Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:42 pm

Another from the masterclass.

Richard wanted the kids nod at the first beat of each bar. Given the difficulty that we have in adopting a foreign movement, this was never going to happen. He gave up after the second attempt, wisely. Jas was the second attempt.

Released back to the safety of the rest of the group, she quickly cottoned on and was soon nodding at the first beat of every bar whenever subsequent victims played. Her fellow victims picked up on this and were soon nodding in time - until they had to play, when the 'skill' disappeared.

The valid point Richard was trying to make is that professional pianists maintain a sense of pulse with some sort of physical movement - he cited tapping the left little toe as an example. I maintain an inner count and am mostly still at the piano - I am a pianist not a choreographed dancer.

Others are 100% in the opposite direction. Lang Lang, for example, appears certifiable.

Richard made the mistake of telling the kids to YouTube Yuja Wang so Miss called up an example of her playing after the session ended. To me, Yuja is a 'complete pianist' - unbelievable technique when required allied to poetic playing in lyrical passages. She is phenomenal. In a world going to Hell in a handbasket, she is an example of humanity at its best. I am listening to her playing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD5pqlDPCHc as I write this. Fantastic.

She is also serene at the keyboard. Watch her for a couple of minutes. Not a hint of the theatrical nonsense that less talented pianists engage in to try to win their audience over.

Miss had found an example of Yuja playing and arrangement of, "Flight of the Bumble Bees" as an encore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8alxBofd_eQ) as a much younger girl. Incredible. Staggering. The kids were as open mouthed as I was.

Jas recovered first and quipped, "She will never be any good. She doesn't nod in time to her playing." :lol:

Nice one, Jas. I knew I could count on someone in the group to spot the fallacy.

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

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I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Sun May 01, 2022 7:10 pm

From last week:

I was playing a new piece to Jas. I noticed her sucking the back of her hand whilst I was doing so. With a due sense of dread and despair I asked, "What are you doing, poppet?"

Jas showed me a slightly blooded point on her hand and answered, "Sucking on this."

Yuk.

"I like the taste of blood."

Yuk.

We all know that the words, "strange" and "child" go together in the same sentence so I joined in. I asked, "Do you realise darling, that makes you a vampire?"

Came the wonderful reply and display of said tooth, "I have a vampire tooth." OK, so not quite the size of those sported by Count Dracula, but impressive nonetheless.

------------

Jas happened on Monday and I arranged extra Weds lessons for her, Ethan and Gwenny. Come Tuesday morning and I really wanted to give Megan an extra as well, so I emailed Miss to ask her to contact Megan and arrange a lesson at the start of the afternoon. Miss emailed me back to state that Megan was seated next to her and that the extra lesson was duly booked in.

Come Weds and I flogged in early to accommodate Megan, who failed to turn up. Mild irritation on my part was all. It was only an extra 20 minutes after all, and getting mad whenever a teen goes wrong would leave all of us in a permanent state of fury.

Miss phone around to try to find her without success. I suggested a 'wind up'. I said, "Should you bump into her before her timetabled lesson tomorrow, tell her I was absolutely livid. Just for a few seconds. Back off quickly if she believes you."

On its own, that would Make a Point to a gentle, sensitive, caring and unutterably lovable child. :lol:

Come Megan's timetabled Thursday lesson, I glared at her and growled, "Where were you yesterday?"

Never mind the details but her explanation was one I agreed with and we proceeded with the lesson. Something occurred to me later on so I explained what I had cooked up with Miss and asked, "Angel, would you have believed her?"

"No," came the confident reply. That made me happy.

--------------

I cannot help offering constant encouragement to the kids, whatever they are doing. I did so at one point in Bailey's lesson and she stumbled instantly. I stopped her and asked if my encouragement had disturbed her.

Her reply was masterly. "Oh no. I never listen to you." :lol:

Hmmm. Still no trembling in my presence, I note. :cry:

------------

Our Weds choir can be difficult to control. Their attention can wander off point at the drop of a (usually but not always Masie inspired) hat. Second lieutenant trouble maker is Georgi, whom I have described to Miss as the most beautiful trouble maker I have ever met. In reality, I am not sure which of these two are the worst.

Miss and I adore them both. Along with the rest of them. They pile into the room bringing sooo much love with them. They are wonderful. Just hard to control without the sort of verbal violence that would be entirely inappropriate under the circumstances. :lol:

Thingy is, none of us are being paid for being there. Not me and Miss and definitely not the kids but they have bought into the concept of only missing a rehearsal if absolutely unavoidable. We produce wonderful stuff as a result. OK, so Miss and I are there for the kids' benefit but there is no denying how good they make us look whenever we perform.

Miss had to leave early on Weds, for a Y8 parents' evening - remember the joy of those folks? "I Won't Say"as performed recently at the music festival involved Georgi and the 'soloist' and the rest of the group providing harmony. We are going to perform this again in a concert at the end of June. The kids had acted as well as sung the song, adopting a series of 'statue' poses. Miss put Assistant Trouble Maker Georgi in charge of a rehearsal of adopting the poses and then a run through of the song.

