flaviomatani: (Default)
( Jun. 13th, 2017 07:27 am)
On the train to Watford for my teaching day at school there, like every Tuesday. Needed a whole lot more coffee! Very short teaching day, as often happens in the summer term. This is not good as it means very little money coming in from that school -when they take you on as an instrumental music teacher you're not an employee in any sense, you only get what the parents pay for the lessons, you get no holiday or sick pay and essentially the school can dismiss you without so much as a good-bye-thanks-for-all-the-fish (somebody was quoting Vogons earlier...)

There are upsides, of course. Well, there must be, I cannot think of any right now! 😝
I think I'm lucky in many ways. I arrived late to what I found out I really liked in life and yet I was able to do it, do it more or less well, do a degree on something like playing the guitar (doesn't it sound kind of crazy, to be able to do that?) but it comes with snags and perils.

I'm self-employed. If those lessons don't happen I don't have money coming in. I work in two schools where, very belatedly, they changed my status and I'm no longer freelance but it still is the case that if there are no lessons I get no money. Still also true no paid holidays, sick days, etc. Of course I knew all along that this came with the territory doing work of this kind. If I had arrived a couple of years before I did in the '80s I probably could have got a proper peripatetic guitar teaching job with a local education authority and be assigned to several schools, I would have been paid by the taxpayer so several issues wouldn't arise: these days I get paid what the parents pay (instead of out of general taxation), so if they can't afford guitar lessons the kid cannot have lessons and that's that. Thank Mrs Thatcher for that , as for so many things.

It is a precarious way of making a living ('you call it a living..?') and more for a guitarist than for other instrument players -back upon the time it was vaguely possible to make a living playing little concerts, restaurants and private functions so one didn't depend so much on lessons.. those times are gone. There is hardly any live music in places like restaurants and when there is it is never a guitarist. When (rarely these days) I have been offered this kind of work they've offered me pretty much the same money I used to get paid for that sort of thing in the '90s so.. no, thanks.

I'll never be able to retire but I'm kind of ok with that as long as I'm in good health and doesn't go la-la. Given the inevitability of human decay and the second law of thermodynamics, we'll have to see what comes.

All the schools I have taught at have their particular little annoyances, but that might be for another post (even though it was one of them that made me start this entry...)
Good morning from Kings Cross, at a pupil's.

She 's playing an arrangement of Gounod's Funeral March for a Marionette, which my first music teacher used to call a musical stupidity and used to be the theme tune for Alfred Hitchcock's TV show in the '50s...

there is a water feature in the flat, a little fountain thing tinkling away while my pupil plays, making a nice counterpoint to it.

A nice morning so far. Good morning!
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