Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Ramble about my Piano Dilemma

It's after midnight and I can't sleep. So many thoughts, uncertainties, and questions going through my head, mainly of this nature: Whatever am I going to do about piano?

Ah, piano. If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know how much I love piano. You may also have noticed that I haven't blogged about piano very much this summer. It isn't that I haven't been playing; I've just been more focused on other things, so piano hasn't been the center of my blogging attention for a couple of months. (Nothing has been the center of my blogging attention lately, but that's another matter.)

But that's not the issue. The issue is this: Do I continue taking piano lessons for the fall semester?

I'm going to be starting a full-time teaching job in which I'm teaching five different classes. I've never taught high school before, and I've never taught most of the subjects I'm teaching. I think I'll do fine ... but I know, as sure as I'm sitting here, that my tendency will be to devote 100% of my efforts to school.

I need balance in my life, and the challenge is going to be to balance my school/job life with the other important aspects of my life. It's just that my life seems to have so many important aspects: Hubster, the house, church, writing, exercise, piano, reading, family ... I could go on, but I won't.

Now, that's a lot to balance. I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I want to fork over the money for piano lessons (we pay in advance, by half-semester) when I'm not sure that I'll be able to devote adequate time (or any time) to piano study. And it's not like the money is flowing all that freely these days. And Deborah's piano studio, while convenient to my old job, is a 45-minute drive from the school--longer in the afternoon traffic, which I'll be facing once a week if I do take lessons.

Of course, I'll still play--I'm planning to play for church every week--but that's "fun" playing, and it doesn't take a lot of effort to learn. Piano-lesson playing does. It's harder, but more rewarding, musically.

At the same time, piano practicing could be a wonderful means of helping prevent the burnout that would surely result if I were to give 100% (or more) of my efforts to teaching.

I don't know what to do. I am really leaning toward one of two things:

1) No lessons for the first quarter. Focus on school. If the school schedule seems to allow for piano (once I've learned the ropes a bit), pay for lessons for second quarter.

2) Pay as I go. Just pay for those lessons I'm able to make. I don't really like this idea because of all the uncertainty. I need a sense of routine if I'm going to take lessons. Also, Deborah may not go for this idea.

The other alternative is:

3) Pay in advance and do my best to practice and make it to lessons (although I'm dreading the rush-hour commute to piano). If lessons don't work out, then I'm out several hundred dollars, but oh well.

I just don't want to make myself miserable over this. I'm already stressing too much over it.

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