On head colds and Bach

November 9, 2018

Today was one of Those Days. 

 

You know, the weather just too hot for a big coat, just too cold for a light one; inside it's a little too stuffy for a sweater but the air has that edge that makes a shirt too thin - and every single student has some variation on The Sniffles.

 

One of those days.

 

I was already vaguely under the weather - itchy throat, slightly stuffy head, not quite sure whether feverish or not. Basically a Man Cold - the kind of sick that really doesn't justify staying home, but you wonder about it every minute you're out.

 

Unfortunately, I got progressively worse as the hours continued - my voice started to go around hour three, at which point I had already finished two thermoses of tea.

 

But then came the lesson that made it all worth it.

 

My last hour of teaching on a Friday is to a group of teenagers. All between fifteen and eighteen, pretty interested, already quite nimble, and generally a joy to teach.

 

I had brought them a quatre mains version of "Jesu bleibet meine Freude". For the first half of the lesson, I let them practice by themselves. Then, I made them do it quatre mains.

 

So I had three pairs of - intelligent, well-behaved, well-educated, but otherwise perfectly average - teenagers, aggressively counting at each other, getting fairly competitive about it, and all managing the first twelve bars with a modicum of conviction.

 

I only told them they'd been playing Bach after the lesson ended.

 

You should've seen their faces.

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