ethan heyenga

Living in Montreal

Moved here in January for a change of pace. Zero real plans, it was an exploratory leap of faith to come here. After a long year, I've started to find my way.

Teaching elementary music

For the first time since the pandemic started, I'm back in a classroom, teaching elementary music at Kells Academy. There are some wonderfully bright and keen students at the school, and I'm being challenged in new ways all the time. There's something pure about students in this age range; most have none of the cynicism of teenagers and they engage with music on a completely visceral level. Whatever you want to communicate, you have to be direct and succinct, and making little games out of teaching behavior patterns is as much a part of the job as teaching the music is.

The sense of possibility with elementary students is almost palpable. Their minds change and evolve at light speed and it's extemely gratifying to watch them grow so quickly as music makers and people.

Getting involved in the choir world

I'm in my second semester of a master's degree in choral direction, and singing in two choirs in the city. Ever since I started singing, I felt the absence of a background in this kind of music, so I'm thrilled to have some opportunities to be immersed in communal singing. As moment-to-moment musical experiences go, not much is as gratifying as singing in tune with ten or twenty other people.

It also gives me an excuse to listen to a huge amount of classical music and try to gradually cover the whole scope of its history, something I never got around to doing in my twenties.

Redoing this site

I finally have a clear idea of what I want this site to be, so to keep it simple, I'm redoing it myself. If I have to use web site designers for business purposes in the future, that's fine, but for my site I want to keep things as simple and stable as possible.

That means working with tech that's legible for me, and for now that means writing HTML files, which is really all I need to do to share what I know about music and the music I make. Fancier solutions are ultimately a waste of time. I'll slowly re-add everything I had here before (and hopefully more) this year.