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Lydia Tay

Respecting music

February 7, 2013 at 2:58 AM

My school has an annual concert at the end of every year, and last year was no different. Everyone looks forward to the main performance - the teachers' performance. Last year, there were 2, figuratively a bonus. One was a dance, and the other, a "last minute orchestra".

The teachers who formed the "last minute orchestra" played "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin. There were teachers playing the violin, cello, synthesiser, xylophone and so on. There was even a conductor!

Here's the catch. The act was an impromptu drama. That means that while the teachers were playing the music, the "conductor" would go around doing all sorts of wacky and funny things like taking a feather duster and trying to tickle other teachers.

It was funny. However, I came to realise that it was TOO FUNNY. As the teacher who played the conductor carried on with his pranks and jokes, the entire audience focused their attention on him. That may seem fine to you, but what happened was that he was so funny, he completely took any attention to the music away, such that the music was negligible. The teachers could have played crap. It wouldn't have mattered.

I found it excruciatingly painful to sit there and watch the wonderful piece of music get so much disrespect that I ended up in tears. While I understood the rationale behind the jokes, I find that the teachers should have struck a balance between the jokes and music.

What are your views?


From Siobhan Kelleher
Posted on February 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM
I completely agree. They ought to have separated the two performances somehow, which wouldn't then have taken away from either show. The conductor should take example from Victor Borge, who managed always to display talent whilst entertaining.
From Ann Marie Cordial
Posted on February 8, 2013 at 12:58 PM
I find it interesting that people feel that violinists or string players in general should "do something" other than play...like dance, for instance. These are folks who can't hear how the sound and accuracy degrades when players dance or goof around. It's sort of like asking your surgeon to dance while operating on your corneas.

---Ann Marie

From Corwin Slack
Posted on February 8, 2013 at 3:41 PM
What do you expect in a society that wears sweats and scrubs in public, doesn't dress for church, ad nauseum ad infinitum?
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on February 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM
I'm going to be a little contrary. I don't think there was anything wrong with this, as described. Were the teachers (players) hurt or offended or insulted? Was anyone put down or did anyone have their feelings hurt? If not, I'm having trouble understanding the harm done. I didn't see it, so it might have crossed a line, but what I read here sounds like pretty harmless fun to me. Why go out of your way to take offense where none was intended?

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