Friday, July 26, 2013

100-Year Connection


My day began with a music class with 4-year olds, with 27 teachers observing and soon playing, singing and dancing with the children. Yesterday’s fountain of joy continued to flow full force. Ethan charmed me with his comment, “It sounds like suctions cups” as we chanted a name with our hands covering and uncovering our ears. He also had some of the more expressive shapes in our “One Potato” game.

From there, off to the Jewish Home and playing, singing and dancing with the elders. During my “Leaving My Mama Blues” number, some of my students walked around with xylophones offering them to the various seniors to play a hot solo on the arranged blues scale. My favorite was Doris on the glockenspiel. Her age? 104.

And so the gap between Doris and Ethan is exactly one hundred years. A whole century. Imagine that! But the effect of music was exactly the same— each note sending a love letter of joy and happiness.

When Doris was Ethan’s age, the first jazz recording was still four years away, Louis Armstrong was learning cornet in reform school, George Gershwin was a truant kid running around wild on the streets of New York. The actual music that brought such pleasure and happiness to us all this week in the jazz course was barely born. Doris is at the far end of that century of remarkable music and Ethan just beginning, but though separated by a century and a couple of miles down the road from each other, today they were both “traveling along, singing a song, side by side.”

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