I have messy hair. I deliberately make it messy. I neglect it on purpose, and love the fact that it’s unkempt. Of all the hairstyles I’ve had over the years (and there have been oodles), it’s probably the one I like the most – the one I think is most, well, me.
I know that as a classical musician, it’s not so normal. I am meant to walk on stage in smart black, with tidy hair, and sparkly jewelry. I am supposed to be part of an establishment. But I realised that the establishment wasn’t for me ages ago. I wear bare feet. There are no sparkles. My hair is everywhere. In fact, most of the time, I’m not walking onto a stage at all – just some floor somewhere. I have found the way I like to perform, and others seem to enjoy it too…
I know that the kids I teach love the hair. It’s part of the whole music teacher persona – a teacher who is a little bit different. Who makes them smile and laugh. Because a kid who is smiling and laughing is more likely to learn and to try things new, I have found. (And the teachers I work with worry more about what I deliver rather than what I look like. Well, to a point, anyway.)
I get comments – often from conservatively-dressed, older people. They don’t like the hair. But here’s the thing – I do. Very much. It’s part of me. As is the orange, the laugh, the energy and the slight disrespect for authority. And isn’t how I wear my hair so minuscule a matter? Don’t you want to talk to me about my politics, or how I feel about the education system? Or even my favourite recording of the Bach Suites?
I’m off to tease a few locks….