15 December, 2005

Halfway There

Well, we've finished our afternoon performance, and it was a smashing success!! [If you don't know what I'm talking about, check the calendar]. We still have one more tonight.

The 3rd graders did a great job this afternoon and I was very proud of them. Still, I was stunned when one veteran teacher told me afterwards that it was, "The best program I've ever seen done here," and that all "the aides were sitting in the back row in tears!" The former music teacher used to put on "full Broadway productions" with the 3rd graders, so I'm really surprised to hear that.

When I first heard about the previous music teacher's big events, I remember wondering how in the world 3rd graders handled "full Broadway productions." If my fellow teachers here were bowled over by the understated production we just did, the answer must be: Not very well.

Regardless, I'm happy and the audience was thrilled. An ideal outcome...

Part II: Well, it's finally over (Whew!!). The evening went well, too. The parents were all focused on their own little superstar, so I only heard one comment. However, all seemed to enjoy themselves; there was a collective gasp of joy after our first number, followed by loud cheers. We never got a louder ovation after that, but I'll take that as an indication that the audience was well pleased. :)

I'm just glad it's over with. It wasn't up to my artistic standards, but it takes time to build a comprehensive program at a school; it takes a period of years to build a tradition of musical achievement. Since this is my first year, I basically have to make-do.

Most people have standards for children's music-making that are way too low. With the right instruction, children can do things that are musically beautiful and affecting, not just "cute" (Ugh, I hate that word! Cute is just a substitute for a quality musical performance). I figure that if this level of achievement impresses them, just wait until they see what their kids can do next year!

Well, now I can rest until Saturday, when my 2 weeks of travel begin. Maybe somewhere in there I can finally get well, too!