it right now.
_________________________
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Independent Music Teacher
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#1809439 - 12/20/11 05:07 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Yes indeed, it was money received alright. I don't usually receive tips but, I do get them occasionally. It is very sweet of people to go above and beyond even though they know it is not expected. smile
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Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1809759 - 12/21/11 02:16 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Joyce_dup1]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Joyce_dup1
You too? I came home from my annual group performance class and told my husband I was not having any more. Out of 30 students maybe 3 performed well, maybe another 3 or 4 OK, the rest were awful. Did anyone practice? No wonder they are nervous. I saw one high school girls hands shaking. She was terrible. Another primer student was so shy she was almost sick, but did she ever consider practicing? Sooooo disappointing and embarassing to have such terrible performances. I'm considering theory work sessions next year instead of performance.


I think I'm going to have my studio recitals two weeks after the CM test, so that I get the comments from the evaluators and implement them prior to the recital--to make the pieces more perfect than they were at the exam.

Or I can just make recitals optional for the busy students in high school.
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#1809850 - 12/21/11 09:30 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
After the first year or two of hosting a December recital, I decided not to do that ever again. Too much going on in December. It's too stressful for me, and likely to be less successful.

October works well for my studio, but this is in part due to my teaching year round.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1810442 - 12/22/11 07:01 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
One more lesson this morning and I'm DONE FOR THE YEAR!!!
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~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1810472 - 12/22/11 08:31 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
Finished teaching yesternight for 2011... Now I do hope to get an extra lesson on Saturday (In fact I know I will... but anyhow), and I'm still working quite a lot to finish off other gigs, but lessons are almost over...

and it actually feels fine... :-/
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http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1810516 - 12/22/11 10:07 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 757
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
After the first year or two of hosting a December recital, I decided not to do that ever again. Too much going on in December. It's too stressful for me, and likely to be less successful.

October works well for my studio, but this is in part due to my teaching year round.


I get asked by parents all the time about Christmas recitals. While I'm glad that they're interested - and sometimes their kids seem truly interested, it seems that every attempt to actually put one together is thwarted by everyone's wacky schedule.

I think that Stanny has the right idea.

This is not keeping me from thinking about joining forces with another studio or 2, and putting together programs for local nursing homes next Christmas season. I figure that we can get enough students to participate this way.
_________________________
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#1810769 - 12/22/11 06:04 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
I ended up getting my refrigerator cleaned out without doing the work myself! smile My 14 year old son and his friend cleaned it. I picked up pizza, and let them rent a movie and get snacks. Good use of a rainy day off, and good for them to have a break from screen time.

It took two 14 year olds just 30 minutes. Good clearance! Yipee!!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1810775 - 12/22/11 06:27 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
It took two 14 year olds just 30 minutes.

Holy cow! Do you have grass growing in there or something?
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1810784 - 12/22/11 06:34 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I ended up getting my refrigerator cleaned out without doing the work myself! smile My 14 year old son and his friend cleaned it. I picked up pizza, and let them rent a movie and get snacks. Good use of a rainy day off, and good for them to have a break from screen time.

It took two 14 year olds just 30 minutes. Good clearance! Yipee!!

Was there meat-cake? laugh

(George Carlin talked about it when things were so old you couldn't tell whether it was meat or cake!!!)
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Piano Teacher

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#1811144 - 12/23/11 12:00 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: AZNpiano]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
It took two 14 year olds just 30 minutes.

Holy cow! Do you have grass growing in there or something?

smirk

3 containers did seem to have something growing in them. But it wasn't grass.

That was my only job--executive decisions about whether something should be discarded.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1811164 - 12/23/11 12:16 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gerard12]
trublues Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 73
Loc: New Hampshire
Originally Posted By: Gerard12
This is not keeping me from thinking about joining forces with another studio or 2, and putting together programs for local nursing homes next Christmas season. I figure that we can get enough students to participate this way.

A group of us have done nursing home recitals and they have worked well for us. . Whoever wants to play can play so only the ones who have time and are motivated will be there. It's a great way to be a blessing to others, too. The focus becomes more about who we're playing for and offering a musical gift to others and less on "self".
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Independent Piano Teacher
Member MTNA, NHMTA

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#1812160 - 12/25/11 10:12 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
I hosted my 2nd Christmas student recital at my home last Sunday. I was only able to get 8 students to perform because most of the others were already leaving town for their Christmas break.

Most of the students performed up to my expectations. I plan to host an end-of-school year recital in late May or June for the students who didn't come to the Christmas recital.

I found the recital to be of as much value for the parents as for the students. Families were able to meet each other. Also, I played a couple of pieces in order to "prove" my competence as a pianist to the parents!

