Friday, May 18, 2012

Year 2: Week 34 - Four Magical Moments

1.  Sharing Day – This week I gave my third graders the opportunity to share songs they have been working on outside of music class. These performances ranged from learning a pop sing and singing it along with an iPod to playing a beginner song on the violin. I spent a lot of time preparing my class to be good audience members and instilling them how important it was to be supportive.

One of my students played “Long, Long Ago,” on his violin. He made a mistake, stopped playing and after a long pause, started back at the beginning. After he was done he was visibly sad about messing up but the whole class gave him a genuine round of applause. One girl in particular who often has issues being polite came up to him and told him how good she though he was and I saw him perk up just a little bit as she smiled at him.

2.  The Final 8th Grade Band Class – Wednesday was the last time my 8th grade met as a full band this school year. We had a performance the next day so I ran class just like how I usually did. We worked hard, got a lot done and at the end, I could not have been more proud. I started this group when they were seventh graders and after two years this group was coming to an end.

At the end of class I reminded them that sometimes things seem like they will last forever, but that everything is finite. I told them that I was proud of then, proud to have worked with them and to enjoy our last time playing together as a group. It’s hard to know what to do when things come to and end but I could not have imagined a better way to say goodbye then by sharing music together.

3.  The Dress Rehearsal – For the Spring Concert last Thursday we combined the 6th, 7th, 8th and high school bands. We rehearsed the day before Wednesday after school. We had been preparing the students for this rehearsal, going over what we were going to do during that time and what to expect.

Standing in front of almost ninety students, I was impressed with the attention and effort I felt. Getting settled and finding seats was a little rough but when we started playing it was truly amazing. My goal was to have the dress rehearsal be a valid, important and fun musical experience and it was just that. The great performance the next day was icing on the cake.  Having an amazing rehearsal reflecting months of great preparation: that is what is truly fun about music.

4.  I See The Light – The drama teacher and I hosted a charity event for our school, “Sing along Tangled.” We project Tangled on the screen on the back of the stage and students sat on stage participating with the film. At the moment when Rapunzel has her hair braided, we paused the film and the drama teacher instructed all the girls who wanted their hair to be braided to make a braiding chain.

Twenty girls, pre-school age to 8th grade, formed lines around the stage and as the song “I See The Light,” played they braided each others hair in the soft light provided by the screen.  Flashlights and cell phones illuminated the auditorium as our own lanterns.

Watching these girls across this wide age gap come together without hesitation to braid hair was one of the most heart-warming moments I’ve been part of at this school.  It was a beautiful moments of community and family.  The older students embraced the part of them that is still a little girl wanting to be a princess.  In this way they reminded the younger girls and myself that you are never too old to enjoy the simple acts of sharing. 

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