Quick update while I have a second to. Might write later. Might not.
One of my friends from Albany has a cousin, young in age, nine or so, who plays the violin. She's been interested in taking piano, but the kicker is that she is just like I was at that age -- she heard Fur Elise, picked out the melody on the violin, then was able to play it back on the piano just by hearing it. I asked my friend if she was going to get good piano lessons, because I don't know how piano teachers or theory teachers are in Albany.
I'm also reminded of a friend of mine from Zanesville, from the TV station. He has perfect pitch and can harmonize just like that, but he doesn't know a thing about music theory or how to take it any further. And he doesn't really care, but I even figured back then it was because he didn't know any better.
I got really mad. For all I know, this kid is going to go through her entire life without knowing that she has perfect pitch, without knowing that it's a special gift, and she might not ever use it in a way that benefits other people. What's more, as a woman, she's probably already hearing messages that there are more important things to her life than her pitch, that these should be done first and above it. Those are the same type of messages that got in my way.
Now, I know I don't want to be famous even though I want to perform, and talking with people at the front desk reminded me about NSAI and how I had been working on that before. Do I want to perform? Sure. Is it my number one goal? No. Do I like being seen as a singer-songwriter with a piano? HELL NO. Anyway, this entry was supposed to be more about plans than me ranting.
So I ran to C-Town last night before coming home to grab something for my roommate, and I let it kind of ponder in my head while I walked around. While talking with my friend the previous night I had told her that, yeah, I could teach her, in theory. But I'm not in Albany, and no offense to Albany, I don't really have a desire to be there. We discussed maybe doing a series of Skype lessons, but it didn't hit me until I was in C-Town that this girl might not have any other options. And I have the skills. I conducted an entire mini-chorus for Carman's cabaret. How can I say I can't teach piano lessons over Skype? How can I withhold my talents for this girl, or quite frankly, for anybody else who's ever wanted to learn piano? It's something a lot of people want to do. I have the skill to teach them. And, at this point in my life, I actually want to teach them. I can see that there is a need that must be filled.
Now, before you go, "Emily, you can teach piano with Skype in NYC," there are a lot of different factors going into that. The main reason I'm having such problems with NYC is the time and energy thing. How can I be expected to work two jobs and then come home to teach people on Skype? I won't have the energy to, is the thing. I'd love to use this kid as a guinea pig and see if I could do it, but I want to operate on a grander scale beyond that. Plus, I want to make sure it's affordable to people -- that, yeah, they're getting their money's worth, but I want for people who wouldn't otherwise be able to take piano or theory to get a working knowledge of it. I want the kids who can't drive to piano lessons because of snow or their mom doesn't have a car or whatever to be able to take one-on-one in a way that doesn't break their bank. I'd have to charge fifty dollars for a half hour to pull it off in NYC. That's not flying with me. Plus, I don't want to only teach piano at home. I need to belong to a place. It'd drive me crazy.
So here's the vision in my head: I own a one-bedroom apartment, probably somewhere in Charlotte. It's a studio, really; I have a futon for a reason. During regular hours, I do lessons either part-time or full time at a local school, meeting with people and growing my base. I could also do Skype lessons there, if they would let me use their studio. (Another thing with teaching here in NYC: the teachers here are top-tier. If you don't have a master's degree in teaching, forget about teaching in a studio. The studio where I'm currently working as a billing administrator wants all of their teachers to have gone to Juilliard; they are even refusing people piano lessons at this point because they won't hire teachers.)
I'd have a dual setup no matter where I was, using either the studio or my own home studio, using the theoretical bedroom (or maybe the living room?). I'd have it so they could see my face on the computer, but then I could switch cameras to one that is over my hands on the keyboard so they can see how I'm playing. We could also have MIDI capabilities, and I could do a split-screen thing so I could show them theory notes right on the screen instead of holding up a book to the screen or trying to do it that way. Books could be purchased online and shipped straight to the student. They would need to have their own piano, but keyboards for simple instruction are easy to buy and not that tasking, monetary-wise.
How does all of that sound? Probably like I'm shooting the breeze. But I don't think it's fair to withhold anymore.