I know I’m posting a second blog for today, so I hope our readers won’t mind! As Jeff already mentioned, I have now been to school a couple of times and think we might have finally found a good way to actually get there, which is good. For those of you who are reading and don’t know why we’re here, I was lucky enough to receive a Fulbright grant to do research and performance of contemporary Mexican music for flute this year with one of the forerunners of contemporary music here, flutist/composer Alejandro Escuer. ENM (Escuela Nacional de Música) started classes last week and Friday was my first day there. I’m not actually enrolled in classes but will be participating in Alejandro’s Seminario de Análisis, which meets on Fridays. It was a very interesting class but it’s very strange to sit in on a class in a foreign language. I was actually pretty happy because I was able to follow along relatively well, but there were definitely some things that went over my head! Overall, I think it will be very interesting and will definitely be helpful in learning Spanish.
Tuesdays are “flute days” at ENM, which I attended today. Alejandro does group lessons here, which means that on Tuesdays, there is a large block of time where he teaches everyone in the studio. Students can come and go as they please so lessons are open. It’s very different than what I’m used to but I found it very useful for getting to know the teaching style and I enjoyed getting to hear everyone in the studio play. The piece that I have been working first since being here is one that needs editing, so Alejandro and I will be working on editing it for the composer, which is pretty cool. I’m currently making a list of pieces to learn—it’s looking like it’s going to be a busy but hopefully productive year!
On a side note, remember a previous blog where Jeff mentioned that there are people that walk around the streets and have specific calls for selling their wares? Well there is one call that Jeff and I have laughed about since being here because it’s a guy that (and we have no idea what he is actually saying) calls out much like how Jeff likes to mimic Lois’ father in Family Guy on the episode where he says, “Weelllllll, guess it’s time to be saddlin’ on up!” We finally saw the man today and it turns out that he is the gas man. If you buy gas for your stove and hot water you have to listen for his call, which really does sound like “Weeeelllllllll!” For those of you who know Jeff, you know that he thinks this is awesome!