Living Someone Else’s Life

Jonathan Bellman

Off tomorrow to Logan, Utah—Utah State University is the site of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Musicological Society meeting this year, and it is also the site of the Wassermann Piano Festival, where students meet pianists and hear concerts and have master classes and so on. On a once-is-not-punishment-enough basis, I’ve been invited to give a presentation to the piano people on Friday morning, and a keynote talk to the musicologists, music theorists, AND piano people on Friday afternoon. We leave tomorrow.

The one thing they never tell you about academic life if that there are times when you don’t have any time to think, much less practice an instrument. This faculty issue, that student issue (urgent phone conversations with several different people), someone’s knickers in a twist (several detailed E-Mails), a faculty search, keeping the seminars going . . . on and on and on. I’ve managed to prepare my talks. Haven’t really practiced my examples as much as I usually like to. Trusting to God on that, as my only alternative.

I love my gig, really, but look hard, you young’uns: there are times when the very last three things anyone is going to allow you to be is A) a scholar, B) a teacher, and C) a competent player. Of anything. You’ll be putting out their fires.

At least we’re both going to Logan; that’ll be nice. Maybe I could actually enjoy it? Back Sunday.

About jonathanbellman

Professor of Music History and Literature and Head of Academic Studies in Music at the University of Northern Colorado. Author, *The _Style Hongrois_ in the Music of Western Europe* (Northeastern University Press, 1993), *A Short Guide to Writing About Music* (2e, Longman, 2008), *Chopin's Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom* (Oxford University Press, 2010), Editor, *The Exotic in Western Music* (Northeastern University Press, 1998), author of bunches of articles and reviews and so on. Likes to play the piano, the mandolin, and even guitar sometimes. A. M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar at UNC, 2011.
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