In two hours, I’ll be back at school escorting (along with my two colleagues) sixty 3rd, 4th and 5th graders onto the stage for our annual Spring Concert. After rehearsing with them non-stop all day. Pushing pianos into the room, lifting xylophones, making sure every mallet is in place and who took that guitar pick? I’m sure it will be a joyful event tonight with happy kids and happy parents.
But five minutes after receiving the flowers, the three of us will start making sure everything is in place for another full day of Middle School rehearsals with 90 kids, followed by their concert that night. Usually that would be followed by a couple of hours returning the instruments to the music room the next morning, but I’ll miss that because I’ll be getting on a red-eye flight to Newark, New Jersey, arriving at 8:00 am. And 9:00 am, I’ll begin my six-hour Jazz and Orff workshop for some 25 teachers at NJPAC.
I’m running solely on dark chocolate and heirloom popcorn and though 150 kids playing music gives energy and joy and happiness, let’s be honest here. It’s also exhausting. I’m starting to question whether this kind of work at this kind of pace with this age of kids’ energy might be a wee bit much for this 67-year-old. I’m always boasting about how good teaching and good music and generally good work refreshes and rejuvenates and I’m not exactly lying. But it’s not the whole story. Am I feeling tired at the end of all this?
Well, just a bit. And I’m only halfway through the marathon of the next two days. After my workshop day, I begin two days at my 50thhigh school reunion and having not seen most of my fellow classmates for some—well, 50 years!— I’d like to be at full throttle. We’ll see how that goes. If they ask me if I feel my age, I might just honestly answer:
“Just a bit.”