Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for October 2nd, 2011

Better Today; Taught a Music Lesson

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After resting most of last afternoon (after the Brewers won their game) and evening, I was able to do what I’d hoped to do today: teach a music lesson.  I am a saxophonist, have a Master’s in Music from Nebraska, and yet my health has been problematic for many years.  In addition, I have carpal tunnel syndrome and have to work around that — I’ve been fortunate that I can type and with some decent speed, too, despite this, but I do have to factor that into my decision making process.

So this was the first lesson I’d agreed to teach in at least seven years, partly because after my husband died in 2004 I didn’t have the heart to play.  Then my health deteriorated for a while, and my hands and wrists and arms got much, much worse (I had been diagnosed with tendinitis for a long, long time; I received the dreaded CTS diagnosis about two years ago), so I couldn’t play until two separate occupational therapists, with two different rounds of hand/wrist/arm therapy, were able to help me enough so I now can again play my saxophone.  Thus I can now, once again, teach the saxophone, as the knowledge was always there; I just couldn’t demonstrate it to anyone for several years, which is why I did not teach private lessons.

The hope now is that I’ll be able to take a few more students, resume playing in a band or orchestra somewhere in the Southeastern Wisconsin area, and do something more with my music degree and knowledge than I’ve been able to do for the past seven years.  I’ve wanted to play regularly for several years, while my health just wouldn’t allow; the hope is that my health will hold out so I can play, and do some teaching, and pick up some music-related jobs to go along with the freelance editing and the attempts to get a story or two sold (much less continue my attempts to place ELFY or decide to self-publish it if all else fails).

The one advantage I have over someone else is this: I do not give up.  I just refuse to do that.  I may have to gather and regather my strength; I may have to take long breaks (in this case, several years in duration).  But I will not give up because I know in my heart what my talents are, and what I need to do in order to create things of worth and value in this world.  Providing I do whatever I can do on any given day to advance myself toward one of my goals, I’m happy, or at least as happy as possible, considering.


By the way, if anyone knows a kid or adult in southeastern Wisconsin who wants a teacher for the saxophone or the clarinet, drop me a line.  If I can’t help you for whatever reason, I should be able to steer you to someone who can.

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm