Singer needs massage.
This fall I am teaching voice lessons in four locations around Rhode Island: Salve Regina University in Newport, Jacqueline M. Walsh School for Performing Arts in Pawtucket, Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School in East Providence, and St. Luke Episcopal Church in East Greenwich. I also teach a few students voice and piano at my home in Charlestown. I am teaching six days a week at the moment. Looks like Sunday will be my Sabbath rest, at least for the next month or two, and that's good!
I'm also subbing as a cantor and organist when asked, and I'm in the middle of singing my first High Holy Days with Temple Beth-El in Providence. Some of the members of the eight-voice choir have been participating for decades, and I'm honored to be with them. It requires every bit of focus I have to sight-sing 30 to 40 choral works in phonetic Hebrew (sometimes transposed!) for three hours at a stretch -- and that's just rehearsal! I have learned that I need to rest and eat more before the services; when I'm hungry and tired, I miss entrances. I am in awe of Cantor Judy Seplowin, who will be singing her heart out for ten hours on Yom Kippur while observing the fast. The choir is 95% Gentile, so we're sneaking out for lunch! Apparently it's tradition.
I spotted some of my fellow choir members at a stunning performance of the Bach B Minor Mass last Friday in Providence . . . the Ecclesia Consort draws (and deserves) that kind of support. I brought along a score and happily read along, even though they had tuned down about half a step (which tends to throw off a gal with perfect pitch).
Does all this singing and teaching leave me tired? Absolutely. Would I appreciate a three hour long massage if I could ever find three hours in a row? Sure. Do I want to stop any of it? No way! It's too much fun!
I was talking with my True Love about this. I was telling him about the retired lady student who had lived and worked near the same places I lived and worked -- and who sang Puccini to relax; the road-tripping student whose grandkids are in my daughter's class -- who got rid of some vocal tension; the student whose part time jobs matched my sister's part time jobs at the same age -- and was learning how to make a rounded "oo"; the smart, shy high schooler who was becoming aware of her talent as well as her technique -- and getting compliments from her choir teacher for the very first time. And that was just Monday!
Music enriches my life -- by deepening my prayers in a house of worship (even if I don't completely understand them); by bringing satisfaction and joy as I hear my fellow musicians at the top of their game; and by giving me a way to meet students, who often become great friends. I'm grateful for those who taught me music, and grateful for those who I teach now.
(But yeah, I really would like the three-hour massage. On a Sunday.)