"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Daily Life, 47

I needed some 'roadies' to help me load instruments and other materials into my car after school today for a big concert at my other school tomorrow.

Fourth graders from the Afterschool Program, to the rescue!

Me Hey you all, is anyone interested in helping me bring instruments out to my car? It means hauling stuff for a few minutes.

Kids Me! Me! Me!

(Enthusiasm. Wish the whole world had more of that!)

Me Well, I only need four kids. How's about it, Renz*, birthday kid? You pick 3 other kids.

We carried out the first load of bags and boxes, then returned for the kid-size drum kit. When we got to my car, which was near the curb...

Renz* Hey, Ms. N, can we play the drum kit before it goes in the car? Like they do downtown, on the sidewalk?

Me Um....let's see, most of the classroom windows are closed, so we won't bother people. Sure.

Enter, organized cacophony! All five of us were beaming when the kids finished playing---and I was treated to the best improvising I've heard all year. Given complete freedom to play as loudly as they wished, and whatever they wished--complete freedom to explore the boundaries of their musical ideas and the range of the instrument....and four pairs of ears & eyes in their completely attentive audience....wow! They rocked!

*Renz* is, of course, not this musician's true name. But it is true it's his 'double digit' birthday year. :-)

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