I returned to First Pres preschool for a morning, half hour set in the gym of the school. Parents, grandparents, teachers and kids on blankets on the floor filled the place, so I had my PA ready. I had forgotten my musical bag, and had considered running back to the SouthSide for it. Turns out it was best that I didn’t. Too much chaos, too many kids, too short a set.
I did Finger in the Air for the first time in a while, as an opener. My friend Tom Druckenmiller had played it on the Sing Out podcast, and I had forgotten what a fine rendition is on the Playground CD. Nice to have it back in the rotation. We did all the good stuff, and I noticed early on that the kids wanted to dance, so I was able to do Names of the Animals, engage the older siblings on a creative level while the little ones simply danced with their friends.
What made this gig special was the small family gatherings spread out across the venue, not rows of kids, separate from their families. Lots of lap-sitting, photos of kids having a good time, creating some unique interactions among the generations. Powerful stuff, now that I reflect on it.
The principal gave me the check ahead of the session, and I remarked, “Oh, that’s right. I get paid, too.” I was half kidding. There’s a lot of truth in the fact that I play for the experience and the opportunity to create my art. It’s amazing that I do get paid for a fair price, and be done by noon.