Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When words leave off, music begins

How's your Spanish?  No muy bueno, pero quieror aprender (Not too good, but I want to learn)
But, I speak Music!

At a morning coffee hour hosted by Jeanne and Tom from La Paz Cruisers Supply, the women sat outside in the shade, as the men were inside the Cruisers lounge.  Someone commented that it felt like the 1950's, but you all know that was before my time.  Several local Mexican women had joined the group, and the discussions ranged from stand up paddling in the islands, local beauty resources, invitations to free beginning salsa lessons, and an informal women's cooking class (which I am going to next Saturday).

At the end of the hour, I asked my new friend, Olivia, "who might be involved in music in La Paz?" She introduced me right then to Thomas, who used to do things about boating, but now is known as Maestro Tom at La Paz Escuela de la Musique!


Tom in front of music school courtyard
24 hours later I was touring the Music School, introduced to the school director, Luis, the lead piano teacher Cruz, the young concert master, Rodrigo, and a number of other enthusiastic, and a little curious, musicians. Who is this strange Asian lady with a dress on, and a bookbag filled with classical music?
I had brought Mozart violin and piano sonatas, Debussy duet works, and Brahm's solo piano, as well as flute and piano, just in case.   After the tour, Tom invited me to stay in one of the very air conditioned practice rooms, with a nice new Yamaha upright, to play as long as I wanted!  And that I did.

My practice room

Several buses of school children arrived, and were excitedly gathering in the courtyard to enter the concert hall.  They were going to sit in on the orchestra rehearsal.  
Tom explained that the kids above don't play instruments yet, but the Mexican government was going to donate new instruments soon to get that program going.  Seems like the right direction to me!

My calendar is filling up with music. Cruz and I are going to meet at school and sightread through the Brahms, Debussy and Mozart duet books that I have. The next night Luis will give me a borrowed cello so that I can join the orchestra rehearsal.

I also received this email from the concertmaster (first violinist).

Good afternoon master Nancy, I am the violin student. I'm excited, because I can study with you, and practicing English, I need learning the English because I want to go to usa to study music.
For me is good in the mornings, do you have a piano in your house? 
or when practicing?
Thank you for the opportunity. 

After I assured him I am not a professional musician, we have agreed to meet for a first 
rehearsal.  I hope I can help him with his English, in return, he can help me with my Spanish.  

Am sure we will enjoy the music together.



4 comments:

  1. Very cool that you have gotten involved in this escuela, Nancy! THIS is the way to really get to know Mexico, Spanish, and the wonderful culture. You go, girl! Cindy Patrinellis

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  2. Thanks Cindy! The orchestra practice last night was fun ; and the cello they loaned me was far superior than my own. I had a great time, met some very talented musicians and learned a little more Spanish, too. - Nancy

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  3. What could make your sailing / Mexico experience even better?! What a great cross cultural opportunity! - Carol

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  4. Terrific post! What a unique way to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    -Sylvia

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