Variations on a Theme of Detail-work

Detail of Whitby Abbey Wall. Photo by Variation 1: Some of my students have given up chocolate, computer playtime and junk food for Lent. I've decided to give up procrastinating, namely, procrastinating on my bookkeeping.Inputting regular expenses and payments is no problem, so long as I don't let it pile up. The thing is, I do let it pile up. Then, mistakes happen. More like - 33 mistakes that need to be fixed before I hand over things to my accountant to file my income tax return.

On one hand, it's fun to be a sleuth. On the other hand, I wish I hadn't procrastinated so much. My head hurts from going through past entries to find out where the breakdown occurred. I fixed three this evening. The jury is still out whether Quickbooks is my friend or my foe.

Variation 2: One of my Iaido buddies - a pretty smart 15-year old - asked me to take a look at his arrangement of Handel's Sarabande in d minor. He took this keyboard piece and arranged it for string orchestra. Joe asked me to tweak it a bit. I enjoyed playing with the variations - adding more dialogue between the instruments so much so that I remembered how much fun it is to arrange.

Variation 3: One of my students has come up with a beautiful song, which is stuck in her musical ear. Her theoretical knowledge isn't at the same level as her musical ear, so I'm helping her transcribe it before she performs at the upcoming music festivals. Talk about a feat in ear training - rhythmic, harmonic and melodic dictation all rolled up into one. I haven't worked this hard since university on a dictation exercise!

Author's note: Click here to learn more about "theme & variations".

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