Georgi was amazing. She made Miss Trunchbull look like a pathetic amateur. She let the rest of the group get away with nothing - even Head Trouble Maker Masie. She ruled the group with a rod of iron.

-

Before Georgi took charge, somehow her and Masie's rendition of the Queen of the Night aria came up and I mentioned how I had YouTubed it after the rehearsal and found the player terrifying. Gracie picked up on thi, found it on her phone and showed it to the rest of the group. "Far too scary for me," was the general consensus. :lol:

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Sun May 01, 2022 8:11 pm

One more from our senior choir from las week that I forgot to add.

I have taken to handing Masie a tissue before we begin the rehearsal. She is going to be reduced to tears of laughter (usually) each week, so this saves time later on.

I did so again and was greeted by this sweet and earnest little face saying, "I did not use your tissue last week but did so today. I had a nose bleed and used it to mop up."

Sad she had a nose bleed. Glad my tissue helped mop up. Really glad that kids recover so quickly from minor health events. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9577
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Tue May 03, 2022 6:44 pm

I now also teach in a school just up the road from where I live. Only 4 pupils at the mo, but it is a short drive and the kids are a joy.

Eva and I became instant besties the moment we met. That I love kids is not the issue; some of them recognise this faster than others and with Eva this recognition was instantaneous. It just works that way sometimes.

The piano stool squeaks. The piano is horrible. Eva complained, "We need a new piano stool." I complained back, "We need a new piano to replace this old wreck."

I have taken to putting a second pencil on Eva's side of the piano, as a, "Defensive weapon" for her. I glared at her and snarled, "I need a new pupil to replace you."

I received the usual cute round mouthed look of shock and the reply of, "How rude."

These are children I am dealing with, so I like to check up on how they are receiving me from time to time. I gave it a few seconds and then said, "Darling, you do 'get' that I adore you, don't you?"

Smugly and complacently she replied, "Oh yes."

Then Eva picked up her Defensive Weapon, pointed it at me and announced, "Besides, I am armed and dangerous. You are old, so I am bound to be quicker than you."

Not that I would ever test this, but I bet she is correct. :lol:

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9577
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Mon May 09, 2022 7:15 pm

I pitched up at school today to be greeted by the usual Dingbat Group of Motley Y9 Musicians. Not sure I will remember to call them that again, so their description may well change. For sure, they are one of the cutest group of kids I have ever met: Julia, Lillyana (Bestie of Julia and known as Lilly), Maisie, Faith and Marsha. Georgi and Lilly (different Lilly; good luck with keeping up) also belong to The Cutest Group but do not usually turn up to these end of lunchtime meetings.

Masie was strumming a guitar. Marsha was dragging her chair around the room backwards. This was not safe behaviour and I should have stopped it. Thingy was, they were happy. These kids suffered for two years. Kids in other parts of the world are suffering dreadful stuff. I am into children being happy, so I left them to it and crossed my fingers. There were no injuries suffered.

I settled into Miss' squiggly chair to enjoy the entertainment. Besties Julia and Lilly were in their usual occupation of the piano. Julia complained to me that Lilly had shoved her left hand and hurt it. The explanation was a typical child's long and convoluted one, so I quickly lost focus. This becomes more relevant later.

There was a normal class chair next to me. Julia shoved Lilly off the piano stool, so she came to sit next to me. I had my left leg crossed over my right. Lilly did the opposite. Julia hates it when thingies do not match up in perfect symmetry, so she glared at me and demanded that I recross my legs a la Lilly. I know when it is time to do as I am told and adjusted my position immediately. :lol:

Julia complained about her hand hurting when she played so I made my customary/variable offer in these situations. "Would you like me to twist your arm darling, to take your mind off <insert pain here>"? The understandably usual reply is, "No thanks."

Slim 13 year olds like Julia are incredibly flexible - remember how you were at the same age? Instead of the usual reply, Julia shoved her left hand up between her shoulder blades then used her right hand to shove it a bit further. "Nope, doesn't do a thing to help by hurting." Quite glad, really.

-----------

The afternoon progressed. Gwenyth came for her lesson. Jas and Gwenyth are cousins and I heard Jas call her 'Gwenny'. I heard Gwenyth's mum call her her the same in a phone call home, so I asked her and received, permission to call her 'Gwenny'. Only because I find 'Gwenny' easier to pronounce that 'Gwenith'. It might only be me, but try it and see.

I do not talk about Gwenny much these days. She continues to make fantastic progress. She merely lacks the ability to entertain that The Dingbats possess. Trust me folks, I worship this child.

----------

Now we have a name for the Y9 group of Motley Musicians. The Dingbats. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

---------

Julia came down for her extra lesson. Her left hand was still hurting, so I gave her every opportunity to cry off playing. We are all the same: present us with a child in pain and we want to stop the pain; if unable to stop the pain, the least we want to do is alleviate it.

