Today marked the close of one chapter and the beginning of another. I paid my final studio rent check to Tessitura, turned in my keys, and drove around the neighborhood all afternoon giving private lessons. I'm accustomed to planting myself in Tessitura on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, so it felt odd to be driving around. I liked the activity, though, and it won't take long to adjust.
This first week, I'm figuring out where everybody lives and ironing out some wrinkles. For example, one of the parents typed in the wrong street number, which caused me to knock on someone's door a half a block away. Thankfully, nobody was home at that other place, and it didn't take me long to sort things out and get the correct address.
It's a good thing I like dogs, because I met a lot of them today! One of the parents seemed surprised that their dog, who likes to bark and bark, settled down while I was teaching her son. For this particular dog, which looked like a black lab mix, it seemed the best thing to do was make friends while I was alone in the room with her, and then relax and ignore her so that I didn't prompt any more barking. Sure enough, she chilled out, and my student and I had a peaceful lesson with our backs turned to her. (She got plenty of petting before I left, though.)
I scheduled 15 minutes between each lesson, which worked out really well, since everyone was in or around the same neighborhood. As long as I end each lesson on time, it's not a problem getting to the next one.
I enjoyed teaching in the homes today. Students and parents all seemed much more at ease in their own environment. The parents seemed to enjoy the freedom to be at home instead of being stuck in the lobby waiting for their kid to finish a lesson. Many of the kids seemed excited that I was "visiting" their house. I enjoyed meeting the pets and siblings, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed roaming the neighborhood.
I'm grateful for the years I had teaching at Tessitura. Having that studio as a home base provided a great opportunity to establish myself in Oakhurst. Now I'm looking forward to the next chapter as a mobile music man.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.