The kids are attending a Traditional Academy, which focuses a lot on work in the classroom. So, when we found out about the extra music classes offered after school, I got so excited! These are band, choir, and orchestra in addition to the regular music class offered once a week during school hours.
Emma has opted to play the clarinet in band. We put out feelers over Facebook and found out that one of Josh's cousins had an old clarinet that she was willing to give to Emma in exchange for videos of her concerts. A HUGE thank you to Sara!!!
Emma and her new clarinet the day it came in the mail.
I remember joining school choirs and bands. The excitement of learning and, sometimes, excelling.
My choir and band careers began in third grade. I sang with the choir, which met in the mornings before school a few days a week and played flute in the school band.
It was amazing to discover that I had some talents. Two major events remain in my memory. First, the choir teacher came into our classroom and invited anyone who wanted to audition for the choir to come sing "America the Beautiful" in the hallway. We all lined up and she went from person to person listening to us sing the line, "For purple mountain majesties/Above the fruited plain." I remember listening to the other kids as they sang. There were some things that I learned: I wanted to be loud and I wanted to be on key. The teacher came to me and I belted it. I mean, we're talking LOUD AND PROUD! Heads turned to look at me. The teacher smiled. I knew I was in.
The second major thing I remember is the day I learned I was "different." The teacher asked for any kids that wanted to sing a descant in one of our songs. Of course, I raised my hand. I went and, once again, auditioned for the part. The teacher heard me sing and looked at me. I'll forever remember her words: "You are a good alto." I was so flattered that I went home and told my mom right away. She kind of stopped for a minute, surprised by my news. "An alto, huh?" she asked me. "Yeah," I told her. "What's an alto?"
I loved band too, but I got bored easily so I often tried to shake things up. I taught myself how to play "Jingle Bells" while the rest of the class was still learning to read the notes. In junior high I tried a few new instruments. In high school, I abandoned my flute for the trumpet and joined the Jazz Band. That one sounds more impressive than it was. I was a horrible trumpet player.
I named my trumpet Louie after the great Louis Armstrong.
Point is, I pray my children enjoy their music as much as I did. It gave me a place to be and a talent to develop. I loved doing it. And I truly believe that I needed it.
If you're ever in the neighborhood come December or May, you are officially invited to their concerts!