This is the first year our children played music in bells on the first day. It was delightful to see how proud they were of themselves. The clinician ends every class with a mini-concert. She has the kids step away from the table, she makes a big intro, she calls them forward, and they pick up their bells and she conducts. When she’s done they cut off and then damped like pros! All 44 ringers in there were like synchronized swimmers with their bells, and this was the first day! They were so proud of themselves. Our kids make up about a third of that group, and they really lead the group with their skills and capability. The other kids are watching our kids to see how they’re doing it. I couldn’t be prouder.
The senior high kids were going off by themselves to Huckleberry for ice cream, and Will was disappointed he couldn’t go. The middlers and children weren’t allowed to go this time. He was disappointed and the other kids could see that he was unhappy. I noticed a lot of them talking to him and trying to cheer him up. Some of them gave him hugs and said they’d see him later, and he felt a lot better about that. He said “they like me – I don’t know why, but they do.” I thought it was sweet how they all rallied around him, and they also told him that they experienced the same thing just a few years ago, so they were all commisserating.
This place is so beautiful, and it’s great that they all have such a sense of ownership of the place. It’s also great to see the ‘it takes a village’ approach of all the adults with the kids.
Well, I guess it all started when I was born. I was a young lad… oh wait, I’m starting too far back…
In Global Music class we talked a lot about what global music means, because people have different definitions. The teacher’s definition was ‘music that’s being played around the world today.’ She talked about the different influences. For instance a song written in Brazil may be written in Chinese style. We talked about how to expose people to global music, how to integrate it into a service, and how you might teach it to people. For instance, the call and response acts as a conversation that welcomes the responders to join in the song.
Today was my first day taking classes at Montreat. Mind = blown! Because I discovered singing only about ten years ago, and I had already completed my undergraduate and grad degree, I never had the chance to take any classes in music, other than choir and voice lessons. This week I’m getting a crash course in areas that I’ve just ‘made do’ in for years! I’m taking a class on pitch, one on conducting, one on developing vocal technique, and one on rhythm — all with the same teacher! Her name is Carol Krueger and she’s a wonderful teacher. I’m so glad I like her, since she teaches almost all of my classes! Jonathan Willcocks is the conductor for choir, and he is delightfully funny. He has an English accent and says things like “jolly good ding dong” and “remarkably good! it’s probably a fluke!” and “do sit down!” One piece of music came photocopied for only singers with 20/10 vision – tiny!! He said “I’m going to have to have a word with Oxford!” When someone turned in a piece of music, he announced “A diligent alto seems to be missing her music! Is anyone going to own up to it? I realize diligent altos are rather thin upon the ground, but surely this must belong to someone!” When we sight-read a piece not all that well, during the musical interlude he encouraged us “leave the wreckage behind you!” and “Vibrato is rather helpful in many situations, but can we get rid of the doppler interference pattern at the end of this phrase, please?” Elizabeth, Shelby and I love this guy.