February 2015

is the car done yet?

February 18, 2015 13:08

How is it that in almost all professions you can take "sick days" and still get paid but if you're a musician you have to either just not get paid or make-up the lessons if you're sick? There's no permitted 5 sick days a year or 3 weeks paid vacation if you're a musician. You take the work when you get it and if you're sick, you most likely power through because who has time to fit in 10 make-up lessons or find an alternate player for that wedding gig? Just some food for thought as I battle my first cold of 2015.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my previous blog post and for the warm welcome back! I am excited to get back to writing a bit more. It's such a powerful tool for organizing thoughts and finding clarity in things that somehow seem a bit more jumbled in my brain. My musings and thoughts today come from a comfortable couch in a Starbucks not far from the oceans edge as the car gets a tune up. The car is getting groomed and readied for a road trip to Vancouver Island's west coast in March. I can't wait to get back to the open ocean and breathe in that fresh sea air. I'm also excited for the possibility of seeing whales which have spotted close to where we'll be staying and of course for exploring the shoreline for any treasures the sea might have washed up. The last time I was by the open ocean like that is when I hiked the West Coast Trail almost 5 years ago - how time flies!

Has anyone else seen the "misheard" lyrics for Carmina Burana's "O Fortuna" ? I'm playing the whole work this weekend up in Prince George with the Prince George Symphony and all I can picture when I hear that movement is "that octopus, let's give him boots, send him to North Korea" .... does that make me a horrible person? Anyway - check it out, it's a good laugh! And it will likely forever ruin that movment for you forever! Strangely enough my score for it must have been used by some equally inspired players to those who wrote out the English interpretation of the original Latin text. On the bottom right hand corners of several pages are charming little illustrations ranging from rabbits to cats and fish (complete with sea corals) to dramatic singing stick people. Needless to say, we haven't even begun rehearsals yet and it's already shaping up to be a quite memorable first time playing this piece. *hums*

The Prince George Symphony has been a really fun avenue to get back into the world of orchestral playing. It's also an awesome opportunity to see some real snow which is something we don't really get in the lower mainland. Granted, -30C is not exactly the easiest tempreture to go to when you've been used to a wintertime high of +8C but I love the powdery white stuff that sparkles in the moonlight! Also, you can see stars, lots and lots of stars! Something which is a rarity when you live in a big city. It's sort of cathartic getting to go through the motions of packing, trekking to the airport (yay transit!), playing rehearsals over a couple of days then playing a show. It's always a fun and very different program. One thing that has stuck with me since university is that rehearsals always seemed to go on forever and now playing a union length rehearsal with a proper break seems short in comparison, making it more enjoyable and easier to work even harder.

In other news and randomness, I'm nearly finished knitting a sweater I've been working on in conjunction with a couple smaller projects the last month or so. I'm super stoked to have it ready to wear! For all you knitters out there, I scored an excellent deal on some Malabrigo wool that is absolutely heaven to the touch and even more heavenly to knit with! I honestly hope we get a cold snap here once I finish it so I can put the fireplace on and wear my new sweater cozied up next to it.
I've got a design project on the go too for a cowl I'm making that will help to sheild the side of my face that is affected by trigeminal neuralgia. Since wind is a trigger, I need something thick and wide to cover most of my face and keep it from triggering. I wish I could knit faster so I could make more of the gorgeous patterns I've got in my favourites feed on ravelry.

I'm going to sign off here for now but I have a question for everyone - what kind of challenges or motivating incentives do you use to help encourage your students to practice? I'm trying a new one this semester that I'm kind of having mixed results with so far, but there are a couple I've tried in past that have been really good.I'll write more about them next time. :)

Cheers everyone!

4 replies

a new beginning

February 11, 2015 20:21

How does one start a blog? Just coming up with a title is challenging and I'm not even sure I like the one that I have come up with. Oh well... Maybe you'll be lucky and I will come up with something insightful or intriguing to keep your attention.

Here's a quick introduction of me to help get this off to a more amicable beginning. I (Kelsey), am a violinist, violist, pianist and composer and all around music nut. I've wanted to be a professional musician since I was 7 and by the age of 9 I could tell you the names of the teachers I wanted to study with and which schools they taught at along with the audition requirements.

I was lucky and despite some challenges along the way, I made it into music school and eventually got paired up with the teacher I wanted to study with. Soon after my post-secondary adventures began, life decided to throw me a curve ball. As I'm sure anyone who has been through music school can tell you, surviving music school and coming out on the other side still wanting to play is a challenge in itself. You are tested and pushed in so many ways to be sure it's really what you want to do.

I began developing severe symptoms which would later be attributed to fibromyalgia. Numb hands, loss of balance, insomnia, muscle and joint pain to name a few of the things I had to figure out how to deal with during school. It ended up having a huge impact on my education as well as other areas of my life. Just as I was beginning to adjust to life with fibromyalgia and was finding a combination of diet, meds, exercise etc that enabled me to do most of the things I enjoyed, things got crazy again. Nerve pain. It's the most excruciating pain to experience and in my case, it's all in my head....the nerves that is, I'm not imagining things. Imagine having someone taking an icepick and shoving it into the side of your head and then cutting across the side of your face to your nose, to your chin and to your eye, and then starting the same process over and over again. That is one of the ways I can describe the pain that trigeminal neuralgia produces. The debilitating pain can be triggered by eating, talking, bright light, a gentle breeze, brushing my teeth and so many other things. You never just when it's going to strike and you spend much of your time fearing it's attacks. Without going into more detail... it sucks. A lot.

Now, I'm not just a "diseased" individual, but I've had and continue to have my challenges. Through it all, I've tried my best to keep my head high and to enjoy the things I love most as well as to develop other hobbies that I can enjoy if my body is giving me a rough time.

So....after that kind of long little blurb about me, here's some of the things you might expect to see/read about here should you continue to visit my blog! You can expect to enjoy musings on photography (and see some pictures), baking/cooking, knitting, music, chronic pain, being a musician with a chronic disease, hiking and all manner of other things!

Welcome to the blog and I look forward to writing more soon!

Cheers,
Kelsey

6 replies

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