I just finished accompanying my elementary school chorus tonight for their Spring Concert. I love to hear them sing and then see magnificent smiles come across their faces as the audience claps wildly. Upon arriving home, I checked my email and discovered a lovely Vimeo video from Paul and Peter Reynolds called “Keepers of the Flame”. In some small way, I helped fan the flame inside a child tonight. It is the flame of singing and making music. What a great thought to know that by doing my part, I kindled an inner passion of children. Those children standing on those risers tonight at school weren’t just fourth and fifth graders who are about to embark on End of Grade testing. They are wonderfully made human beings built with the capacity to wonder, to explore, to dive deep into music among other subjects at school. I heard them sing an African American spiritual, a religious memorial song in honor of those who were killed in the Oklahoma City bombings, and to absorb the feeling of collaborating as a choir as they joyfully belted out favorite tunes from a medley from “The Little Mermaid”. I kept the beat going at the piano, my colleague and friend, Traci, directed, and the audience enjoyed. No, we weren’t at Carnegie Hall, but we may as well have been. Our hearts and minds embraced music which lifted spirits. The first graders also performed music about caring for the Earth. One of the lines in a song they sung was “We are stewards of the Earth” which inspired me. Of course I can do my part to reduce, reuse and recycle, but being a steward of the Earth means to also fan the innate curiosity that exists in children. It is such a privilege to be able to share music together.
I am not filling buckets, I am fanning flames. The Vimeo Video amplified this thought to me. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!