moving: chapter eight (the other new job)

In fairly short order, a second gig has come presented itself, and I will now be teaching voice and piano lessons for Bay Colony Performing Arts Academy in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

I don’t know many details right now, other than I’ll be giving private lessons three days a week, for what sounds like a wide range of age groups and experience levels.

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I’ll confess I’m more than a little surprised to be taking on a teaching gig.  I had, in fact, made a semi-conscious decision after leaving Bloomington that I would start moving away from educational work.  It’s not that I don’t value or enjoy it — quite the contrary.  It’s just that, if I’m being honest, I’m not entirely convinced I’m that good at it.

I realize, if you know me at all, what a ridiculous thing that is to say, considering theatre education had been the bulk of my work in Bloomington for the last five and a half years.

But I always felt like that was entirely accidental.  I mean, my first education gigs were, in my mind, merely ways to expand my experience as a music director.  I’m not trained as an educator, I have no pedagogical or developmental training.  I have a genuine impatience for most of the behaviors that are generally accepted as “adolescent”.  And my day-to-day language is not exactly, well, G-rated.

But, to my shock, something clicked and the kids I was directing decided they liked me, that they liked the way I worked with them.  And so did their parents.  Which meant my name got around, and I kept getting hired for more and more educational gigs, until it was almost an exception when I found myself working with adults.

There’s a lot more to the story than that, of course.  The total sum of my teaching experience — and the impact it has had on me — cannot possibly be contained in a single post.  Suffice it to say, for now, that by the time I left Bloomington I felt very confident in my abilities to lead an ensemble towards an artistic result they could take pride in.

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So why the anxiety now?

Well, because now what I’m doing is teaching one-on-one, which is actually an entirely new animal for me.  And, because I’m obsessed with order and precision, I’m nervous about taking on a group of students — mid-term, mind you — and feeling pressured to have a specific, focused plan for each student’s vocal training.

I know I can use the first couple of lessons to get acquainted, to vocalize, to really get to know the students and their instruments.  But beyond that?  Who knows.  I just have to take it week by week.