September 2007

when basses double as hurdles

September 20, 2007 15:50

In case you have ever pondered jumping over a string bass, I will save you from hypothesizing about the potential results. 1 Evil Knievel wannabe attempting to hurdle a bass (a 7th grader who has forgotten how big 7th grade feet are) = 1 bass with fingerboard knocked off, the lower back totally unglued, and a wayward soundpost. Happened in Jazz band class (with different teacher). The jumping student was a saxophonist. My bass student who likes to tell me every day how she'd rather be in drama now gets to have some.

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the class that wouldn't die

September 12, 2007 19:43

Last night, oh foolish me. I had to check my email before I went to bed. All of the sudden I was teaching my favorite class again. It's a bit like an old Night Gallery show where someone dies, goes south and then they find out that their eternal punishment is to watch an elderly couple's vacation slides over and over. Only in this case, I think I have somehow made it to purgatory. The class has been adjusted to have a bit fewer students (took out the worst of the worst, the ones with something like 25-40 discipline referrals), but since I was told that I wouldn't have the class anymore, well GRRRR. So, since I wasn't given adequate notice to prepare anything, I was given a couple of videos to show them. One was the A & E Mozart (excuse me, Moe-Zart) video. I have seen this particular video before, and remembered them showing some of Mozart's letters to his cousin that included some rather inappropriate doodling. Hey, Mozart has something in common with my students! Fortunately, the students, as usual, were not paying much attention and did not notice. Oh, how I can only pine for the old days up north, where my union rep would have filed a grievance and the problem would have magically disappeared.

So we'll see how tomorrow goes. I'll have a symphony rehearsal in the evening with Otis III and Dexter Redding. It's Georgia music week and this year features the music of Otis Redding, Jr. If only I were sittin' on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll in...

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just another average week

September 8, 2007 06:53

Even though we had Monday off, it's been a wild week. Yesterday, out of the blue, one of my best students had a sudden "break from reality". Nothing had happened; the student just totally became nonfunctional.

I finally was relieved of the music appreciation class that was scheduled in place of my planning period. It took a near melt down on my part to get it. There's nothing like being asked to teach something with no established curriculum. Who wouldn't enjoy spending an extra 10-12 hours a week developing materials for an overcrowded class populated with the biggest discipline problems in the school. Students doodling gang graffiti on whatever was available just added to the charm.

This past week in our community, several high school girls were arrested for beating up another girl at a fast-food restaurant, taping it, and then posting it on myspace. Last week, it was a hostage crisis at a house near school (luckily resolved without incident).

This week's symphony program is a good antidote to some of the craziness. We are playing La Forza del Destino(gotta love that last page), Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #2 and the fourth symphony of Brahms. The Brahms is one of my favorite symphonies, so I can just play and forget all that other nonsense, at least until it rolls around again on Monday.

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Happy Holiday Weekend

September 2, 2007 05:25

I got to do NOTHING yesterday, except get groceries, put sloppy joes in a crock pot, and get a bit of practice in while my husband took his chances with our daughters at Sam's Club.

This week (besides the usual school stuff) it's Brahms 4th Symphony, La Forza del Destino and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 2. Next week it's music of Otis Redding with Otis III and Dexter. My intonation is still in Motown mode from last week, so it's too bad the concerts aren't in a different order. Arpeggios here we come!

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