Saturday, May 9, 2009

Warning: Barriers Falling!!

Yesterday was Scrollworks intense. I went to Hill with Molly in the morning. She taught violin in the gym while I monitored students practicing piano, guitar and cello.

We had students come to practice who weren't called: Jasmine, who has a piano at home, but is puzzling out the more difficult music Jimmy gave her. We had students stay to work with the next person called for their instrument: Shamari and Ataria passed the cello back and forth, prompting each other with Craig's very words.

Ja'Cory brought his own guitar for the very first time. It was incredibly out of tune, but he fingered Twinkle smoothly. (Jimmy tuned it after school.) Also for the first time, a few practiced their own instruments and then experimented with another. I love it when they call me over to listen to the piece they are working on.

After school, the free lessons started slowly but it grew so crowded that teachers stayed late to finish up with everyone. We had to recruit students and parents to teach. Little Amy showed even littler Sa'Coria the basics of the violin. Her mom helped Akil on piano. Amia taught guitar, Claudia taught piano. We sent a clarinet home with Tionna.

The staff at Hill Elementary has bent over backwards to accommodate Scrollworks. They are funny and warm and helpful and understanding. There are a couple, though, who have seemed irritated by how our presence adds to their workload. One of the ladies has spent a lot of time chasing me around locking and unlocking and relocking doors. Thursday she came in the gym to chain the doors while Kevin and Jason were working with Quiara. (See a video here.) She stood with an amazed look on her face as Quiara completed her performance with a flourish of sticks and sound. She clapped and could not stop smiling. She asked when she could see Quiara do an official performance. A skeptic became a believer.

We are always inconveniencing the lady who does after-care. We sometimes stay so late in the auditorium that it makes it difficult for her to have everything just so by 3 o'clock. On our first Friday afternoon at Hill, we asked her if she wanted to send any students to take music lessons. She responded with a curt negative. Yesterday I heard a professional-sounding performance on the drum set out in the school yard. Jordan, a very passionate volunteer, was demonstrating for a half-dozen drum students from the after care program. Mrs. Spivey was watching, nodding and smiling. She said she'd ask the parents if more students could participate. Another convert. I LOVE it.

1 comment:

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