It’s almost the end of the school year, so of course the events, ceremonies, parties, and concerts are piling up on the family schedule. If you looked at my kitchen calendar, it’s color-coded listings resemble something like this for the next month or so:
But this past Tuesday night was a big one- the elementary school’s annual spring concert!!
I know what you’re thinking….
And I get it, believe me. Because not everyone is enthusiastic about attending their OWN child’s school concert, much less reading a post about some other kid’s concert.
And I GET it, because I also remember my OWN concerts as a kid.
For the KID: The excitement of standing on the risers. Getting to be in the school AT NIGHT. Waiting with your class, in jittery excitement, to get out there in front of thousands (didn’t it feel like that??) of parental fans that were DYING to hear your fantastic rendition of Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
(It was the 80’s, you know. And JUST in case you either forget or are not familiar with that ditty, here you go.)
For The Parent: Umm… not so much. A little less A Chorus Line, and a little more this.
In fact, I just talked about this with my mom. My brother and I thought we ROCKED in these shows, and that my parents couldn’t wait to go. The cold, hard reality was that whenever she’d tell -ok, WARN- my father that another concert was imminent, he’d dread it.
And as a parent myself, I now understand why.
Who wants to sit in a stuffy, overcrowded gym on those hard metal chairs for hours, listening to kids creak out an endless medley of monotone songs??
WELL…. let me tell you…. I DO. And yes, it shocked me, too. BECAUSE….
My kids’ school concerts ROCK!!!!!!!!
They seriously do. And not just because my own kids are in them (because, despite the general drudgery of a concert, it IS adorable to watch your own child perform). No. The concerts are amazing because both the music teacher and the band director put on a show that by far eclipses every crappy school concert my parents were forced to attend. I pity my folks, because they had NO idea how much better it could all be.
First of all, the school doesn’t make every single child in every single class perform. Choir is optional, and there are only two sections: 3rd & 4th graders, followed by the 5th and 6th grade choir.
Shorter is sweeter.
Each choir sings three songs each; usually popular songs. And they do it well; complete with hand gestures. And color ME corny, but do I want to watch my kid do the hand jive motions while singing “We Go Together” from Grease?
While the choirs do a fantastic job, what makes these school concerts most impressive is the school/jazz band, led by the amazing band director that is a legend in the district, and for good reason.
(You know how typical elementary school bands sound. Ouch. Ear-bleeding agony.)
Not only do these kids learn to PLAY- I mean, really, really play- but they learn to play well TOGETHER. And not only that, but in addition to their playing, they synchronize their movements to the songs while playing, creating visual ripple effect.
(I’d show you via pictures, but since my kids aren’t in the band, I didn’t want to be a creeper by posting pictures of other people’s kids. I may overshare, but only MY own stuff, ya’ know?)
And not just your run-of-the-mill clarinets, flutes, horns, etc.
We’re talking bass guitar. Full drums. ELECTRIC GUITAR.
And the song list. Ready?
The Beatles?? Pink Floyd’s The Wall, complete with guitar solo. FREE BIRD?
Suffice to say, this year’s spring concert was a smashing success, due to time, effort and talent of not just the kids, but the music teacher and band director as well.
And I’m not lying when I say I can’t wait until the next one.
But regardless of the show’s quality, I’m there. Because as any decent parent knows, it’s not about the glitz and the glamor. It’s about supporting your child, being present in the moment, and making memories.
Even if they’re loud, squeaky, monotone memories. 😉
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