For the last seven years I have been working as a collaborative pianist at two different universities; The University of Georgia, and The University of North Georgia. It is 45 miles from my house to each university and 45 miles between universities for those days when I work on both campuses. Needless to say I do like most collaborative pianists do, I drive….. ALOT!
I also have a mountain of music and other things that I need to take with me on a daily basis. There are lots of stairs to climb and my shoulders, neck and back were not dealing well with carrying things in bags and briefcases, nor is it easy to load everything individually into my car each morning. Frankly, I was starting to feel like a pack animal!
One day I decided I had had enough and I looked for a large bag to carry everything in that also had wheels. Mind you, I was using two four-inch binders on each campus to hold all of the music I needed to have with me. The office supply stores did not, and still do not carry bags that hold that much stuff.
So I moved on to the craft store where I was able to purchase a wheeled tote like this one that was just perfect.
Of course it didn’t come with the flowers and the pearls, but I have a bad case of “artism” and I’m allergic to black, so decorating the outside of the bag was a must for me.
I used it just like this for four years and was able to easily carry both of my 4” binders on wheels, as well as some handy little office supplies and piano repair supplies like these. You never know when you’re going to need WD40 to fix a squeaky pedal!
I also carried a piano light, extra batteries and all kinds of miscellaneous things for students like bandaids, safety pins, needle and thread, cough drops…..you know, everything they need right before they head out on stage but forgot to bring with them!
Then came the advent of ForScore and the iPad for carrying around my music. I was in heaven, but more on that in another post.
So now it seemed that my huge bag didn’t have so much to carry, or so I thought. I may have been wheeling the heavy stuff around with me, but then there was the other stuff like my wallet, my lunch bag, my water bottle, my tea stash, and my electronic gadgets to go with the iPad. I was still carrying all of that stuff in addition to pulling the wheeled tote.
Once I switched to the iPad, I was able to carry EVERYTHING in the bag and I carried nothing in my hands!
Now I am able to carry my iPad with over 1000 scores on it, my lunch bag, my water bottle, the entire contents of my purse, a gadget bag, office supplies and even a stash of tea for the afternoon slumps.
This was so successful for me that it caught on with the students and soon they were trading in their heavy backpacks for wheeled bags like mine.
So what kind of ideas do you have for carrying your “necessities” with you each day. I’d love to hear about them. Leave some ideas in the comments below.