March

March was a good month. I didn’t practice for about half of it, but I have a good reason… I injured my thumb on my right hand while working out in the yard. That was a bit of a bummer as I was really being consistent with my practice routine. I had to stop cold turkey, and that killed my momentum. I still managed to reach some of my goals for the month, but not all of them, obviously.

I’m beginning to see that I may be spreading myself a bit thin with all the pieces I want to be able to perform at an acceptable level. It requires constant upkeep, and I may have to begin padding my repertoire with simple etudes that don’t require much practice, and that can pass as performable pieces.

I visited the California Poppy Reserves and it was wonderful. The sight of beautiful orange poppies over rolling hills is not to be taken for granted. I said hello to just about everybody I walked past, and some seemed a bit startled and defensive, which I found a bit surprising. I met a woman journaling atop one of the hills that didn’t seem like she wanted to be bothered, which I can understand. Another was reading about a quarter mile down. When I asked her what she was reading, I could sense this mental struggle of “should I say something other than the actual book I’m reading? I’m kind of embarrassed to reveal it. I’m not sure how this man is going to take it, what should I say?” She looked to the left and then the right before answering. It was a bit humorous. I also came across a group of older Asian women into photography taking photos of the butterflies they encountered. One woman stepped beyond the well trodden path with one foot creeping into the preserves to get that perfect shot of a butterfly. I almost said something, but realized they would not have understood a word I said. And I wasn’t there to start confrontations, but to just enjoy the morning. And I did.

The last weekend was my favorite part of the month. I attended LMU’s 15th Annual Guitar festival, and I had an absolute blast. I met fellow high school guitar instructors, we shared our highs and lows, and I ended the conversations with a gift for them to take home… my music! They were very grateful, and I was just glad to be sharing my work with others so they can use it in their classroom. I met a number of other folks, including the guitar students studying at LMU under Martha Masters (who was also my professor), a student I actually taught in high school and his buddies from Vanguard University, and the four international guitarists that performed in concert over the weekend for us all. We spent the final evening at Martha’s wonderful home, and it was great conversations (and wine) all around. I left the event with renewed inspiration and it was a great way to end the month.

As for my health, I’m keeping up with my swimming, and my workouts are just about where they were before taking a two month break. I’m also long overdue for a hike somewhere in the mountains. It’s the perfect weather right now… but my lower back is a bit stiff and I need to go visit my chiropractor first.

This coming month, I am again participating in the 21 day video game music challenge. I plan on taking advantage of this dose of inspiration from the festival and putting it to good use.

In the meantime, it’s back to practicing on a regular basis (as my thumb has healed), teach my private students, (while continuing to market myself and find more students) and stay on top of my YouTube channel (yeah, its been neglected).

List of performable pieces

Rosita - Tarrega

Maria - Tarrega

Libertango - Piazzola

Tears in the Rain - Satriani

Pavana Tarrega

Capricho Arabe - Tarrega

Las Abejas - Barrios

Julia Florida - Barrios

Sunda Morning Overcast - York

Mazurka in G - Tarrega

Marieta - Tarrega

Adelita - Tarrega

Estudio en Em - Tarrega

La Paloma - Yradier

El Columpio - Tarrega

Romance - Anonymous

El Testamen de Amelia - Llobet

El Sueño de la Muñequita - Barrios

Prelude No. 1 - Original

Study No. 3 - Original

Married Life - Giacchino

Revior a Paris - Trenet