kitchen table math, the sequel: spring concert

Monday, May 21, 2007

spring concert

Christopher is in the chorus at school.

The reason he's in the chorus is that a bunch of kids joined chorus this year in order to get out of whatever else it was they would have had to take (hit refresh if necesssary).

As it turns out, this was a good move. The teacher, who was briefly on my Seriously Annoyed With Irvington Middle School List last year,* is amazing. Amazing in the sense that he is superbly trained (Eastman School of Music) and knows his stuff. He radiates commitment and expertise, if not the ability to control a class filled with slacker middle school boys. That will come.

Some of the members on Linda Moran's Beyond TERC list have talked about this phenomenon: in public schools today only the "specials" are serious. The music and art teachers at our school are pure content people. They don't talk about process, they aren't interdisciplinary, they probably can't tell you the name of the school's character-development-through- continual-obsessing- about-drugs program.

The spring concert was the sole serious school event we're going to experience this year or possibly any other year to come.

The astonishing thing about the concert was the degree to which the kids had improved in the months since the winter concert. I was moved by what this very young teacher has been able to do with his very young charges.

They'd learned so much that I was thinking, "Maybe I've been too hard on this place."

When the last number ended the principal took the stage.

"This concludes our program," he said. "Thank you for staying through the whole thing."

* resulting in an especially mortifying email exchange


Anonymous said...

the "specials" are serious.

I was looking for the link. Sounded like an interesting thread.

Catherine Johnson said...

oh - on Linda's list?

I wonder if I can find it

It was very good.

Catherine Johnson said...

We've pretty much landed in "You can't make this stuff up" territory this year.

Tex said...

At my daughter’s spring concert, I was so impressed with the quality of the performances.

I should ask her band instructor if he allows the kids to discover the many possible ways to play the instruments. Also, does it matter to him if they’re hitting the right notes or keeping in rhythm, as long as they understand the concepts!

LynnG said...

Just read through the Musical Crossword Puzzle on old KTM.

Multiple generations of photocopies later, I love it. That is exactly where we are in all subjects. I have yet to experience chair slamming from the young 'uns, but give it time.