Today was a busy day, with two set of RR’s in Clinton, NJ and one afternoon solo set in Bethlehem. The morning shows were at a Middle School and, as is often the case, the 7th graders were looser than the 8th graders, but good energy, none the less. Kevin played with two hours sleep, and who could tell?! Last RR of the year.
The afternoon gig was at Wm Penn ES in Bethlehem, with familiar faces in the audience and faculty. The kids were entertained by the Northeastern MS chorus and brass section, and the vocal teacher’s wonderful solo of ‘The Christmas Song’. I followed with my usual ‘pump ’em up’ experience, and the principal sent them off in ‘SILENT’ Mode.
The vocal teacher sent me a very nice note: “I just want to thank you so much for the uplifting fun you brought to Wm. Penn today. You may have given the kids a great time, but any educator who was watching was learning a lot about what it means to get into kids’ skins in a way to move them and motivate them. I just loved it and half way through was torn over stopping and typing down all I could remember that went on , or just continuing with the fun and letting it all fly by.”
That’s the whole point.
My reply: “There’s a lot of edu-thought, theater experience, musical craft and human studies going on when I play, so it’s really gratifying for you to mention it. Sometimes schools think that my ‘show’ is all fun and games, but I’m aiming at a subtler education experience. I really subscribe to Pete Seeger’s talent/ philosophy of giving ownership of our music to the people (kids, in this case), and that means using whatever it takes to engage: vocal, physical, mental, humor,… That’s why I sweat so much on stage.”
A good day on the stage and ready for a home stand….