Hi there! I'm Myles, a piano teacher, and music educator based on the South Coast of England.
I've been meaning to get around to finally talk about my experiences and thoughts about teaching, performing, and hopefully to pass on some funny anecdotes and tips whilst I'm at it!
It's the run-up to half term as I write this, with a whole string of exam students raring to go. Every time I open my emails, there are dozens more instrumental rehearsals to get booked in for the first in person exams in over a year since this pandemic took hold. Enough people have written about their reflections on life compared to pre-COVID times. But I thought I'd chat about my last six months, and what I've been up, and how a musician's life might have looked like whilst teaching from home. But first, something that hasn't happened in a while!
Back in the saddle
Aside from playing for much reduced weddings and, sadly, a fair few funerals, I had the pleasure of my first proper gig only last week!
A lovely outdoor event, in typical May sunshine ...
As I started to bring gear out of my trusty little car, I was told to find my client next to the pair of gazebos in the garden. As I rounded the corner, I could only see a singular gazebo. Perhaps I'd misheard...? Not that it matters, I thought, as the rain and wind lashed the garden path in front of me.
After a socially distanced 'hello' and a very British discussion about the weather, I enquired, as I started to set up, about the second gazebo.
"Oh yesss, we did have a second one, but, well, we lost it to the wind earlier today."
I looked at my fairly light music stand, with a mixture of not very wind-friendly books and paper music, and back at the surviving gazebo, straining and groaning, seemingly wishing it could be floating away to join its compatriot. This was going to be one of those gigs; one hand on the music, one hand on the keys...!
My stage was the opening of a little stable, so I was probably the driest member of the event, all said and done. The hosts were super sweet and thoughtful, checking in to make sure I wasn't too wet or cold, and brought over refreshments periodically. This arrangement was most welcome, until the wind decided to push the rain sideways.
However, all in all it was a super fun and lighthearted gig. What can you do apart from laugh when you're handed a plate of light nibbles that proceeds to whip past your head at 20mph, to be lost in a hedgerow forever?
I'm such a fan of these relaxed, background music, type of events. Every now and again, your audience tunes into the music, singing or dancing along, and then they get swept up in conversation again. You get to explore a whole range of music, from client requests to some personal favourites.
However, musicians, beware the tunes you pick for a wedding, even if you think they are obscure. Turns out that Ella Fitzgerald's 'Taking a chance on love', especially if someone recognises the tune, gets some raised eyebrows at a wedding after party...!
Anyway, that's enough tales of mischief for one blog post. I hope to be checking back in here periodically, and I'll be updating my Facebook page and website with any blog posts I make as I go. Perhaps it'll be a story about the impending exam season.
Here's hoping you all get a chance to enjoy the half term sunshine!
Take care and stay safe,