I love how MP3 files and music editing software make the life of this music teacher easier.
But I also love the simplicity of just singing and playing with students.
I love how my Macbooks help me create environments for my students to learn in where classroom walls become transparent and students can access the world through the click of a button.
And yet, I love the simplicity of reaching for a globe when my students want to know where something is. There is something special about “touching” China with your index finger and measuring the vast Pacific ocean with the palm of your hand.
I am grateful for my own ability to embrace and utilize technology in my own personal daily life.
All the while I miss the smell of old paper and books from the library.
I think I’m feeling a little nostalgic about the way things used to be because our new afternoon music teacher Rosemary who is quite a bit older than I, ha
s brought with her many of the “old fashioned” ways of doing things….. I’m glad she has, because I’d forgotten how important many of them are.
The first thing she did when she came to my school was ask where the autoharp was….. I’ve been at my school for four years and I had NO IDEA! Do we have an auto harp??????
Well she found one and I’ve never seen students more entranced than my students were when she showed them how to play the autoharp….. it was wonderful.
Then she told me that she wanted to do a little performance called Peter Rabbit. I knew the story because I’d heard it as a child, but my students have never heard the story at all so suddenly what was old is brand new and exciting! As it turns out another great music teacher friend of ours, Tobey Unrath purchased the music for this operetta for children while on a trip to London England in 1981 when I was in kindergarten……. Several years ago, Tobey and Rosemary did Peter Rabbit as a performance and it’s been one of their favorites for years because I’ve had the pleasure of hearing them talk about if for a long time.
So Rosemary wanted the 2nd grade to perform Peter Rabbit and all we needed was a date. We got all the details worked out and we have started teaching the music to the children. They LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard and the melodies are just right…. they aren’t overly simple and they are interesting without being too challenging. I can’t wait to start working on the staging.
I think my favorite part is that there is no recording. Rosemary is going to play the entire thing while I conduct. She was not at school today, so I got to play it while the students were in the room today and even the piano accompaniment is just right and fits well in your hand.
Of course I couldn’t leave the technology entirely behind…..I did talk her into creating a practice CD so that students can rehearse the songs at home. I know they will be glad to have the chance to practice at home….. IF IF IF IF IF they can find a CD player to play that old fashioned CD on!