As the two year “anniversary” of my stroke is around the corner, March 29, I’m feeling the need to share with you what’s been happening since I last wrote 6 months ago! I appreciate your taking the time to check up on me!
I joyfully continue with my full time teaching schedule at Westminster and my private studio at home. While my students and I have had to adapt to the obvious “issues” of my only being able to play with one hand, I am thrilled that they are all playing as well as ever! (I must admit, I still find it amusing when sometimes a younger student by mistake plays a passage written for the LH with their RH, since I just demonstrated it obviously with my RH!)
The doctors continue to try Botox injections in my arm and shoulder (still won’t slip a little and help out with the wrinkles on my face) and now I’ve started doing Biofeedback too! I am fortunate that I have been able to continue with my wonderful OT, Cathy Moran, at St. Lawrence Rehab Center twice a week!
I continue to work on playing with my LH, but the progress is slow! I have a healthy repertoire of pieces where I play the melody in the LH in a 5 finger position in case you want to hear “I Have a Little Dreydl” or “Lightly Row.” I can even cross my second finger over my thumb for a joyful rendition of “ Michael Row Your Boat Ashore!” (Obviously, I’m trying to make light of a very difficult situation for me!) But my greatest joy musically is having the good fortune to have wonderful friends that are composers who have written some incredible pieces for me for RH alone. I’m attaching a clip of Dennis Alexander’s Consolation in Db which is so gorgeous I can hardly wait to perform it, but it’s hard! (Don’t tell him I said this, but I really think he’s using 2 hands when he taped this and sent it to me!)
Other fabulous pieces written for me are by a Princeton composer and former student, Ryan Brechmacher (actually he wrote this while I was still in the hospital) and one by my Canadian friend Peter Jancewicz (still can’t say his name correctly). In addition, WCC faculty colleagues, Stefan Young and Laurie Altman have written wonderful pieces for me. Are there any other composers out there interested ? Feel free to write a piece for me! (You see, I haven’t lost any of my pushy personality?)
While travel is naturally difficult, I continue to do it, because I love doing workshops and master classes! In October I did a lecture and teaching demonstration in Dallas for the World Piano Pedagogy Conference. It was wonderful getting to see so many friends there! I’m really looking forward to going to Atlanta on March 27 for the MTNA National Conference where I will do a session entitled: Preparing Students for Auditions and Competitions: Turning Fear Into Fun!! I am so grateful that my friend, Sigrid Luther from Tennessee, has graciously agreed to once again be my Guest LH Artist! I am also excited that my new book with Dennis Alexander, Keys to Artistic Performance Book 3 will be released there. The only “problem” is the color scheme of the cover necessitates me to change from my normal jewel tones (thank you Tom Gerou of Alfred Pub. Co.) and FORCED me and Lillian to go to Chicos for a new outfit. If you’re at the conference I hope you’ll compliment me on my fabulous tangerine top! I bemoaned this fate to a teenage student, Christine Kim, and her mother, so they thoughtfully went to Chicos and found me a necklace and earrings to match for my birthday!
But my greatest source of happiness continues to be of course is my wonderful family! We are all looking forward to Julie and Mike’s wedding on April 18 in Maryland! They are such an incredible couple. They have planned the entire wedding themselves while maintaining busy professional careers and buying and decorating a house! I was given three small tasks for the wedding: music for the ceremony, welcome bags for weekend guests, and the cake topper! (You think it’s easy finding a cake topper with a bride wearing a Mets jersey, and a groom wearing an Eagles jersey?) While my dancing won’t look great, Mel has ordered for me a fabulous black cane with a rhinestone encrusted handle, so I can still look fabulous!
Amanda and EJ and the kids are doing great and my greatest joy is getting together with them. Ryan is as funny and spunky as ever, and Elizabeth is as feisty as her Mom and her Grandma Ingie! I must also brag for a second about Amanda, who was invited to present two sessions at the New Jersey Music Educators Association State Conference. She was incredible!
Mel is anxiously awaiting golf season to begin! He still makes my lunch every day and cuts my sandwich in quarters for me. However tension runs high at night as we now can play tennis again…………….. thanks to Wii Sports!!! My competitive juices are alive and well! My stroke didn’t weaken that part of my brain!
As always, I appreciate all the love and support I have received from all of you. Thank you for being a part of my journey!
With love and gratitude,
Ingrid aka Mrs.C
PS I hope you’ll check out my web site for where I’ve presented workshops as well as future events of where I’ll be and the accomplishments of my students. But most important I will post wedding pix and new pictures of my grandchildren.