Tag Archives: prepare

Stocked pantries and Piano Repertoire

Preparing for Opportunity

Before you can seize the opportunity, you must prepare for it.

Starlings outside the breakfast nook windows found the down from the ducks. They are stuffing their bills with as many as possible before flying to the nest site. Unfortunately, as they are plucking the feather up they drop one and they must stop and try to reload. It’s so comical seeing their bills crammed with feathers looking half their size.

At the same time the starlings were raiding the feathers my husband and I were trying to calculate the amount of beans to plant. Now I love beans. I don’t even mind canning them – but picking them! If you didn’t feel like you were 80 years old you did by the time you picked a few hundred feet of beans-especially knowing you couldn’t stop and relax. No. Snapping and canning them while fresh is imperative. So I wasn’t too enthusiastic about planting “miles” of beans. In fact, I am thinking about just turning pro by picking only once. In fact, instead of picking, I’ll pluck each plant, pick the beans and put the plant to good use in the compost pile. After at, many gardeners use succession planting, don’t they?

I must admit, a pantry full of my “Dilly Beans” (I’ll put up some tarragon infused Blue Lake beans for more refined meals), Romano Beans with garlic, onion and bits of tomato, canned tomatoes, homemade jellies and pickles sound great. I was looking through a vintage “The Ball Blue Book” for canning (1943) and found a charming recipe for Brunswick Stew that started with: 4 young squirrels or 4 frying size chickens. Along with the “Green Walnut Sauce recipe, I was beginning to think people during the Depression (we’re approaching that scenario) made use of everything.

We did come to some consensus on how much to plant so my hubby went to clean some fish he caught from the pond last night. It’s always nice when the pond is in your front yard – he left them in a cage in the water over night. Just three bass, two smaller ones and one a whopping 23” long and 5 lbs 2 oz. I’m sure glad it’s out of there before I swim this summer. I wonder if I should can some?

Choosing and Learning Repertoire for Preparedness

I have had a few students who started as or stayed with me as adults who wanted to “perform.” Now few students will ever earn a living as concert pianists so definitions of performance are moderated to fit different abilities and lifestyles. When students are asked to play for family – well, anything goes. Formal recitals usually require a variety of repertoire in either when the piece was composed or the different forms (types) of music.

My experience playing as a church musician for twenty -two years is quite different in musical scope than the hodge-podge events such as playing for school events, weddings, birthday parties and fashion shows. I do favor the role of background musician and my choice and treatment of repertoire is different than celebratory events where people expect more interaction with the music.

So the teacher and student must discuss choice of song and performance of song. Amazing Grace is played differently at a funeral than as a rousing anthem for a church’s postlude. Also, playing 3-5 songs for a church service is not the same as playing 30-45 minutes of easy listening music for a fashion show.

Make the student practice various skills, then when opportunity knocks, they can seize it!