Gentle Reader, I’m pretty excited about this one:
Ok so couple months ago, we’re in class, we’re just starting the barre, and right in the middle of the second plié we hear that terrible sad sound that we all remember from high school (I mean, except for my classmates who are currently in high school, they don’t know nothin ’bout no cassette tapes) we hear that terrible sad sound of a too-often-played tape being eaten by the tape player.
Smirnoff is hitting the stop button, freaking out a little, pulls the tape out…in two pieces.
This is bad.
This is the music we use Every. Single. Barre.
It’s a recording that one of the girls made, like, fifteen years ago to practice with in hotel rooms, it’s just a straight recording of Smirnoff’s class, complete with tinny piano, recorded-in-a-cave level audio quality, and Smirnoff, giving instructions and making pirouette sound effects. So, like, there’s Smirnoff on the tape telling us, “Pirouettes! Here we go!” And then there’s Smirnoff in RL talking over Past Smirnoff on the tape, saying, “and now ladies, pirouettes!”
Which is kind of surreal and awesome, but now the tape is cold-busted, and the thing is that, like, the really sad thing is that for the past forever or so until right before I found his class, his mother played piano for all his classes. So, like, the entire time I’ve been taking his class he’s been not just mourning his ma, he’s also been trying his best to understand this whole new-fanged world of modern audio equipment.
Poor old dude.
So, like, someone managed to get the cassette taped together again. So there’s a skip in the plié now. And there are the commercial CDs of classical piano music for center and all, and Smirnoff is all lamenting that if only he had a reel-to-reel player. He’s got all these old tapes of his mother playing for class, but no way to actually play them for class.
But the thing is, the Adult Beginner has really awesome friends.
So I corner an awesome friend, The Lazy Genius, at a cocktail party and I’m all, “hey, um, do you ever use reel-to-reel players at work? See, ’cause, my super-elderly ballet teacher has all these tapes of his mother playing piano in like the ’70’s? but he doesn’t have a player and he’s got no way to play them and at this point he’s not even sure if they’re good anymore or what all is on them and they’re really old and he’s really old and do you think you might be able to convert them it would be a huge favor and I’ll sew anything you want in exchange-
And he basically interrupted me with, “Shut up talking already and bring me this challenge!!!”
So Smirnoff brought me a big ol shopping bag of tapes, Lazy Genius did his thang, handed off a whole mess of digital files to Mr. Adult Beginner, who started tackling the giant pile of music and trying to break it down into related segments.
I was no help as I was completely convinced that I’d be able to hear the music and know what exercise it was for, like I could be all, ‘(listenlisten) ah, yes, these are the eschappés.’
I was Totally Wrong!!!! At best I could hear, like, ‘oh, that’s the intro!’
So, the digital files get numbers instead of names, and then there the question of how to give the music to the old man in a format he can handle? Compact Discs he understands, but they involve way to much fussing around and looking down at the boom box, aka away from the class, which is not good for anyone, so Mr. Adult Beginner suggests we get an iPod and have it engraved with something like, “Against All Probability, this iPod is Property of Smirnoff. Please Return to Adult Beginner for Maintenance.”
I love my man.
Anyway, last week I sit down after class with Smirnoff, and explain to him, “all of the music that Awesome Friend was able to retrieve is on this iPod. Also my husband threw on some Liszt. Here’s the cord that connects your iPod to your boombox, ok? I think this’ll be good, right? Because you can hold it in your hand and still see the class, right? And we can put more music on it, whatever you want, ok? Take it home and see if you can turn it on!”
Classmate sitting nearby says, “omg this is amazing. But you’re going to have to show him how, he’s never touched an apple product in he entire life,” and Lé Assistant jumps in with, “He ate an apple today!”
And Smirnoff is thrilled. Called me the next day and told me he’d barely slept last night he was so excited about the music.
But hadn’t turned it on yet.
But did read the manual cover to cover!
So I encouraged him to try and turn it on, reassured him that he won’t mess it up, and promised to meet with him and talk him through.
Which’ll probably happen tonight after class.
Mr. Adult Beginner even offered to come help. Did I mention how I love my man?
So, Gentle Reader! Will Smirnoff figure out this newfangled music box? (I mean on the one hand he’s a smart guy and three-year olds can figure out iPods. But on the other hand he’s really old.)