Welcome back to Hilltop! We have continued to enjoy our outdoor gardens and some new spotted fawns, but have also turned our attentions indoors these last two weeks. It has been a time of transition, as Crystal gears up to begin her new job as the full-time music teacher at St. Edward School in Nashville! I transition into Emeritus status from my Vanderbilt University professorship, starting my new full-time job as a composer and author and sometime lecturer and teacher. It appears I will actually be busier than ever and far from “retired”, generally – only retired from Vanderbilt. So maybe just save my rocking chair for many years from now and don’t even call me retired, but only call me someone who changed jobs.
I have decided to begin offering composition lessons online to a few, very select, adult students who want to learn traditional classical composition (as opposed to the abstract styles few people like, but that they require you to write in college). You can read about it on this web site by clicking on “composition lessons”, above. I do not expect any students for a while, and then perhaps only one or two students at any given time. So we’ll see if anyone wants to. I’m not doing it for the money, so it’s not a problem if they don’t.
Meanwhile, I will be teaching another online class one hour a week on Wednesdays for Homeschool Connections, this one called “Meet the Maestros: The Great Classical Composers and Their Music”, which will run twelve weeks, beginning in mid-September and then be archived along with my previous music appreciation class and a basic music theory class for high-schoolers or adults to take online, graded by the computer.
I continue to write articles for various publications, and starting now (was just hired), I am about to be a paid staff columnist on music for The Epoch Times, a newspaper based in New York: https://www.theepochtimes.com/. The Epoch Times is a non-biased international newspaper of general interest published and sold in 33 countries in 21 different languages. It contains news, stories of arts and culture, health, sports, technology, and more.
Crystal had brought home from St. Joseph School a great deal of teaching equipment and props personally belonging to her, including a large artificial tree that has been in our dining room for weeks and many boxes of puppets, DVD’s, sheet music, etc. These we have now moved into her classroom at St. Edward, after she cleaned and discarded things there that would not be needed. Though the local public schools are doing their first month virtually, the Catholic schools here like St. Edward are scheduled to begin school live and in person in mid-August, using safe practices. Crystal has been busy ordering little glockenspiels, hand bells, and recorders and setting up her classroom.
Meanwhile, I brought home several boxes full of books and musical scores from my own former university office and have had to buy and assemble new bookcases for them in my home office. In addition to these physical moves, we have spent many hours on paperwork for changing benefits and other financial matters entailed in retiring and changing jobs.
Having finally finished my novel, I am happy that it is now in the hands of a few people who might advise me on what to do with it, with at least one offering professional editing advice. After a break of several weeks, I finally have musical ideas rattling around in my head to finish the last movement of my “fairytale” symphony, so it will be back to work on that in the days ahead. I wish you happy and productive mid-summer night’s (and day’s) dreams.