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T.S. Eliot begins The Wasteland with the memorable line “April is the cruellest month….” It is, indeed, one of the busiest times of the year for yours portly, and while I love work, I love intentional, deliberate work. Hasty, panicked slapdashery is not my cup of coffee, but for many years, it was—by dent of necessity and my own personal shortcomings—a necessity.
In order to minimize that panicked rushing, I’ve forced myself to become incredibly organized. That, too, is born of necessity: with over twenty lessons each week, ladled atop my normal schedule of classes and my Town Council duties, requires that I keep a detailed schedule—and do a great deal of prep work in advance.
It took me into my thirty-eighth year of life to get it down—finally!—but I seem to have some semblance of a grasp on my schedule. If I could just find time to do the dishes, I’d be thrumming along like a well-worn-but-maintained performance engine, stretching those oil changes out a bit longer than proper, but getting the job done.
As for April, yes—it’s a hard month. March, however, is something of the rapid build-up, the grand accelerando into the end of the academic year. After the drowsiness of January and the yawning indolence of February, March, indeed, comes in, roaring, like a lion.
For you see, dear reader, it is in March that I embark—along with forty-odd students—on an annual pilgrimage to the University of South Carolina to engage in the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) Music Festival. It’s an event that tests the very limits of my organizational and logistical skills (such as they are), but that work and preparation reap dividends in terms of musical experience for my students. It is an event that does more to sharpen their musical skills than any other throughout the year, and is second only to our major concerts in edifying their confidence as musicians.
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