I went to have my piano lesson today with Ms. E. I've been with her for almost three years and it's a perfect professional relationship: I pay her for piano lessons and she teaches me to play the piano; we make small talk for approximately ten seconds before each lesson. Ms. E seems to be in her late twenties, and has a nose piercing and knuckle tattoos. She is in some sort of band, because sometimes she misses our lesson because the band is recording. But I don't know the name of the band or what kind of music they play. She seems very quiet and while I suppose she sometimes laughs I don't think she has done it around me. As far as I can tell, she never thinks about anything except playing the piano. I know next to nothing about Ms. E. Not even: in whose house do we have the lessons? Not hers; at one point a couple of years ago she mentioned that she lived somewhere else. Who are the other people who live in the house, whom I have seen almost every week for three years? Her family? I do not know and while I am vaguely curious I am not interested enough to ask.
The two kids who have the lesson after mine arrived about ten minutes early. They are around eight or nine years old. They were not very patient while they waited for me to finish. They whispered and squabbled and then started to shove each other on the sofa.
Over her shoulder, Ms. E snapped at them “knock it off!” I have never heard her raise her voice before! This is a whole new side of her that I have never seen. Certainly she has never spoken to me that way.
I suspect that the kids' lesson is rather different from mine. I got a hint of this once before, when one of the other students showed up early, and Ms. E had crayons and a coloring book ready. It dawned on me then that giving piano lessons to kids is somewhat less than 100% piano and more than 0% babysitting.
I really wanted to hang around and observe the kids' lesson to see what else was different and what Ms. E was like when giving it but of course I didn't suggest it. (Triple creepy!) But I still wonder what it is like and I will probably never find out.