I hope the recital will motivate some of the students to practice harder. Let's wait and see in January!
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Tavner

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#1812215 - 12/25/11 01:39 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I like the idea of a Nursing Home recital!
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1812220 - 12/25/11 01:48 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...A new student gave me an unwrapped Coach box. Inside was a Coach coin purse with a price tag attached (had been marked down to $69). It's a silver colored leather with a cloth lining. The gift paper was extra crinkled which made me certain this is a re-gift...."

There's an old Russian saying that goes, "If you want money, buy a new purse." In other words, if you want something in your life, make a place for it.

Sounds almost like your new purse and Jerry's hundred-dollar tip met at the mall. Nice presents for both of you.
_________________________
Clef


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#1812278 - 12/25/11 03:56 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Jeff Clef]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

There's an old Russian saying that goes, "If you want money, buy a new purse." In other words, if you want something in your life, make a place for it.

Sounds almost like your new purse and Jerry's hundred-dollar tip met at the mall. Nice presents for both of you.


Thanks for the Russian saying. I'll think of it as I use this coin purse. I'm chuckling over the purse and tip almost meeting at the mall. Not sure what it means, but still sounds funny. smile

When I get back home I intend to send a thank you note to the family that gave me the coin purse.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1812509 - 12/26/11 09:00 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Happy Boxing Day!

I woke up with my usual "Ugh, it's Monday", then immediately remembered that I'm not teaching one single lesson this week...a whole week of vacation time! Yippee!
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1812747 - 12/26/11 05:15 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
I woke up thinking, "I'm back to teaching, YES!!!"

I do NOT like "time off"...
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Piano Teacher

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#1812807 - 12/26/11 07:30 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
You don't???

I don't think any of my students would come the week between Christmas and New Year's anyway, but I definitely need the mental break!
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1812837 - 12/26/11 08:24 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3160
Loc: Maine
My teacher is teaching this week, so I assume she has some students! I, alas, am away with no piano. Maybe I can convince everyone in my family to buy a piano so I can play it when I visit them, LOL.
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#1812958 - 12/27/11 12:57 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Stanny]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Stanny
You don't???

I don't think any of my students would come the week between Christmas and New Year's anyway, but I definitely need the mental break!

First, I don't like this time of year. For me it is a reminder of how many people I have "lost" to time and death. And things stop. Nothing on TV, a small thing, then people I normally talk to are gone. And something like this forum will be dead until sometime in January.

But mostly I thrive when I am with people, but not in a "social" way.

My schedule today was blocked, no gaps, no holes, and students came in with very positive moods. smile
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#1812959 - 12/27/11 12:58 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: PianoStudent88]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
My teacher is teaching this week, so I assume she has some students! I, alas, am away with no piano. Maybe I can convince everyone in my family to buy a piano so I can play it when I visit them, LOL.

Or travel with a DP. smile
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Piano Teacher

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#1814339 - 12/29/11 10:18 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Speaking of a DP reminds me of the 3 day visit with family. The sister who hosted our gathering has an old DP with 77 unweighted keys and a pedal attached by a cord.

I had my Christmas repertoire ready so I played the DP. To keep that pitiful excuse for a pedal from moving away from me, I used my left foot to keep it from moving to the left, and positioned it against the wall in front to keep it from moving forward.

I kept recalling a scene from "A Tuna Christmas" in which a young woman (played by a slim man wearing sweat pants with padding to give a very wide bottom) tells her mother (played by a large man) in an uppity manner with a Southern accent "I am not going to waste my artistic talent on that pathetic little tree" (refusing to help decorate the tree for Christmas). laugh

Instead of seeing it as wasting my talent on a pathetic little keyboard, I humbled myself and played it anyway. I changed the voice to vibraphone and made the most of it. It was better than having no keyboard or piano at all.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/29/11 10:19 AM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1815029 - 12/30/11 09:02 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
My 17 yr. old girl needs some conversation and 'therapy'. I suggested she just drop by sometime so we could talk, not during lesson time.

The struggles and passions of the young.. imagine a girl with a horse, considerable talent, 4 young handicapped adopted brothers, a new boyfriend, a loving family, a new farm and house they are building, the two bedroom house they will move into during transition period an uncertain future with many choices........

Poor sweetie.
_________________________
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1815993 - 12/31/11 03:43 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

First, I don't like this time of year. For me it is a reminder of how many people I have "lost" to time and death.


Gary, I'm sorry you've "lost" so many loved ones. Your post has weighed on my mind lately. I'm startled enough to realize I am middle aged. And how depressing to think of losing one family member after another over the years...especially after 65.

How do you have something to look forward to in old age? I guess you try to make connections with the younger family members. And try new things. Keep trying new things, exploring new music etc.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/31/11 04:39 PM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1816031 - 12/31/11 04:38 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
This evening I plan to lighten up my mood by watching "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and having snacks.

Hope you all have a great new year's eve!
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1816152 - 12/31/11 08:42 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky

Gary, I'm sorry you've "lost" so many loved ones. Your post has weighed on my mind lately. I'm startled enough to realize I am middle aged. And how depressing to think of losing one family member after another over the years...especially after 65.

