A Muse Amuses Musically

A muse amuses musically, this is what my muse spoke to me when I invoked her prophetic powers with this question, “What should I blog about today?” “A muse amuses musically, what does that mean? I don’t understand”, I tooted. “Be quiet now and I will explain what it means”, she trumpeted.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice!

One of the classes that Anne participated in on Monday was band. In this class the music teacher was employing a study aide called SmartMusic. This software tool helps students with their practice. It let’s them see how well they are doing; by showing them how well each note was played. It also helps them hear how well they are doing, by playing back what they have played. It also monitors home practice sessions for playback by the teacher.

Big Brother is watching! – George Orwell, 1984

It was this last feature that was used to draw out the object of this day’s lesson. Students were chosen seemingly at random, at least at first, to perform the assignment, The Russian Sailor’s Dance. After a while it became clear that three notes was the best that this chosen lot could do. A little haranguing ensued.

What starts with a P and ends with ice?
Pterodactyl lice!

After the dose of vinegar out came the sugar. The music teacher explained different ways to practice: play each note twice or start from the end and then build from the back. After just five minutes of these exercises there was already a noticeable improvement in the band’s sound. More importantly, the need to practice at home or the consequences from not, were driven home.

A little musicality, please! – from Strictly Ballroom

The final lesson the music teacher had to give his students was derived from the Super Bowl. Singer Christina Aguilera flubbed a line in the National Anthem and the Black Eyed Peas’ music in the halftime show was lackluster. “Those people are entertainers, not musicians. They don’t have to play well to be successful. You students are musicians; you must play well to be successful in this class.”

The bell rang!

Being a public school teacher is a tough job. Being a teacher of the arts in public school is double-down tough, first to be cut, last to be appreciated. Anne and I salute her colleagues for the great work that they do. They hold the future of America in their hands, until three o’clock, and then it is up to the rest of us.

1 thought on “A Muse Amuses Musically

  1. Great use of the final word: “Singer Christina Aguilera flubbed a line in the National Anthem and the Black Eyed Peas’ music in the halftime show was lackluster.

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