Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Gift of a Rose

After an intense Friday, we were expecting the same Saturday. But instead we had the quietest Saturday since the weekend after Christmas. I relished the calm as I watched the student teachers having time to get lessons themselves and the entire teaching staff bonding more deeply.

Tionna once again was the first student to arrive. Her teacher had brought her straight from an award ceremony where Tionna had gotten a certificate for participating in a mentoring program. Tionna walked in the door and gave me a rose. Then she got out a clarinet and barely put it down for the rest of the afternoon.

Tionna is why this program is important. Last Saturday I asked her to call her mom after she and her cousin Sa'Coria had been at Scrollworks for 3 hours. They weren't causing trouble, but Sa'Coria was bored. I was worried that I couldn't keep track of her as she wandered in and out of the school. Tionna had tears in her eyes and a stubborn set to her jaw as she left. Friday Tionna asked me how long they could stay without an adult. I said an hour. Tionna negotiated for an hour and a half. After all that, she brings me a rose.

Armani is another reason this program is important. He started calling me as I left for the office at 9:30 to see how he could arrange to get to Scrollworks. His mom had to go to work far too early to drop him off at the school. He ended up getting dropped off at the office and riding to Hill with Jimmy. Armani is a bit lazy, but he has music in his blood, so I put him to work teaching winds. He needs to learn more himself but he can get beginners started.

Tionna's hunger for musical knowledge burns bright. As the crowd thinned, Jimmy noticed. Even though he doesn't play any wind instrument, he sat down with Tionna to work on music reading and theory. Then Dwight came by. He was enchanted by this young lady, teaching her and her cousin for more than an hour. He was so impressed by how much both of them learned, but more impressed by the passion.

A special thank you to Craig for holding his cello circle and Elana and her student Louisa for teaching piano. Since it was quiet, Elana discussed piano curriculum with Jimmy and helped he and Claudia improve their skills so they can do a better job teaching. Elana gave Jimmy a few pages of scales. They were labelled with the Cyrillic alphabet, so I had fun remembering my Russian lessons and picking out the words 'major' and 'minor'.

An update on the fund raising:
Claudia made $12 selling the cupcakes she baked. She should have made $13, but Armani asked to put his on his tab.
Since we discovered that raffles are illegal in Alabama, Mrs. Easter spent some time with me discussing other ideas. We talked about a car wash. She wants to sell candy. But I made her get her piano lesson before we finished any plans.
We've gotten a donation from our webmaster and from Jah's grandma.
If you can spare $10 (or any amount), you can donate here:

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