Bring On the Music…and Drama!

Annie and the Clue

This past Friday, we attended an Annie Musical at a local church/cultural arts center. It was fantastic and Em truly enjoyed the performance, exclaiming at the end, “That was the best show EVER!”

The women near us smiled at her enthusiasm.

She insisted on going into the crowd afterwards to find as many of the actors and actresses as she could and giving them thumbs up or telling them they did well.

And watching her do that, well, there was my big clue.

With Danielle, my eldest, it had been reading, art, and writing – pretty much in that order. And to this day, I absolutely support her in any way I can. Draw more, write more, and read, read, read!

And I have been waiting, watching, and observing my youngest for quite a while now. She has an amazing presence with others, something that just draws others in and makes them seek her out. And I have wondered how that would be used in her future interests – because she is definitely a people person.

“Emily, would you like to take acting classes?” I asked her that night. “The Coterie has classes, and I think you could then ask how you would audition for the parts in the performances that they have.”

“Oh Mama, yes, YES! I want to take acting classes!” She bounced up and down with excitement. So I found a class that started in late January and signed her up. I consider it $80 well spent for six¬†weeks of acting classes.

Harmony Project KC

The next day was Saturday and we all attended the Orientation and Sign-Up event for the Harmony Project KC, a free music program for inner-city youth. I mentioned it in an earlier post and my excitement has been growing. The Harmony Project offers choir, intensive music instruction, trips to musical events, and next fall, an instrument of their own to practice with.

We entered the room and there were tables filled with different musical instruments – maracas, xylophone, drums, and also the three string instruments – violin, viola, and cello – which they plan on starting all the kids off with in the first phase of this program. After one of the instructors showed her how to hold it, Emily lightly touched the bow to the violin and drew the string across. The viola was more challenging, because she was too small, her fingers didn’t reach to the right spot, but the women both smiled and commented that she had a light touch. Next to her, a boy was vigorously sawing away on the violin. Finally she sat on a seat and held the cello, also a bit too big (apparently they will have smaller cellos available for her next fall) and Emily drew the bow over the strings.

If the smile on her face was any indication, I think we may have a cello player on our hands in a year!

One small blip appeared on an otherwise perfect situation – a family from one street over was there. The husband and wife have threatened their neighbors and city officials (they were cited for throwing their garbage into the front lawn of the house next to them) and Emily has told us that the kids have spit on her and called her names.

She was just talking about them the other day, confused and upset about why they behaved like that. And seeing them there, in this music program that we were all so excited about, really affected her badly. She climbed up in our laps and looked very unhappy and uncomfortable. This continued for several minutes and seemed to be getting her more and more agitated.

“Baby, this program is for people like them,” I explained. “They need this, badly, it might very well make a difference for them and teach them to be better human beings.”

This was apparently the right thing to say. Because she instantly relaxed. She actually said, “Thank you Mama, for explaining.”

Here is me, crossing my fingers, that that is all I need to do. That these children, if they do actually show up for the program, will not spit on my child or call her names or otherwise abuse her. That this music program will be what we hope it can be, and infuse my child with an even bigger love of music, and encourage her to develop that love into a talent.

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