Zoom out, let go


Three months have passed since the move.

In my previous post, I wrote about events which enveloped me in ‘fruit radiance’: the Ricciotti Ensemble Tour, a starburst of inspiration, positive energy and love. This music project was one of the biggest gifts life had ever given me. I’d never played music in this way before, where the focus and ethos was purely on sharing joy with each other and caring for the public.

Yes! my inner voice said, This is what music is all about! Continue reading


DIY masterpiece for Boarding School

What to do if your school forbids the sticking of revision on walls, wardrobe doors, bathroom mirrors or any other surface perpendicular to the floor including furniture?

You head to the kitchen and find a sturdy cardboard box. Flatten this and secure with sellotape.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Continue reading

Farewell, scales and arpeggios and double stops!

It’s not a true farewell in the sense that I will never practise them again, I am just no longer under obligation to be assessed on them! My school technical assessments are over forever!

Yesterday, I sat my last piano one and today I sat my final violin one. They involved the head of the faculty (or in the case of yesterday’s, the majority of the piano department) sitting, requesting, listening and grading how well you play your scales, arpeggios, double stops and studies. As much as I appreciate not having the next year’s assessments as a burden, I wish I did my last ones better.

And I’m not saying this to try and appear modest, as some people do. To begin with, I had to resist the temptation to laugh in my piano assessment (and I think the teachers noticed that too) after I began playing my unique rendition of a dominant seventh of G major; I started off on the wrong note, and consequently played something completely unrecognisable to common piano knowledge, like a mix of a diminished seventhness with a scramble of pentatonic rubbish. I am not sure how to express this without using musical jargon . . . it’s like dancing ballet in Doc Marten boots or cooking dinner without a saucepan. As ugly, shocking, absurd.

Then the study which followed was pretty much learnt over the weekend.

I am not complaining or moaning about how badly I played, because I know it’s not really important in the long term of my life and because the world hasn’t ended as a result. (This is a very different view to what I had a few years ago. I would write in my diaries that I was ‘depressed’ because I thought I wasn’t going to get the top mark and that it was the end of the world. Wow, how sad. . .) I see the importance of assessments for students in the school. It’s an incentive to work and a goal for some. But this year, I couldn’t stop my mind from drifting out of the assessment room and focussing on other more life-changing priorities. 

This is another negative post… actually it rather positive, but a little too critical. I’m just tired and greasy and being an old moody granny who is very nervous about the coming weeks.

One less thing to do, hooray.



Me, teaching PIANO?

I am proud to declare that I am to begin teaching piano to my first ever pupil! The girl has been playing violin for a year and now she wants to start piano as well.

Just thinking about it makes me eager to share what I’ve learned in my years in music schooling. I was incredibly happy when I started piano (aged 5) and violin a year later. I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t exposed to discouraging material (i.e. YouTube). I remember gold star stickers and drawings and yoga breathing – my first teacher was amazing. I hope I will make a good impression on my pupil’s life as well. Nothing is worse than an unpleasant introduction.

I’m determined to be imaginative, wonderful and encouraging. I’m going to draw in her notebook; colouring pens all over; employ singing into her piano playing; speak in silly voices. Theatre, drama, entertainment, that’s what you need.

Teacher YeYe…
Oh goodness, I feel old. Maybe it’s right that my 17th birthday is in 12 days.

Expect some words on my first teaching experiences. I’m sure I’ll have many interesting things to say.