It has been some time since I posted and much has changed both within my focus and outside it. I am 18 months into a teaching career that has proved massively more rewarding and enjoyable than I could possibly have imagined. Social media is filled with positive spins on everyone’s life – people cherry picking the moments they think everyone else wants to see. It is one of the mains reasons I fought shy of Facebook and only occasionally visit even now. I like my friends and family warts and all: joys, triumphs, disasters, and tragedies unvarnished in their radiant glory or devastating pain.
Nevertheless, it is absolutely the truth that I have found a new balance and depth of meaning in my life since changing careers and moving up to Warwick. I am by no means always a joyous person to be around, as my wife and kids will no doubt be the first to tell you, but I have solved many of my difficulties and put in place emotional, social, and financial structures that will care for us all for many years to come.
I am proud of myself and am free enough of doubts and fears now to be deeply proud of those around me and my part in their lives as well as to offer them the love and care they have always deserved.
This has been in no small part due to my work. I know that I have been able to bring a level of musical experience to my students that was previously unavailable to them and through that they have flourished as has the cultural life of the school. I remain nervous about exam results this year; I desperately want all my students to do well not only for them but also for me. I have worked as thoughtfully as I can to deliver the knowledge and skills I think they need and have been rewarded with some absolutely outstanding coursework. I hope that the exams will bring similarly strong performances!
Being in a position to offer so much to my students and seeing the effect it has on them has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have ever had. I feel enormously fortunate to have had a number of highly musical and intelligent young people in my classroom and my rehearsal room. I have always believed in ‘build it and they will come’, and I hope that my faith will be rewarded moving into the future.
Alongside my work, which has included conducting a number of concerts as well as my teaching, I have been able to maintain and develop my fitness. I now have serious intentions to start competing in triathlons. Cycling between 60 and 100 miles, running 15 to 20 kilometres, and swimming a couple of 1000m each week as well as fitting in a couple of strength sessions has been an incredible way to maintain a strong mind and a great deal of energy. It requires serious discipline but the rewards are high.
Amongst all that, home developments have been significant with moving house, beginning refurbishing the house, trying to figure out a plan for a second income, getting in some family time, and even composing a little music. It has left perhaps too little time for writing which I hope I will be able to address from now on.
As I have said here before, getting something done is about forming habits. I need to find an hour to write and in that hour sit down to write, whether or not I feel it will be any good. I hope to encourage more people here to both read and comment on what I have shared. My longer term aims are to explore some of the more significant musical issues, in particular what it is that enables us to perceive meaning in music.
I hope that you will find something here to engage you; and if you don’t I hope you will tell me why not!