How do you have something to look forward to in old age? I guess you try to make connections with the younger family members. And try new things. Keep trying new things, exploring new music etc.

Thank you for the kind words, Ann. smile
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Piano Teacher

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#1817614 - 01/03/12 03:29 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
wuxia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 106
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

First, I don't like this time of year. For me it is a reminder of how many people I have "lost" to time and death.


Gary, I'm sorry you've "lost" so many loved ones. Your post has weighed on my mind lately. I'm startled enough to realize I am middle aged. And how depressing to think of losing one family member after another over the years...especially after 65.

How do you have something to look forward to in old age? I guess you try to make connections with the younger family members. And try new things. Keep trying new things, exploring new music etc.


What about when you feel the same way when you're 23. Is there really something that you can do? There's nothing you WANT to do.
_________________________
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#1817635 - 01/03/12 04:36 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: wuxia]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: wuxia

What about when you feel the same way when you're 23. Is there really something that you can do? There's nothing you WANT to do.

I lost my grandmother at around age 21. There has NEVER been a time in my life, as an adult, when I have not keenly been aware of people who have disappeared from my life.

The reason I hate holidays so much is that society itself more or less forces us to slow down, and I'm a person who needs to be busy, with people, to push the sadder parts of life into the background. <weak smile>

That's why I, unlike most here, taught all of December, including the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The thing that counter-balances the sadness of the adult world is being around young people, especially children, who have not yet had to face the losses that we face in adulthood.

It's now January, I'm back teaching my full schedule, and it's all behind me once again. That does not mean, however, that I did not enjoy hearing my students talk about what they got for Christmas (or Chanakuh), and what special adventures they had during their time off. smile
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#1817638 - 01/03/12 04:44 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
wuxia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 106
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: wuxia

What about when you feel the same way when you're 23. Is there really something that you can do? There's nothing you WANT to do.

I lost my grandmother at around age 21. There has NEVER been a time in my life, as an adult, when I have not keenly been aware of people who have disappeared from my life.

The reason I hate holidays so much is that society itself more or less forces us to slow down, and I'm a person who needs to be busy, with people, to push the sadder parts of life into the background. <weak smile>

That's why I, unlike most here, taught all of December, including the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The thing that counter-balances the sadness of the adult world is being around young people, especially children, who have not yet had to face the losses that we face in adulthood.

It's now January, I'm back teaching my full schedule, and it's all behind me once again. That does not mean, however, that I did not enjoy hearing my students talk about what they got for Christmas (or Chanakuh), and what special adventures they had during their time off. smile


I lost my mother when I was 11, my family went from a normal functional family to a cold and indifferent one, my father is struggling with clinical depression and alcohol addiction.

That's why I too don't like Christmas and such holidays. It only reminds me of how miserable my life is. I even feel envious of people who are feeling well at such events and then I bash myself for feeling envious and there's nothing I can or want to do.
_________________________
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#1817690 - 01/03/12 09:08 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: wuxia]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: wuxia


I lost my mother when I was 11, my family went from a normal functional family to a cold and indifferent one, my father is struggling with clinical depression and alcohol addiction.

That's why I too don't like Christmas and such holidays. It only reminds me of how miserable my life is. I even feel envious of people who are feeling well at such events and then I bash myself for feeling envious and there's nothing I can or want to do.


Hi wuxia. Sorry to hear you lost your mother when you were 11. That is tragic. I hope you hang in there and see your life improve day by day (whether your dad gets recovery or not).

I think being in your 20's can be a very difficult time of life. My 30's were better than my 20's since I faced and worked through some issues in my 30's. And 40's better than 30's since I worked through more issues.

Anyway, I hope you see daily improvement in your life. A focus on learning music is a decent beginning to a better life IMO.

Edit: Maybe I'll change my screen name to "Counselor Troy". smile


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/03/12 10:22 AM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1818915 - 01/05/12 07:03 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
wuxia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 106
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: wuxia


I lost my mother when I was 11, my family went from a normal functional family to a cold and indifferent one, my father is struggling with clinical depression and alcohol addiction.

That's why I too don't like Christmas and such holidays. It only reminds me of how miserable my life is. I even feel envious of people who are feeling well at such events and then I bash myself for feeling envious and there's nothing I can or want to do.


Hi wuxia. Sorry to hear you lost your mother when you were 11. That is tragic. I hope you hang in there and see your life improve day by day (whether your dad gets recovery or not).

I think being in your 20's can be a very difficult time of life. My 30's were better than my 20's since I faced and worked through some issues in my 30's. And 40's better than 30's since I worked through more issues.

Anyway, I hope you see daily improvement in your life. A focus on learning music is a decent beginning to a better life IMO.

Edit: Maybe I'll change my screen name to "Counselor Troy". smile


Thank you for the supportive words Ann.
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