Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Charge of the Fifth Estate

To tell the truth, I have not been at all anxious to acquire more music students, aka fellow researchers. I've been content with my tiny band, as the research behind it all still demands enormous concentration, and then there's the writing, and of course the contemplative obligations that never go away for long. But I may have picked up the perfect final addition to the group, just by deciding it's time to test the Press again, although to tell the whole and complete truth, this came about not nearly so much from an involved decision making process as from a simple recognition of an opportunity a number of other people had worked long, hard, and well to create.
Last evening's Nelson Daily News carried a story on the grand old lady mention many posts ago, Amy Ferguson, for decades a Nelson institution as a teacher of piano and voice, and profoundly successful choir director. That is to say, the news story mentioned her hugely, although the point of it was really the story of a student of a student, a lad in the finals for this year's American Idol contest. Young Adam Lambert has studied for some years with Jennifer Paterson, head of California Music Studio, the largest school of its kind in the state, just as Jennifer, a Nelson product whom I actually had never heard of, studied for a decade with Mrs. Ferguson, before settling in southern California via UBC and the London and Boston opera scenes. Given the empathetic handling of the story by the writer, Timothy Schafer, whom I had regularly read but actually never met or talked with, I wondered if I would get an ear for the founding idea of this blog. I had noticed his name on a lot of articles covering the arts. And of course I would in time have some interesting anecdotes to share about the great lady.
So I dropped in on him this morning, hoping that my habitual enthusiasm for jumping at opportunities wasn't premature. It was not. We had, given the pressures in a news room late in the morning, a rather leisurely chat, and I got heard. I asked him if he knew much about music, and he said he did not, that he knew more about hockey.
But this mean that he's already had a lot of rather technical physiological smarts pumped into him, as opposed to a lot of wrong and discouraging information about music, which I find a distinct advantage. And, to fatten the sense of timing, while he did not seem to know of the Ontario legislation, he was able to tell me what I did not know, that a number of American states have preceded Ontario in making music a mandatory subject.
Now if this other Tim has any ear at all, he'll be a perfect candidate for common sense as applied to a keyboard or guitar neck, and that will solve all problems with the communications industry as to getting the word out. And his information about the American legislation means that my market is already bigger than I knew.
At any rate, he was very attentive to what I had to say and we will probably be getting down to some serious discussion by the weekend. I was most insistent that there is no rush. After all, I'm only on my third week of knowing how to practice the modes on keyboards and guitars both classical and electric, and as recently as five a.m. this morning was temporarily confused over the numbers for some of the harmonies in Mode II. That's the plagal form for d. (Oh, how nice to be able to show off after so many decades in darkness.)

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