What I'm Working On Lately


My November is turning out to be kind of nutty (and not just because the election is today), so there's not a lot of extra space left in my head for deep pondering. Since all I can think about is all of the stuff I have to do, I thought I’d share what I’m working on lately, and what a typical week looks like for me. (Spoiler alert: there isn’t one, but there are elements that show up every week.) Like many musician/teachers, my work life has multiple layers. Here's what this week looks like:

Weekly Scheduled Activities

Extra Scheduled Activities This Week

  • monthly APPI (Association of Professional Piano Teachers) meeting

  • accompanying string juries for the Crescendo program at MacPhail

  • playing a gig at Do the Dow Art Crawl this Friday - a Brazilian solo piano set

  • voting and watching election coverage (eeep!)

Other Weekly Activities

Daily Practice Routine, ideally with time for:

  • piano

  • a little accordion

  • composing and/or arranging

Extra Activities This Week

  • practicing for my Friday gig and promoting it

  • prepping for my students' recital next Friday

  • planning and coordinating an educational field trip for APPI

  • working on my homework for the Crickets to Community blog course I'm taking with the excellent Kayla Hollatz

  • trying to (and not to) think about health insurance open enrollment

Making Progress on Long Term Projects

(because if you only work on the urgent, you never get to the important)

  • trying to finish the B section of the choro I'm writing - I think I finished it last week! Look for a new video soon.

  • writing arrangements for the MacPhail Faculty Recital on 2/3/17 - right now I'm figuring out what to do with Samba de Orly

  • researching how to publish the arrangements I’ve already written

  • pondering applying for the Jerome travel grant to go to Brazil(!)

After typing this out, it kind of makes me look like a crazy person! Being this busy is really not my goal, nor is bragging about busy-ness - I don't want to glorify it. But, when juggling many aspects of one career, and being self-employed, there are many things to balance (that will get its own post). I also want to dispel the myth that musicians are lazy (I don't know a single one!) or that piano teachers only work a few hours per day - most self-employed people have had conversations where they have to defend not having a "real job". On the contrary, I always feel like I have too many jobs - I guess I just like doing too many things!

Rebecca Hass

Pianist and composer