About rockmommyct

I am a mother, writer, rock and roll musician, and guitar teacher.

Swapping One Kind of Sunday for Another

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For three years after I moved to Connecticut I continued to teach guitar every Sunday in Brooklyn.

I’d wake up at 8 or 9, fueled by three to eight hours of sleep, and head for either the Metronorth station in Stamford or the highway (at first, the Metronorth; when I got a Ford Fiesta, the highway). A couple of hours later, I found myself in or near the Atlantic Avenue station in Brooklyn, traipsing around town, teaching one student after another, and sometimes taking a lesson.

I loved being in Brooklyn once a week. It felt cool when everything about Connecticut was very Stepford Wife-like. I taught guitar, and between lessons, ran around Prospect Park, shopped for secondhand clothes in Park Slope, ate huge, leafy-green salads, wrote songs in Room A at the Brooklyn Guitar School, and enjoyed paling around with the other teachers.

On my last day in Brooklyn as a guitar teacher, I was 32 or 33 weeks pregnant. Traipsing around town felt more like waddling, and my growing appetite meant big leafy salads no longer made me full. My students, too, started dropping when they heard I was taking a three-month maternity leave. And even though I swore I would be back.

Alas, I never did. return, except for a visit.

Today, I teach in Connecticut.  Mostly Weston and Wilton, but I’m hoping to expand my roster. The kids are great, as kids always are – some are curious, some are spastic, some are quiet and a little brooding.

The biggest difference: My Sundays are free.

Of course, by “free” I mean I don’t have to teach. But I still have to get up super early –7:30 or 8-ish – so I can feed my son. If he falls back asleep till 9, great. But if he’s ready to play, mommy has to play too!

It’s totally fine and fun. I love watching Nathan go nuts in his little exersaucer while I do a few dishes and make his breakfast. And I love feeding him his breakfast (yesterday it was apples and barley) while we wait for daddy to wake up. And I love playing him a few songs on my guitar while it’s just me and him. I’m grateful that it is: My husband loves sleeping in, and I cherish that private time in the morning with my little boy.

I’m also grateful that I have some time to focus on my own music when my son wants to listen and the mood is right – though I do long for more time to work on techniques. Then again, many Sundays in Brooklyn I was so busy with lessons that I didn’t really get good, quality guitar-playing time. And while I miss my old Sundays a bit, it’s much less than I expected. Today I can look back at my past Sundays in Brooklyn and smile at the memories.

There is a time in life for everything, and now is my time to be a mom. Brooklyn will always have a small part of my heart, but today, my family has all of it.

Kids Guitar Show in Weston: Seeking Ideas, Partners

I’m trying to put a show together in Weston, CT, for my guitar students (I have six in the area). But since I’m only used to Brooklyn, I’m not really sure of a good venue (decent acoustics, smallish but not too small, family-friendly). I also don’t know too many guitar teachers — let alone any who would team up with me so we could have a bigger spring show (at least 10-12 students). 

Want to join me in my crusade for an awesome live kids guitar show? E-mail me: marisa.torrieri@gmail.com with ideas for venues, names of other teachers, and anything else that can make this happen.

10 Mostly Musical Goals for 2013

After months of going back and forth, I finally resigned from Brooklyn Guitar School. Just one attempt to teach on a Sunday — which cost $35 and three hours in total travel time — really showed me what I’ve been trying to avoid: It costs too much in time and money to teach in Brooklyn. I’m a mom now, and time is a premium. (Is that even the expression? Or is it “time is of the essence?”). Any way, I’ve been practicing a little more again after my first truly hectic holiday. Those who say their holidays are hectic and don’t have kids really have no idea what it means to have a hectic holiday. And so I’ve set my bar low for expectations. There are no resolutions, only goals. Here they are:

1. To stop being so damn hard on myself

2. To be more compassionate and patient (especially when it comes to my family reationships)

3. To play 2-3 shows this year, whether acoustic or electric.

4. To practice guitar one hour per week — possibly two!

5. To exercise 4x per week (two when I am sick), and run at least two races, even if they’re only 10ks.

6. To see two live music shows of music I like

7. To nurse my son for six more months.

8. To support my friends’ musical projects in some way (need a more concrete goal, but this will have to do).

9. To update RockMommy.com at least once a week, and potentially make it better.

10. To end the year with six to seven students.

So there you have it! I said it here first. Not that anyone’s reading yet because I haven’t told anyone about t his blog.