When my grandson, Robert, graduated from 5th grade it was a big deal because he left his elementary school to enter middle school. As part of the moving up ceremonies, the school organized a full-fledged graduation and a very special spring concert which included performances by the string band and their regular band plus a choral concert with the entire 5th grade…about 65 kids, doing some rousing singing.
Robert (above left) plays the saxophone in the jazz band in the middle school.
(This reminds me that when I was Robert’s age all I did after 5th grade was move up to 6th grade.)
Many kids, including my grandson, got to perform a solo. Some of the kids introduced the songs, some sang a short intro at the beginning of a piece, and others brought their instruments to accompany the chorus. We watched 10 and 11 year old kids with a wonderful stage presence before a packed house of friends, other students, parents, grandparents and relatives.
What a shame that when schools think of cutting their budgets, or when the government refuses to support school programs, it is the arts that get slashed without much thought or guilt.
I have seen my grandkids learn so much through the arts…about social studies, about writing and reading, and about the community in which they live. And about life.
Robert is now in high school and he loves music. He is lucky he has the opportunity to join the chorus, play in the orchestra or be part of the school's marching band. We should not take those choices away from our kids.
Pete Seeger used his folk singing style to make strong points the lives we live including our role in cleaning up the Hudson River and about making peace rather than war. I saw him perform at the 35th Annual Clearwater Festival. And it was awesome.
Have you ever watched Fringe, the series that Fox premiered in 2008? Fun to watch on NetFlix, especially seeing Walter, the slightly crazy genius Dad. All Walter’s craziness aside, he had great insight. Music gives us a reason to live…probably not a direct quote but you get my gist.
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