“…a little bit of this, a little bit of that”

the ramblings and musings of an elementary music teacher and aunt extraordinaire

One down, one to go April 21, 2007

Filed under: my life as a music teacher — marlise @ 8:30 pm

The Spring Concert was last night. It went reasonably well. I had serious doubts yesterday morning. The concert involved my elementary choir, band, and chimes groups. Yesterday morning, the chimes group was missing two girls who were home with strep. So, I quickly recruited two band members who are especially good at sightreading. They filled in beautifully. We were also missing a couple other students from band and choir. We missed them, but substitutes were not as necessary (or as easy to find) for those positions.

The Friday morning dress rehearsal went well. The audience was in awe, and gave great comments. Of course, I should probably mention that the audience was made up of preschool and elementary students with a few adults in the mix. In all fairness, I think they would have been impressed with shiny instruments whether or not someone was playing them.

Friday during the day, two more students went home sick. One of them played chimes, so I called on the sixth grade teacher to fill in on his part. She did a great job. I think it went well overall. We all had a good time, and I can now focus all my attention on the sixth grade musical. The performances are scheduled for two weeks from now. In fact, I had a meeting with the set builder for that musical immediately after the concert last night.

That’s my perspective on the whole thing, but I appreciated hearing a first grade perspective yesterday. A couple hours after the morning’s dress rehearsal in chapel, my first grade class came in for their music class. They were saying things like, “I saw you in chapel this morning.” These comments always make me laugh. In my head I badly want to say something like, “Really? I thought I was hiding very well.” I mean, honestly, I was leading the program and talking in front of everyone in there– OF COURSE they saw me. Since they are only in first grade, though, and I don’t think they’d get it, I hold my tongue. The question that really threw me, though, came from one of the boys in the class. The conversation went something like this:

He raised his hand with a very serious look on his face

I called on him, “Yes?”

He asked, “Why is it called a spring concert?”

I paused slightly while my brain scrambled to figure out how to answer that. Then I said, “Well, it’s spring right now, and we’re playing music for people, so it’s a oncert.”

He had an even longer pause before he asked, “Well, does somebody win?”

I was even more confused by that point. Then, it clicked. I said, “Oh, are you thinking of a contest?”

He got a great look of recognition on his face, then a slightly embarrassed look. He said, “Oh yeah, that’s what I was thinking.” He went on to explain that he has a recital and a contest coming up in his guitar lessons. I explained that the contest is a little more like a recital.

Problem resolved. I knew my gift of randomness would come handy at some time. I guess this was it.

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Long time, no post April 10, 2007

Filed under: my life as a music teacher — marlise @ 6:11 pm

Life continues to speed ahead here. Last week’s spring break went way too fast. I ended up going to the only doctor in town who didn’t take a vacation last week–MedStat. I was diagnosed with a sinus infection. So, that slowed down some of the productivity of my week off. I’m not sure I really would have been all that productive, but I’m blaming the fever and the antibiotics, anyway. I did, however, finally make some progress on that basement room that has housed many boxes since I moved into the house last November. With just a little more work, it will be ready to serve as a guest room. (That was the original intent, and, yes, that is a hint for any of you who might consider visiting.)

The next few weeks are packed full of activity. Next Friday is the school’s spring concert. Then, two weeks after that is the sixth grade musical. Both activities will keep me hopping for the next month or so. Also, beginning band students just started learning their first songs. Thankfully, they won’t be performing in the spring concert. However, my note to myself for next year has me starting those instruments much earlier in the year. The squeaks, squawks, and headaches of those beginning stages of the instrumental music are especially painful when the stress levels are already creeping higher. For now, I’m pressing on and looking forward to being finished with all of the those large projects.