The cacophony of joy

If you were lucky your school experience included band practice. Ah, the joy of walking into a room full of ten year olds all playing newly rented instruments enthusiastically though very badly as the teacher struggles to gain control. I can still see my band teacher’s face. Kids can tell when teachers are enjoying themselves and Mr. H, despite his exasperated sighs (he also taught drama), delighted in the chaos and clatter of the brass, the off-key tooting of woodwinds, the premature banging of cymbals but … above all else … the seductive fantasy that if we just tried hard enough and kept at it by the end of the year we would be making beautiful music together.

I can’t remember what instrument I abused back then. Probably the clarinet. I’d already given up on the piano because, after five years of weekly lessons, I still hadn’t mastered the Hanon Studies and my teacher was old school. If you couldn’t master the Hanon Studies, you didn’t deserve to enjoy playing the piano. She was Russian and only stood about four feet tall but … it was four feet of grizzle.

From Bing Images

Earlier this year I volunteered to help a non-profit (MUST) whose mission is to bring music programs to elementary and preschool kids. Introducing music as early as possible in a child’s life has many benefits for both the child and society but the pandemic closed most of these organizations down. Now they are trying to reemerge. My suggestion was to post interviews of their staff beginning with their charismatic founder, Meg Madden. Beyond that, I have not a clue. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile Penito and child are still growing. The mother is three feet tall and comes up to my waist! (yes, I’m all legs)

No flowers yet though.

10 thoughts on “The cacophony of joy

    1. That’s not good! We had band practice in a sound proof room off the gym and it was mandatory. Every seventh grader had to have a semester of music. But then I grew up in Reno Nevada – a town known for the entertainment industry. So music was huge.

  1. As a kid I played the violin and the clarinet, which meant I was in the orchestra and the marching band. I’m glad I learned music as a child, there was a discipline to it that helped me do better in school, BUT I am also glad I no longer play an instrument.

    1. I never made it to either the orchestra or marching band but I had a lot of friends who did. They consider those experiences some of the best they had as a child.

  2. I took band in school. I played the fipple flute, then later piano, but that was more than 30 years ago. Now my son wants me to teach him, but alas. The piano sits unused in the living room corner.

  3. Hi Jan, both my sons learned to play the piano from an early age. Greg achieved Grade 5 practical and theory before deciding to stop. Michael has switched to drums and still plays. Music is wonderful 😍💕

  4. Post a few kids who now play an instrument, well. They started in a community program like you described. They can play the instrument, and after say how the program got them started.

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