As we get closer and closer to the Christmas break in school, I am reminded of the many Christmas Programs of the past. So many schools don’t do those any more, and I find that very sad, but as most of you know there might be someone who is offended by such activities. Again, I find that sad. I am reminded of the program where I started out in the choir, and then was elected to be an angel. I didn’t need wings for that one, because I was so excited that I was floating all on my own…well, it felt like it to me anyway. That was the most exciting Christmas program ever for me, and it was probably a good thing I was an angel then, because I don’t think acting for really for me, or at least, I had no interest in it later on.
I remember the one where the choir was performing, and one of the boys got too hot, or nervous, or had locked his legs, and suddenly he passed out right in front of the whole crowd. The music teacher was horrified, and really didn’t know what to do. She was leading the choir, and the show must go on, you know, so she tried in vain to get him to just get up, but to no avail. He couldn’t after all, because he was out cold. Finally a couple of teachers came up and carried him out of the gym. He was fine, but very embarrassed. I don’t recall if he came back in for the rest of the program, but I don’t think I would have wanted to.
The programs my girls and my grandchildren were in have special meaning to me. Though they varied in theme and some were after you couldn’t make a Christmas program be about the true meaning of Christmas, they were all precious in my heart. Little tiny voices singing loudly, and often off key. Forgotten words, and the teacher reminding the child of their lines. Those dreaded costume failures, that thankfully weren’t as bad as some of the celebrities failures. The jitters and tears over parts forgotten, or even that the child worried would be forgotten. It all added up to the Christmas program, and it didn’t matter if it was a total flop or done to perfection, when it was your kid out there, it was the best program you had ever seen…and you truly meant that.
Kids just naturally have a love of musical instruments. Almost from the time they are born, they play with rattle and other noise makers for entertainment…sometimes to the point of headaches for their parents. It is a love of beautiful music…and believe me, we all have very different ideas of exactly what beautiful music is…that leads us to try to create the music we love on our own.
At Christopher’s age, it’s all about the noise level, the louder it pops, clangs, rings, or squeaks, the better they like it. Wait…I think that part of a kids love for music last at least until their 30’s and sometimes even longer, so really Christopher is just doing what every teenager does, only with different instruments. And he was having the time of his life doing it. You can’t help but smile, even though you know that after a few minutes of cuteness, the noise probably drove his parents nuts.
As kids get bigger, their choices of instruments change, and the opportunities they have in school help with those changes. I’m sure you all remember the recorder that kids learned to play on about 4th grade. Most kids sound pretty much like I do when I play the recorder…a sick duck, but my daughter Amy had a way with the recorder. She could make it really sing. That’s why we chose the Clarinet for her when she got to fifth grade, even though her sister, Corrie had chosen the Violin. Both girls played very well all the years they played in school, and I thoroughly enjoyed going to their performances.
Christopher played the Trumpet in 5th and 6th grade, and his brother, Josh played the Clarinet in 5th grade, following in his Aunt Amy’s footsteps. My granddaughter, Shai chose not to play an instrument, but go into choir for a time. Caalab would be the one to continue in the musical world, when he decided to take up the Guitar and follow in his dad’s footsteps. He now owns several Guitars, and continues to get better and better. He takes Guitar in school, and nobody has to tell him to practice. He loves to play. Where once he had rocks in his pockets, he now has multiple picks. He may not always have his Guitar, but those picks seem to always be with him. Typical, I guess for the boys in the band.