PCM: Where are you right now and who are you with?
JM: I am reading Don Quixote in the Butterfly Garden of the elementary school in Palo Alto where I used to teach 2nd and 3rd-grade art until the shutdown March 13. It’s quiet, fragrant and often kids and teachers come here to work on their computers.
PCM: How are you feeling and how have you adjusted to life at home?
JR: I miss my blind mother at a senior living residence in Pasadena. I’m not allowed to visit, but we got her a very sensitive SPEAKER phone and we call her up and sing together every song we know. Singing is great for the lungs!
PCM: What does a typical day look like for you right now?
JR: I go running in the morning, sometimes around the little lake at Stanford University. Then I try to do some computer school teaching stuff. For lunch, I sit on a friend’s deck and watch The Metropolitan Opéra broadcasts through his sliding screen door. At cocktail time, I go visiting with my viola and play on senior citizens’ porches … Jazz standards and some classical. I bring them toilet paper and they give me refreshments.
PCM: What role is music playing for you right now?
JM: I used to practice when my upstairs neighbors were away at work, but now that everyone is home, I worry about disturbing other dwellers… (I don’t want them to use my practicing as an excuse for them to play loud music) So playing on people’s porches is my form of practice.
PCM: What are you most looking forward to when restrictions are lifted? What, if anything, will you miss?
JM: I’m looking forward to getting back in the classroom with live 2nd graders, and back to orchestra, and going to the beach and visiting my mother.