Wednesday, March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020

I'm sitting at an auto service center as I write this, for hours. News concerning the corona virus, and more importantly the actions of people and governments in response to the virus, are coming at a minute-by-minute basis.

I'm probably going to be expected to teach my courses remotely for the rest of the semester. This is going to be challenging, a challenge I wasn't looking forward to facing.

In general I am trying to be more disciplined in my work and life. I want to get back into regular work habits, stay focused and positive, create more and gripe less. I can be very good at the latter sometimes.

Part of that program will be to try to post to this blog regularly. I'm probably never going to write a book, I don't know that I have enough original ideas to warrant trying to collectt them in book form. But I do feel as though I should document some of my thoughts on a regular basis. I considered trying to make this a daily exercise. If I can I will, but if I have nothing of interest to share or document, why add to the general noise of the internet?

These are trying times. I suppose all times are to a greater or lesser extent, but I know I haven't seen anything like the political and social circumstances occurring at this very moment.

After the Tree of Life murder spree, I made the point to some people that this was the time that what we do was at its most important. Music is an inherently social art. We as musicians are forced to be social, whether it comes naturally to us or not. (Pointing inwards.) We form relationships with other musicians, with an audience, develop networks, and try to expand all of the above. Strengthening bonds strengthens community, and music can bring people together in mutual joy, sorrow, and support.

But what do we do when we're forced to not engage with others on a face to face basis? It's not impossible given our online resources, but it's unquestionably more challenging. I am concerned about the state and status of live performances in the coming months. It can be difficult enough to attract an audience under normal circumstances.

I've probably said this more to people in the past year than at any other time: be good to yourselves. Maybe I need to remind myself of that too. I'll check in again soon.
Photo credit: Mara Rubin

Addendum: CMU just announced that we transition to remote teaching until further notice.

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