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What do you mean Beethoven wouldn’t have made it in Nashville?

April 16, 2010

Last night was AJ’s piano recital. Well, not his personally. His teacher holds a recital for all her students every year. The fifteen kids who take piano on the same day as AJ all played last night. You’d think a 15 kid recital would be long. But you’d be wrong. The recital started right on time at 7 p.m. When half the kids had played, I checked the clock: 7:08. The whole thing clocked in at under 20 minutes, not including the mad rush for the table of juice and cookies afterwards.

AJ started playing piano just a couple of weeks before last year’s recital. He wasn’t originally supposed to play then because he’d just begun, but he picked it up so fast that his teacher let him play. Now AJ is the second most advanced student in the group (Since they are group classes taught through the park district on electric pianos, it tends to have only beginners. More advanced students move on.). It was fun hearing all the newer kids playing pieces that AJ used to play.

AJ played well, but the best thing about last night was that he looked like he was having fun. He often looks miserable when he has to get up on stage, even though it doesn’t really appear to make him very nervous. But the fact that he gets to see friends at piano is one of the things I like about group lessons. It’s play, which is, especially at this stage of musical development, important. I also like that so many boys take piano — easily 2/3 of the group. Two of his good friends were on the stage with him last night, including his friend K who shares a lesson with him. K was fingering AJ’s piece, an arrangement of Beethoven’s “Turkish March,” on his knees while AJ performed. He’s played that one before. He started a year before AJ.

After the reception, we wandered over to AJ’s school on the opposite corner and caught the tail end of the annual event known as “Family Story Night.” Kids come in pajamas with blankets and pillows and wander from classroom with their families, listening to teachers and their principal read stories. The kids spent a week of art class and library time making book posters and banners to decorate for the event. It is one of my favorite school events of the year and I was sad when I thought we were going to miss it entirely, especially since there’s a good chance it won’t happen next year, seeing as there won’t be any more librarians or art teachers. This event is the pet project of the school librarian who will probably be moved into a classroom next year, most likely at a different school. Every school event this spring is feeling like the end of an era.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    April 16, 2010 9:21 am

    What will happen to the library with no librarian? Will teachers have access and go in with their classes or will it be shuttered altogether?

  2. April 16, 2010 9:37 am

    Supposedly there will be one librarian for the district. Since there are 5 schools, that person will spend one day a week at each school. I think the assumption is that the libraries will be open extra days using volunteer labor. But I worry that they’re overestimating the volunteers they’ll have. There are many, many projects next year that will require volunteers. At the same time, more and more people are going back to work because they can’t afford not to.

  3. April 17, 2010 8:04 am

    Hmm, supposedly there’s a school nurse who is supposed to spend one day a week at each school. I’ve never seen this person. When Eleanor broke an arm at elementary school, the secretary gave her an ice pack and sent her back to class (even though she couldn’t open the classroom door). When Walker broke his arm at the middle school, the office staff at least called me.

    All this to say that I don’t believe that “rotating” anyone actually works.

  4. April 19, 2010 1:17 pm

    I dont’ think it works either. They have not made the nurses rotate. I think they think it’s important that someone is in the building to help. Our school nurse is fabulous and amazing. She knew me on sight by name after meeting me just once. I was very impressed.

  5. April 20, 2010 9:51 am

    I played those same types of arrangements… and I hated recitals! Something about playing an instrument in front of people… I’ll do just about anything else in front of a crowd, but play piano? I couldn’t trust myself to get it right and it made me nervous.

    And I really hope one of my kids will pick up an instrument so that I can watch them go through it, too. Is that wrong?

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