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A Day in the Life of an Adult Starter

Krista Moyer

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Published: June 5, 2015 at 5:58 PM [UTC]

5:30 am: The alarm goes off. I’m tired from staying up half the night to “encourage” my 7th grade son finish all his late homework assignments because tomorrow is the last day he can turn them in for a grade. Hit the snooze button 2x.

5:40 am: Wake both kids. Argue with tired 7th grader about whether he actually has to get out of bed and take a shower. Remind him that he must take the work he did to school and turn it in. It’s too early for this much irritation. Give up and go back to my room to assemble an outfit for the day.

6:00 am: Knock on 7th grader’s door to nag at him to get out of bed. Beat him to the shower because he should have gotten up the first time.

6:30 am: Remind the boys they need to eat breakfast and brush their teeth. 7th grader sulks. 4th grader points out that there’s no lunch meat. Scrounge around for cash so boys can buy lunches.

7:00 am: Hurry husband and older boy out the door because husband’s car is blocking mine in. Grab my lunch bag, purse, music bag, violin, and oldest boy’s viola. Make younger son go back into the house and put on shoes that aren’t covered in dirt.

7:15am: Drop younger son at before-school care. Then leave to swing by fast food place to get breakfast to take to work. Wish I had not hit the snooze button so I could have eaten at home but enjoy eating the bad-for-me meal anyway.

7:50 am: Arrive at work. Somehow manage to balance purse, lunch bag, and two instrument cases, while disarming building alarm. Get to my desk without spilling what’s left of my drink from take-out breakfast. Success!

12:30pm: Take lunch break. Listen to music assignments while eating yogurt with one hand and catch up on emails with the other.

1:00pm: More work. Leave Bach on iPod on repeat. Wish co-workers would check for earbuds before asking me for things. Thank goodness listening to music and doing math at the same time are compatible activities. Dread my lesson anyway. I’m so not prepared.

4:30 pm: Log out of work computer. Manage to get purse, lunch bag, and instruments down to car. Run back to office to grab a protein bar for son.

5:00 pm: Pick up oldest boy at after-school study hall. Give him the protein bar so he isn’t cranky during his viola lesson. Don’t want him getting on the teacher’s nerves before my turn.

5:25 pm: Arrive at teacher’s studio. Boy tunes up while I discuss recital details. Retire to the couch to check work emails and read my zombie novel. Avoid catching the teacher’s eye. Not my lesson. I’m listening though.

6:05 pm: Finally, my turn. Tune up. Sevcik 6 – way better than last week. Yay! Etude studies go alright. Go over articulation issues in my review piece. Teacher finds new ones. I guess that means the old ones were improved. Play the Bach. Everything starts to fall apart in measure 63. *sigh* Spend the rest of the hour wishing there were more than 24 hours in a day.

7:10 pm: Thank teacher. Pack up the car and head home.

7:50 pm: Get home and ravenously attack the sandwiches that fantastic husband procured while we were out. He only just got home himself because youngest boy had Tae-kwon-do practice until 7pm.

8:30 pm: Supervise youngest boy’s cello practice. Deal with his melt-down after explaining that the metronome is not speeding up and slowing down. Finally get him to play French Folk Song through without any mistakes, but ignoring the metronome. We’ll try again tomorrow. That D-scale was great though!

9:10 pm: Send kids to bed. No, you may not stay up late tonight. Mommy is tired.

9:20 pm: Spend some time catching up the day with husband. Try to look at television but feel guilty about not practicing.

10:05 pm: Decide I need to get it over with. Start going over ensemble pieces. Panic because we’re having a performance in a week and I still don’t know the new piece we got at the last rehearsal I made it to. Try to play it with the metronome. I think maybe it might be speeding up and slowing down. I know it’s not, but it makes me feel better to blame something else.

11:40 pm: Husband reminds me we have to be somewhere in the morning. Pack it up and go to bed.

Boy do I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.

From Eileen Geriak
Posted on June 5, 2015 at 11:46 PM
I was an adult learner...starting at the age of 39. That was about 13 years ago. The only way I could find the time to practice was to get up at 4am, shower, get ready for the day, see my husband off to work and then pull out the violin by around 5ish and practice until 7...when I had to put it down to start getting ready to leave for work at 7:30. I also get to church on sunday morning...very early, before anyone else gets there, so that I can get some practice time in on the weekend. I still have that schedule. If you're passionate about find the time for it somehow. ;-)
From Christina C.
Posted on June 9, 2015 at 8:20 PM
Way to go Krista. It ain't always pretty but I think it's wonderful that you're doing what it takes to make music-making a part of your life as well as your kids.
More hours in the day? Can't help there, but it does help to be brutally honest about the time-sinks in your life. TV? Video games? Internet? NetFlix? I'll admit that I still spend a bit of time on the computer, but giving up TV has been great for my practice schedule.

From Zina Francisca
Posted on June 11, 2015 at 10:34 AM
"Deal with his melt-down after explaining that the metronome is not speeding up and slowing down."

Hahaha Krista, best moment of the day! And so nice you could experience that same sensation later. Happens to me all the time.

From Christina C.
Posted on June 11, 2015 at 7:37 PM
well you're certainly not alone!

Audio illusion: the accelerating metronome

From Krista Moyer
Posted on June 12, 2015 at 1:35 PM
Thanks for linking that great blog. It really does seem to happen. Right now I've got an ensemble piece featuring 21 measures of spiccato with string crossings and I've experienced the same thing.

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