Had a lovely Monday visiting a Level III Orff grad doing fine work combining choir and Orff Schulwerk. Followed by the pleasure of teaching two different 4th grade classes. One with 50 kids, body slapping and nursery rhymes, the other a more intimate class with 25 kids, Table Rhythms and a Halloween chant. As always, my hope was to give them something concrete, tangible, memorable, practiceable, fun, engaging, musically challenging to do that connects them both with their own possibility and with their classmates—all in 30 minutes. How do I know it worked?
First, from reading the temperature of the room, the engagement of the students, the smiles on their faces and laughs at the funny parts, the determination on their faces in the challenging parts. But when a student in the first class approached me afterwards and said, “When will you be back?” and one in the second raced inside as I was leaving and ran out again with a piece of paper, a quick drawing and the words “Thank you,” I knew that they got what I hoped for.
I love the long-term relationship with the kids at my school— for many of them eleven years of non-stop music-making. (That’s 11/14ths of their life when they graduate!!) But I also love traveling around to schools and doing a drive-by love, jump into class, fill the room with music and fun and hop back in the car. Johnny Appleseed, Santa Claus and the Lone Ranger all rolled into one.
This could be my life after retiring from my school. Even more fun if I just drive by random schools and pop into classes without being invited! Just start clapping and singing and dancing with the kids and then run off to the next school. I might not even check into the office! If you read about me in the paper, now you know who I am. Shh. Don’t tell.