Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to Work

It was a glorious weekend of good meals, good company, a good movie, good music and even got to swim in the pool. Now it’s Monday and it’s back to the grind.

But how glorious is it that “the grind” means I get to sing Gregorian Chant with 27 music teachers, flirt publicly singing Medieval troubadour songs, be upright churchgoers mixed with naughty children in our Feast of Fools drama and end the morning with breathtaking four-part polyphony in a one-page Palestrina Kyrie. And along the way discuss the flowering of the feminine in the Middle Ages, the role of art in providing the just-right container for all of our complex selves, the logic behind the development from pentatonic scales to modal scales to the European major-minor harmonic system and the alternative views of other cultures to stay pentatonic or modal with more attention to complexity of rhythm, melody and structure than harmonic sophistication.

This is not your typical Orff course, diving much deeper than “here’s a cool thing to do with kids” or “pentatonic is cool because all the notes sound good together” and looking at the history, culture, physics, neuroscience, philosophy, religion and more that stands behind each choice we make in making lesson plans for the young ones. It’s also not your typical history or language arts or math course, because any point we strive to make understood in the mind is also experienced in the body, passed through the heart and brought out into the world as glorious music shared together at the vibrational level. We don’t just experience things, we reflect deeply on the thinking behind them. We don’t just learn about things, but experience in the muscles, breath, nervous system and more the things themselves.

When “back to work” on Monday also means back to play and laughter and comradery and revelation, it turns out to be a pretty good deal. I can’t wait to go to work again tomorrow!

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