Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I have spent a lot of time with Armani this summer. What a great kid. He originally came to Cave9 in the spring with his trumpet. He has since switched almost exclusively to cello. And he's doing very well.

Armani usually is at Cave9 almost the entire 9 hours we are there each week. He arrives on his scooter and begins a round of lessons, coming back to the cello several times. For awhile he came to every ensemble at Avondale, but now is a regular only at the string ensemble on Monday nights.

Armani is very smart. He's also persistent. Nick has really pushed him this summer, and despite frustration and some embarrassment, Armani comes back for more. He has more than once done better on the cello and in theory lessons than more-advantaged children who've had hours of private lessons.

We've had interesting discussions. Armani's grades aren't what they should be. He says school is boring, homework is boring and that grades don't matter. I've told him I expect much more from him. If he's going to continue on the cello with Scrollworks, I expect his grades to come up. Last night Nick asked him to put as much work into his education and his music as we are. Armani seems to be listening.

His mom is so nice and is working so hard. She's going to nursing school and works at one of the Starbucks that is closing. His sister, Angelica, is a sweetheart. His dad came to see Armani play in the string ensemble when he visited Alabama a few weeks ago.

I believe Armani is what Scrollworks is all about. Giving a child what they need to succeed--whether it be musical, academic, or just the right words. I have every confidence that Armani will come back and see us someday having done something truly significant with his life.

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