When your profession becomes a hobby…

The title for this post, written while the family sifts through the paper, seeing what is on sale in the next few hours, should have been:

“When your profession becomes a hobby, or when your hobby becomes your profession.”

On Friday, a colleague at another school in our district contacted me. In the past, we had recorded her as she played a piano, producing an accompaniment CD for her to use in rehearsals and concerts. She contacted me to see if I could still record CDs from my new school.

I let her know that I could do that, but that I had better options for creating accompaniment tracks, such as scanning songs and then exporting them via Notion for iPad as high quality audio files. She brought over six songs, and I showed her the technology that I’ve been using. She was amazed at what you can do.

So, I have been working on her six songs. They are two-part choral octavos, so they scan quite cleanly, and then I also clean up lyrics and make sure that accompaniment instruments (e.g. sleigh bells) are added.

The end result, scanning with PhotoScore Ultimate, editing in Finale, and finishing/exporting in Notion for iPad, is amazing…far better results than performance tracks of just a few years ago.

I’m not going to get into the ethics of performing with a recording, as I know there are people that would rather perform with a pianist and piano, even if the player misses notes and the piano is in sub-par condition/tune. And with Notion on the iPad, I am hoping we see performance mode/N-Tempo soon, so you can control the performance of Notion live. This means that you will be able to make a human-controlled digital accompaniment, versus a “canned track.” I choose a reliable pianist and in-tune instrument, particularly now that I am teaching middle school. I “get” the purists, but I am no longer with them. In my case, we also lack the funds to pay a pianist.

What I really wanted to write about is that I love the challenge of importing music. I love helping a colleague that needs help (the recordings are needed by Tuesday and we have a four day weekend. So between family events, I am trying to get these songs finished.

What I have found is that I am invested in this. I would rather work on digitizing and importing music than playing any game on my iPhone or iPad. So my profession has become my hobby, and my hobby has become my profession. How wonderful is that?

That’s yet another thing to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


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