This is partly my fault. But still!
Over the past few weeks, I have had numerous students insinuate that I am not a cellist, but only a cello teacher. This bizarre contradiction sometimes makes me laugh. Yesterday however, I stared at my student until beads of sweat appeared on her brow and she started fumbling for a way out of it. I told her to stop digging the hole and worked very hard not to go into the all-too-ready diatribe on the tip of my tongue.
The genesis of this blog was this very issue. I will take responsibility for not performing frequently enough for my students: I have largely been recording, gigging at rock venues or injured–not the ideal paradigm for the hopeful cellist slogging through Old Crunchy looking for inspiration. Still, I would love to Vulcan mind-meld with the students who have a one dimensional view of my experience so they could see the years of every day rehearsal, 6 hours a day of practice, concerto competitions, solos, master classes, jazz and rock gigs, studio work. But in the end, it’s my perspective that’s gone all one dimensional. I have a job to do with my pupils, and that job does not include making myself look like some sort of super cellist. It’s a good exercise at non attachment that I am normally a little better at!
With my recovery from ulnar surgery, I hope to have the physical wherewithal to make performance a more substantive part of my identity as a cellist. As a matter of course, this means I will have less time to take students: I hope the ones in my studio appreciate the balance I try to strike. It wouldn’t be the cello if it was easy.