I have a dream.
I want a place where I can congregate with superhero wannabes.
I’d have a red phone encased in glass.
A place where we can learn from history and how we can make ourselves better because we learn from those examples and stories.
A place where we investigate how penguins communicate with giraffes – and we try to copy those methods, and develop our own communication systems.
I have a dream.
I dream of a time where dress-up goes back to being important, because it helps us figure out who we are – and who we want to be.
I want to explore what its like to be a dragon and a princess, I want to dance with a horse.
I have a dream.
I want stories to influence music, and music to influence culture (it already does – but i want more of it). And I want to participate in bringing those stories and songs forward.
I want bookshelves lined with stories – and ghosts of people reading.
I have a dream of letting children and adults do some musical exploring. I want everyone who walks in to learn an instrument of their choice, explore their own voice – and when I say so, I want them to put their choice away and pick up something different that is found 3 paces to their left. And explore a new world, so when they come back to what they know, they view it with brand new ears, and see colours they hadn’t noticed before.
I have a dream of owning a space where we can be free to make a mess. Where life can be chaotic. Because when life is chaotic we feel limited in how we can solve problems -but in reality this chaos frees us, and our solutions are unlimited – we just have to think a bit differently in order to unlock those possibilities. It all starts as chaos but it ends up as music.
This is my dream. And maybe one day this space will be mine.
*Photo taken through the window – in a dark room, which stood explain the weird reflections. This space used to be a Home Hardware – but I think it would be a great Studio de Chaos. A place where games are played, camps are held, stories are told, experiments happen. A place where I (and others like me) could be happy.
Today the students of Studio de Chaos are taking the stage to perform some selections they have been working on this term for their friends and families. It will be a day filled with music, fun, and excitement. But for some, there will be a few hours of anxiety and nerves, and uncertainty. I have a lot of first time performers this year -who have no idea what to expect. And these kids are nervous. Excited but nervous. Walking into the unknown can be a bit scary. Explaining what is going to happen can only prepare them for so much, because something different happens to us each time we walk on stage. Sometimes its magical, and sometimes it isn’t. But its always an adventure. So we take a breath, and hold our heads confidently, and we walk on stage just like we practiced so many times before.
But there are things we can do the day of the performance to make ourselves feel a bit more calm and confident. Here is my to do list on performance day:
- Eat a breakfast that has not a lot of refined sugar – oatmeal is a good choice.
- Something warm to drink is always nice, though Im not sure how many six year olds drink tea. But for me, a cup of tea rather than coffee is helpful.
- Do a short practice in the morning, I would rather you not play the songs you are going to perform this afternoon, but if you feel you need to play them one more time – then do that. No more than 5 minutes on those songs though.
- If you are feeling nervous, read a chapter of a fun book. Or tell someone a few jokes. Laughter is great for relaxing the nerves.
- Go for a walk at some point this morning. Pay attention to what you see, smell, and hear. I expect all of you to be doing this at some point – and I want a report.
- Most importantly, I want all of you to come prepared with a prank for the reception afterwards – because this holiday will be about fun and pranking!
I understand that sometimes we don’t feel up to playing in front of an audience, and that’s fine. If you feel like you cant do it this time, then stay and watch and learn from some of the other students. And if you feel like going up afterwards – we can arrange that too. The recital is supposed to be fun. It doesn’t always have to be serious. And when the time comes, and you don’t feel like playing the song that we rehearsed, but want to tell a story or a joke, or a dance routine -then that’s fine too. Anything goes!
The reward will be great today!
*Photo Source – David Vidmar via flickr
Studio de Chaos is open for business starting in September. Its been a long year plagued with uncertainty and injury and lessons. Many many lessons. Here is what I have learned:
1. I am not me if I am not playing guitar let alone teaching music.
2. This injury I have has basically put me at level zero of playing. I do not sound like how I should. However, its given me a gift – I now know and understand the frustrations of the beginner. The callouses, the awkward hand positions, the inconsistencies, the triumph of getting that measure perfect 4 times in a row, just to blow it on times 5-19 to get it almost right again on attempt #20. Empathy is a good thing, and will get me back to where I need to be – at least on the teaching end of it. Im still working on the patience side (for myself).
3. My imagination hasn’t gone anywhere. My imagination has always been the strongest asset to my guitar career. I spent an entire year reading books just so I could at least keep one part of guitar game going. And if my practice session this morning is any indication, its going to be a really fun year of telling stories while we learn some classical music.
4. My mental game may be strong – but my physical one is not – so I need to add more exercise to my daily practice. Strength training – along with a whole lot more physiotherapy here we come!
Im getting excited about the coming year – I have lots of ideas, and I am super excited to share them with new students. And for everything that I have lost, I have gained so much more.
So if you are interested in an unusual approach to studying classical guitar, and live in Vancouver, BC – I may be the solution you are looking for. Call 604-679-1731 to schedule a lesson. Ask for Laura.