Friday 2 November 2018

2nd November - All Souls Day

Music; Parce mihi Domine by Cristobal de Morales (c 1500 - 1553)
from the Office of the Dead; a prayer for the repose of the Soul on All Soul's Day.

Parce mihi Domine, nihil enim sunt dies mie.  Spare me, O Lord, for my days are nothing

I was listening to this while I was clearing up ready for the piano tuner to come and work his magic.

Sombre, austere and calming.

The day was filled with this and that; a blood test first thing - one of the most painless ever. It was over and done without a pause in the conversation... that's what I call 'skill'.

The back in time for the piano tuner. While he bonged away at the keys and made twanging sounds, I washed half of the kitchen floor. It is a bit of a waste of time washing only half, as I know I will never get round to the other half. But at least the worst area (by the cat food plates) is all clean. One of those jobs that was itching away at my happiness levels.

In the afternoon I went back to one of the schools I left at the end of the Summer term, to help a colleague who has been unwell. I'm just volunteering; the job that was becoming increasingly tiring earlier in the year takes on an entirely different aspect when I'm just along for the ride.

I spent the first lesson (recorders) assisting children to get their hands and fingers in the right place, and giving the evil eye to any malefactors.   

In the second lesson I corralled a couple of lesson-wreckers - I knew them of old - and made it possible for the rest of the class to have an enjoyable lesson.

Finally, the oldest children have all been equipped with beautiful, brand-new ukuleles. The problem is how to tune thirty ukuleles, one at a time, while the twenty-nine children not involved at that precise moment don't get out of hand. I've got this down to a fine art; you teach something that you want them to learn (a song using the C7 chord) and also quickly show them something that they can work out for themselves (in this case, how to play the opening of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).

Then they are all let loose to practise the chord, and also work out Twinkle Twinkle 

child 1 -' I can do it, look,  I can do it!
child 2 - (waily voice) 'I can't do it, please will you show me?'
teacher - 'go and ask child 1'

while the teacher, in this case, the pair of us, scoot round, approximately tune every ukulele, show them again how to play the chord and flash through Twinkle Twinkle before moving on.

Fast, furious and fun.

Teaching class music really can be fun when there are two of you - on your own it is too often bit of a slog.

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