Last night I went to a high school play featuring some alum students. Today 15 high school alum seniors had a reunion at the SF School and I got to play some jazz with two of them. Tonight I went to SF Jazz Center to see the remarkable SF All-Star Jazz Band, a group of high schoolers that will turn your notion about what high schoolers can do on its head. And the lead singer? A former student.
I always tell people that the alums from our school don’t go into music more than any other school, but now I’m beginning to wonder. Just heard about one alum student making a big splash on the Indy scene and another who won a national singing contest. And countless alums (or their parents) have told me about the different bands they’re in or the chorus they sing in or the group they dance with in Carnaval. (Just today on Facebook, an alum posted a nostalgic photo of the Samba Contest from our school.)
It’s time to do a survey.
I never thought it really mattered. What matters is that the kids I’m with now feel some pleasure in music and some joy in their own ability to express that. No need to assess it all in terms of success in the future— just aiming for each class to offer what's needed in the moment. Judging from the sincere “thank you’s” I got from various 8th graders, 5-year olds and 4th graders in yesterday’s classes, that seems to be going well.
But still, it would be interesting to know how those three to eleven years of music classes has echoed on in the lives of the alums. And goodness knows, after 39 years, there are plenty of alums to ask! Some of them 50 years old!
I’ll get back to you on this one.