good rehearsals, packed day, teaching and patience

We ran through the Beethoven tonight, and it wasn’t as challenging to get through, in terms of energy level, than I had feared it might be. We know it very well now, and I enjoyed playing the piece as a whole work.

This afternoon the modern group rehearsed, and we got through the most challenging parts of Ire quite well, too. I have some heavy, loud pizzicatos in the other piece, and am on the verge of getting a blister, but have to practice that passage more tomorrow morning. I shall have to be judicious about it, so it’s not too painful during the concert.

I had absolutely no transition between the intense afternoon rehearsal and the teaching that was sandwiched between it and the evening rehearsal. I did not handle that segue very well: going from rehearsing a piece that’s at a very high professional level and demands an extraordinary amount of focus to teaching a beginning student requires a serious perspective switch, and I didn’t do such a great job with that. I was overly critical in the first lesson immediately following the rehearsal. I apologized at the end, but really hate to have done anything as a teacher that requires an apology. I know that it’s human to make mistakes, but there is a judgment-addicted part of me that can only accept mistakes if they’re a) impossible to have predicted, b) not that important, and c) consequence-free. That part of me is a wuss, essentially, and has a hard time handling the realities of life.

I have similar challenges when I go straight from teaching cello lessons to helping Hazel practice. I think I might need to give myself a few meditative moments before helping Hazel, because it is surprisingly difficult for me to be graceful in that situation, too. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I have more of a struggle being patient than I do with my students. So that too, is a work in progress.

Just those glimpses into the difficulties of teaching one’s own child shows me that home-schooling my kids would be A Very Bad Idea (not that such a thing is in the plans).

I had a friend in college who once told me that he wasn’t sure whether I was the most open-minded judgmental person he’d ever known, or the most judgmental open-minded person. He said this with love, and I know what he means. I think I am pretty open, but I also have a heavy dose of judgment which is primarily self-directed, but which splashes outwards sometimes too. This does remind me of two of my mom’s favorite sayings, which are that there are 10,000 ways, and that it is important to be able to hold the opposites. I think that’s so important. Life doesn’t line up neatly like a Hallmark card. There are conflicts, internal and external, and achieving a good life doesn’t mean avoiding them. I am better at tolerating dissonance than I was when I was younger, and am grateful for that. I need that ability as a parent.


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