Try this easy experiment folks. Close your eyes then touch your nose with either hand - or even both. Your brain has a 'picture' of where you are in space.

Teens shoot up in one of two directions: up or out. They never go in both directions. Give then a year or two and the direction that got left behind will catch up. Trouble is, the brain takes a while to catch up. Idiot.

So, teens go through a clumsy stage where they are falling over, dropping and breaking things. It really is not their fault. It causes the poor loves a lot of pain.

Julia is going through this. She has shot up a lot (she was tiny when she came to our school but now is as tall as me) and outwards, nowhere. She is doing clumsy to International Clumsy Team standards, with hopes of joining the Galactic equivalent.

It is not done to make physical contact with kids in school. This works for both parties. The kids cannot feel threatened by someone in a position of power over them. Teachers cannot be accused of inappropriate behaviour, given that our classrooms are covered by CCTV that is only consulted when necessary - remember my 'lost car' incident? Imagine something more serious. Sad, but necessary.

Julia and I have this agreement. I want to give kids a hug all the time so we agreed on 'virtual hugs'. I say to her, "Consider yourself hugged darling," so she does.

The poor love showed me another wound on a finger on her right hand when she dropped a technology tool on it, and described the agony that caused. That was a long virtual hug.

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Tue May 10, 2022 6:45 pm

Eva again.

I suppose I need to try to identify the school at which I am teaching. Let's try this. No 1 is the school I have been teaching at for years - Julia, Masie, musicals, Dingbats et al. So let's try No 2 for the the school up the road. I might think up different names.

I was at No 2 today. The room in which I teach has a wall entirely of windows from half way up. It looks out onto a walkway that is busy for most of the day with kids going about their kiddy stuff. They can easily see into the room so I receive and give back many a friendly wave - it is lovely. These are fabulous village kids.

I do not remember how, but 13 year old Eva and I started talking about brain to hand coordination today - logical in terms of playing the piano.

Eva suddenly announced, "I can rub my stomach and pat my head." It took her several attempts to get going, each one interspersed with, "I can do it, honest." She got going eventually.

Then she announced, "I can do this whilst hopping on one leg." Up she stood and started to hop. I am well versed in teen lunacy, but this was special.

Eva stopped, spun around and sat down intoning, "Oh no. I have been seen by kids walking past. I will never live this down." She was not really embarrassed - just hamming it up.

Wonderful stuff from a glorious child. I emailed her mum with the story. She loved it. :clap: :clap: :clap:

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9577
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Thu May 12, 2022 7:39 pm

I arrived in School no 1 today to some fabulous news. Joey (G3 Music Theatre exam) is going to take piano lessons. I adore this child, so this makes me very happy. :clap: :clap: :clap:

-------------

Lilly came for her freebie lesson today. Bestie Julia preparing for her Grade 1 came up in conversation from Lilly, announcing that she would quite like to do the same, so I said, "Angel, we started doing our lessons together for some fun because we like each other. Do you want to do piano exams?"

The beam that accompanied her, "Yes please" would have powered the National Grid for a couple of hours. Lilly announced that the piece J is currently preparing for her G1 programme is one that she loves, so I went to make her a copy. On my way back to the piano, I asked, "I guess that you lot know that I adore you all and will stop at nothing for you?"

Lilly's reply of, "Yes, we do" was so cute that my heart has not stopped melting since.

We got onto the subject of lesson frequency. Given that we are starting to learn G1 pieces for an exam, I booked Lilly in for an extra, extra freebie on Wednesday rather than waiting a whole fortnight for the next. Trouble is, the parents of all the other kids are paying for a lesson a week, so I mentioned this to Lilly.

It turns out that Lilly wants her mum to pay but her glorious conscience is kicking in. Mum has offered to pay for piano lessons with all the extra time implied, that I will pour into her wonderful daughter, but Lilly is already taking violin lessons at school. She is taking up the offer of a couple of oversees trips offered by the school, in the coming months. These are not cheap.

Lilly is feeling guilty about the cost of all this, bless her. Yet she confirmed that mum is willing to pay. Both mum and I (me today) have asserted that money spent on education is never wasted. Lilly accepts this from an, "I know what I am getting," 13 year old point of view. She has agreed to talk this over with her mum.

Fingers crossed.

--------------------

I told Bailey about Eva's Defensive Pencil last week. I had sharpened both of mine before today. I use the shorter one at the desk where I fill out the kids' music passes, and the longer one at the keyboard so I can point to the notes they are trying to play.

Bailey did something gormless for the 5th time, so I threatened her with the sharp end of my pencil. Quick as a flash, she reached into her pocket and pulled out her own weapon. Blunt as blunt can be; entirely useless as a weapon of self defence.

I showed her the tip of my pencil, then touched the tip of hers to make the point. Then I made one of those huge theatrical glances over towards the sharpened weapon of defence lying on Miss' desk. No idiot, is our Bailey. She followed my glance, grabbed the pencil and held both mine and hers in self defence. We called it a draw.

I love these kids.

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9577
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

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