Dublin School Residency – Day 4: Oops, a Dress Code!

So, as many of you may know, I’m currently doing an artist in residency at The Dublin School in Dublin New Hampshire. This is the school whose campus we rent during the summers for Walden’s Young Musicians Program and Teacher Training Institute. I’m up here for about a month, teaching two classes, giving some private lessons, working with the school’s music teacher, and giving a concert with my jazz trio.

It’s going well so far – pretty busy and trying to get oriented to the campus and the schedule. The energy here is good and I am being welcomed and well received. One thing I forgot to ask about during the planning stages (it didn’t even occur to me to ask about) was the dress code. Evidently for the students, the boys are expected to wear ties on a daily basis. Oops! I brought a stock of my nicest t-shirts and a couple of button down long sleeved shirts to wear over them, as this is New Hampshire and it is still April. (I did buy a few new nice t-shirts, wanting to look professional and all.) I had considered bringing a tie, for about five seconds while doing some last minute packing on Friday morning, but dropped the idea when one wasn’t quick to hand. I only brought one shirt that I could possibly wear a tie with (it happens to be pink!), thinking that I’d wear that for our concert in a couple of weeks.

Fortunately, the headmaster gave a student “headmistress for the day” as her secret Santa back at Christmas time, and today was her day. So, as part of her reign, she declared this “dress down day”, with an 80’s theme, recommendations for spontaneous bursts of singing and dancing, and a fashion contest amongst the faculty to see who had the best 80’s digs (too bad I left my magenta palaza ribbed baggy pants at home, huh?) and so I wasn’t so on the hook about not being dressed up. I’m guessing I’ll kind of sort of not worry about it, in an “out of sight out of mind” kind of way (with a down low inquiry to the headmaster to hear his preference). It sure had me laughing this morning though; and here I was debating whether or not I needed a shower first thing in the morning or if I could get by with tossing a hat on my head to cover today’s rendition of a bed-clothes inspired hair sculpture. (I opted for the shower, thinking it was good of me to be mindful of expressing respect by way of my appearance. Oh boy!)

Otherwise, things are going well. Classes are off the ground. I’m still getting oriented to my students and getting a sense of their abilities and needs and chemistry in the classroom. It’s been fun practicing tunes for our concert though; several times today, students have drifted into the back of the concert hall to listen quietly. The music is really starting to flow for me, which is a fun journey. I’m pretty excited about the upcoming show.