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Navigating the music world when you have Asperger’s

There’s a group I’m part of called Frustrated piano teachers and it’s a place where piano teachers can talk about their problems. I glance at it once in a while and most posts are written by women. There’s probably someone who will tell me that women like to talk about their problems more often, but it looks like these women also have to juggle kids and husbands with their piano teaching jobs at home.

I write a post: I am curious… does anyone here have Asperger’s? How does it affect your teaching?

A bunch of people answer the question but not in the way I want. They tell stories about how their husband or kids take a long time to learn or annoy everyone. One teacher describes getting a family or relative involved during the lesson and planning rigorously. I can’t tell if that is for the case if the teacher or student has Asperger’s.

Well, maybe I didn’t ask the question properly.

I give an example: Do you feel like there are challenges in communication because of aspergers? Sometimes I’m finding it hard to interpret social cues such as when a male student apparently is “hitting on me” and it’s obvious to everyone else but not to me.

The response I get is: Definitely.

The thread goes nowhere. This must be what it’s like to talk to me. I misunderstand everything. One person tells me I am being offensive by saying Asperger’s instead of Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder and they know this because their husband has it. She probably has it too, since she thought she was being helpful in the thread.

I send my mentor a text because I am now convinced that there are politics at work that I’m not seeing or understanding and it will bite me in the butt. “I was wondering, could you show or explain to me how to improve my influence? Or better navigate politics? I don’t really understand hints or politics so I would appreciate guidance.”

There is no response. She is at a conference. Ok. Then I remember that every time she needed help or my input, she never asked in text or chat. She always asked to meet in person but made it obvious that it was important. I should have done that instead.

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Nate Mazur
Nate Mazur
4 years ago

Dear Grace,
Your posts are at once vulnerable and hilarious.
While my issues are different (addiction and
mental health), I relate to your journey to
communicate with others, especially with those
who may not share the same issues, but think
they understand. Hey, maybe they do, who
am i to judge. Anyway, thanks for your posts

4 years ago

Great read, Grace. Thx for sharing❤️

4 years ago

Thanks for this Grace, and keep them coming … always enjoy reading your thoughtful and thought-provoking posts and comments.

Michael J Korman
3 years ago

You’re not crazy. These people are highly sensitive and delusional. I just got kicked out of that group today, without warning, after expressing a frustration of mine.

At least, I think that’s what happened. It might have all been a dream, since I can find no record of my post, or any indication that I was a member of the group, or even any indication that the group exists at all.

I’m glad to have found your post. It confirms at least that I didn’t make the WHOLE thing up.