Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Trouble with Cellos

It has been quiet at Cave9 as the summer winds down. Even so, magic still flows abundantly.
There is something about Cave9. A rare conjunction.
Every time I turn around, something remarkable, and yet completely natural, is happening.

Yesterday was no exception. Here, Armani is teaching Matthew to play the cello. They were both totally absorbed, not even glancing up when the flash went off. Matthew's mom was nearby with freshly popped popcorn, amazed that Matthew hadn't noticed his favorite snack.

These are two good children. But they have the same interests and distractions as most of today's children. Yet they spent an hour struggling to teach and to learn an instrument invented centuries ago--not playing the latest video game or hanging out at the mall. No adult stood over them. All we did was provide the opportunity. How many others need this opportunity? How many irresponsible acts on our streets could be prevented by just providing something else to do?

Learning the cello has drawn Armani into a new sphere. He is now comfortable with Michael Fernandez, who patronizes the Starbucks where Armani's mom works and is the principal violist of the ASO. At the Scrollworks benefit at Java and Jams, Michael introduced Armani to Craig Hultgren, cellist with the ASO. Craig and Armani discussed the merits of the cello Armani wants to purchase off the internet.

Think about that. What if we could do that for more of the young people who live near Cave9? The changes to our community would be profound.

The main problem that Armani has found with playing the cello is that it is difficult to get the one we've lent him home on his scooter when it's raining, not to mention preventing him from borrowing an acoustic guitar at the same time.

The trouble with cellos is that they are wonderful.

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