Thursday, 23 February 2012

wedding and work

James and I received some disappointing news about the wedding today. His sister won't be able to be a bridesmaid anymore as she just got word of an amazing job offer. She lives in London, works in theatre and has been offered the lead role in Saturday Night Fever, leaving for Florida in April, onto cruise ship in June and not home til December. She can't get leave for our wedding because she's on the ship :( Don't get me wrong, we are very proud of her, and think she is absolutely doing the right thing by taking the job, who knows where that could lead her, but we are gutted she won't be there.

Aside from that, it's only 20 weeks!! OMG!! so much to do.

Work was interesting today. I managed to get 2 new pupils, and both are going to be a challenge. The first is a boy, age 12, who learned to play piano in a music school in Romania. From what I can tell his English isn't great, and he is around grade 6 standard, but his teacher in the UK has taken him back to grade 4....which makes me wonder why? I guess I'll find out next week. Kinda nervous lol, especially seen as Diane (the shop owner) was biggin me up, giving promises I'm not sure I can deliver.

The other is a girl, age 5, who has Dorsal Stream Dysfunction. This is a visual impairment caused by damage in the brain. She sees people in profile, has very poor peripheral vision, can't see anything if she looks down, and has difficulty with coordination. But she has a great love for music. She learned to speak through music. Her mum told me that she conveys how she feels about the world through her eating and sleeping - if she is upset, she won't eat or sleep, and sometimes won't speak.

I love working with young people who have additional support needs, but this is the first time I am going to be attempting structured piano lessons with someone with such complex needs. I have taken lessons with a girl who has epilepsy, but I had lots of training in epilepsy while working as a support worker so I knew the signs and was able to work around it (she had absence seizures, as opposed to other types which involve convulsions etc). This will be very different, and I hope she takes to me OK and we can build a good relationship.

I'm also still working with a young girl who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and we are going to attempt to learn to read music in the next few weeks. I introduced her to the book on Tuesday and we listened to the recordings of the songs, but she is very keen on doing her own thing at the keyboard so I'm not sure if we will be able to translate it into playing, but it's worth a go! We have been working together for a about 8/9 months now and have built a good relationship. Her sessions really seem to calm her down when she is anxious/hyper.  

Doing work like this makes me wonder whether I will ever go back to uni to do MSc Music's something I've thought a lot about over the years but it's expensive, ridiculously time consuming, and the only course in Scotland is in Edinburgh (and takes on about 12 people a year). I do think, however, that it would be an extremely rewarding job and I'm sure I would love it.

Anyway, I think I've rambled enough. Hope everyone is doing well x


  1. That must present such mixed emotions for you with James' sister not being able to be your bridesmaid. What an amazing opportunity for her though!

    Music therapy sounds like such a rewarding job. You obviously do an amazing job with the students you have and they obviously enjoy their lessons. I'm about to start lessons- any tips for complete beginners. It sounds stupid but I've been playing at this level for years and can't remember how I even started to learn!!!! Ahhh! Do you start by teaching them to read music? If not how do you start teaching them tunes?

    Hope you're feeling a bit better. Pneumonia is a sod and I felt rough for ages afterwards.


  2. What dates your wedding then?
    Mines coming round so fast too... keep worrying I'm going to forget something massively important! How are all your plans going?

    Do you still do a support worker job or just the piano lessons now? Im glad your building your business up! and at least you have experience with young people with learning disabilities! Music therapy would be so rewarding, the young person I key work does that weekly and he loves it!

    Hope your well xx

  3. hey dear, no I just do piano teaching now. I couldn't get any hours at my other job and ended up they gave me 1 week to either work or leave, so I left. It was draining me something rotten anyway so it was probs for the best tbh.

    When is your wedding again? it's real soon if I remember. Ours is the 13th July :) xx