Friday, April 24, 2015

Thirteen Steps to Happiness


1.     Satisfying rehearsal of a lovely Thai xylophone piece with 6th grade.

2.     8th grader describes the form of one of our pieces with remarkable detail. Class goes on to play Take Five after a three-month hiatus—perfectly!

3.     Next 8th group includes two students trying out the trumpet parts of Miles’ So What solo I transcribed last night and sound fantastic! Lots of adventurous risks in other pieces and most of them sounding great.

4.     Two five-year old groups rotating instrumental parts for The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Kids improvising the music of “peaceful grass-chewing” on glockenspiel sound so musical and hearing the logical end of their improvisations.

5.     One kid who has found music class challenging plays the big Billy Goat Gruff’s “trip-trap” on the big bass bars. Has trouble keeping a steady rhythm and we decide that the goat has a hurt leg and is limping. It works!

6.     Teaching Tom Lehrer’s song Pollution for Earth Week at Singing Time. Kids are cracking up while also raising consciousness.

7.     Then singing The Water Is Wide and the high note on the word “boat” sends chills down my spine and I show the kids my teardrop.

8.     Interview a candidate for a job at the school who is so eloquent and articulate that I’m jotting notes down like mad. Helps me see that maybe someday I might be an okay teacher, but lots of work ahead.

9.     I pack instruments into the car for a Family Jazz workshop tomorrow at the SF Jazz Center. So happy to have the opportunity to do this work.

10. I go to the Jewish Home for the Aged after two months away and see my dear friends.Nobody passed away while I was gone and after some lively catching-up conversation, had the usual joyful singing fest around the piano. Songs that began with W and then T. Ended with a beautiful rendition of That Old Black Magic.

11. Got a hint from someone that my daughter Talia was hired for a permanent position at The San Francisco School teaching 5th grade. (This possibility that she wouldn’t get the job kept me up in the middle of the night all week. Well, that plus jet lag.)
 
12. Driving home, felt like the last drop of jet lag dissolved.

13. I walked up the thirteen steps to my front door (the inspiration for the title)
     hoping my wife had some news about my daughter’s job. Opened the door and……


       SHE GOT IT!!!!!!

Sometimes our deepest hopes are realized. Sometimes not. Ultimately, we probably need to be grateful for both scenarios, but sure is a lot easier in the first case! I am one happy man.


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