September 11, 2001

Jobs!  Jobs!  Part 1


Jobs! Jobs Everywhere!
Real Estate!
The Candy Factory
Too Many Jobs!
The General Store
The Post Office
The Home Depot


Prissy Prim Piano Teacher

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Great Piano links:

Steinway & Sons
Sheet Music
The Piano Education Page
Blue Book of Pianos
Granddaddy of Piano Teachers

REALLY Great Pianists:

Vladimir Ashkenazy
Emanuel Ax
Craig Sheppard
Martha Argerich
(Argerich on U-Tube)
Murray Perahia

Better Schools:

Curtis Institute
Cleveland Institute of Music
The Juilliard School
Royal Academy of Music
Royal College of MusicRoyal Conservatory of Music
San Francisco Conservatory


International Piano
The Musical Quarterly
Music and Letters

Music Blogs & Forums:

think denk
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
A.C. Douglas
Classics Today
Collaborative Piano Blog    Piano Pedagogy Forum         the well tempered blog      

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9/11 links:

Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
9-11 Commission Final Report
9-11 Research
9-11 Victims

End of an Era

<-- go back


It's hard to digest that perceptions sometimes change overnight.
But they can, and they do.

On 9/11/2001, there was a successful piano teacher with a studio burgeoning to overflow. Stuck in a culturally stultifying suburb, she groused over her wage because it was only about half that of her former university colleagues, who had gone on to advanced degrees and big city locales. But hers was a thriving studio, and she was actually quite proud of her work. It enabled her as a single mother to get her own kids through high school and college, and--unlike her high-priced peers--she never had to solicit for students. Besides, it was such a motley, lovably diverse crowd, and mentoring seventy-plus students each week did have its rewards.

But on 9/12/2001, there was only a confused piano teacher.

On 9/14/2001, there was an increasingly appalled piano teacher.

And by 9/16, there was only a very bye-bye piano teacher.

No one realized it at the time. The studio staggered on for another couple of years, but its demise had already occurred.

Why? Well, the economic blow that 9/11 dealt to the rest of America's Fine Arts world did affect the studio somewhat, but not enough to cripple it. No, its demise will best be understood after reading a paraphrase of what nearly every student expressed about the events of 9/11, during the week of the incident. With the exception of approximately one (1) family out of fifty-three, the overwhelming response ran:

"Huhnh? was just like watching Titanic or Din'tchawanna hear about MY day?" (The accent is upper Valley Girl.)

Well, no. We didn't. There are times when soccer practice tirades, the new faux-Grecian manor, and the hot crush at school need to be put on hold for a minute. School delays and traffic snarls were met with indignation; yet if mention was made that the sudden attack might have disoriented a lot of people, it was generally met with,
"Tsuhh! WhatEVER!"

{sigh} It was all such an inconvenience.

In fairness to the families involved, it needs to be stressed that within a few weeks of 9/11, the importance of the event had sunk in somewhat, courtesy of dogged brainwashing by both school and media. It was cool now, to be afraid. And in a sense, the indifference initially expressed could have been indicative of the strength that kept America going in the wake of the disaster--the same die-hard "don't get in my way" backbone that built this country in the first place. What reads "unbelievably self-centered" in one light, might read "self-possessed" in another.

Nonetheless, the piano teacher's sense of alienation stemmed from the enormous GAP that had grown all too evident, between her own values and those of her paying clients. Art had always represented the opposite of "snobbery" for her, not its quintessence. Yet here for ten years, seven days a week, she had been nurturing, aiding and abetting what now comprised--to her--just about the shallowest pack of narcissists since Puff Daddy. She felt stupid, horrified, and ashamed to have enabled the junk; and although she persevered up to a point after 9/11, what she really needed was...out.

It isn't wise, to assume security within a milieu alien to one's own.

So, while lovable keyboard butchery sounded more and more like arrogant sloth, and recitals came to feel like circus displays for blueblood- wannabe parents... she began to explore.

Her first stop: