Well, it took a while, but I have crossed the rubicon and been granted tenure at StFX.
I have to admit, when I left the University of North Texas if someone told me I would be in a tenured position as a jazz guitar professor I would have laughed in their face. All things considered, I recognize the privilege. I know plenty of younger, better players than I that are as qualified or more who haven't gotten this opportunity, and I busted my plus-sized rear end to get to this point. So in a way, well-earned Jake… good job.
Nothing really has changed for me. This year, has been quiet. I have had a very heavy teaching load at X with outstanding students. I would say that in my nearly 15 years here this is the best guitar studio I have had to work with not only in terms of the quality of the students, but their respectfulness, maturity, and hard work. Strange how all of those things can be connected. I have had two sections of Jazz composition and some of the music they are putting out is very interesting and exciting.
I'm excited for the Spring and Summer recess from teaching. Now that I have tenure, a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I don't feel the same pressures I did for so long, and now I get to relax and focus on my next projects, and, if any luck is left in me a sabbatical very soon.
My main focus this Spring and Summer are to play when I can, but practice. I have worked up a pretty ambitious practice schedule starting when this semester comes to a close in a few weeks. I want to write music and just reconnect with the idea of practicing with pure intensions, stripping everything down, and becoming a better player. The last few years have been so busy with academics and university duties that real hard practice is not something I find easy to come by, and everything is project-to-project based. But now, I am ready to hit the shed hard