Monday, November 19, 2012

The Basement

This looks like a basement to you.   That's because it is a basement, but it has had wonderful things come to life in the past, besides mold.  It is the basement of my elementary school.  I snuck down there today while the students I was the 'guest teacher' for, were at music.  'Guest teacher' is the new substitute teacher.  I can take latter: 'substitute teacher', because I'm super tough and can play guitar and sing fun songs with students.

This room is the reason.  In fourth grade, 1985, I had the chance to learn to play an instrument for the band.  It's  the same year of school kids learn a bunch of valuable math, which I was not getting.  The first thing that happened when I learned to read music, was I learned what a fraction was (4/4 time, 6/8 time, trust me).  The second was where that sound I was hearing belonged.  Notes have names and places!  Eureka!

I'm guessing this is the only room at the school the other teachers could tollerate nine year olds learning to play the clarinet, trumpet and flute.  This is the room I learned about music.  

I'm not a rock star or an opera singer.  I sing several times a week to elementary school kids, community choir members, hospice patients, wine and beer drinkers, and church goers.  Because I make music, I met my husband in choir.  Because I sing, I've been all over the world.  Because I sing, I can be a part of something bigger than myself.  Because of music I've worked with some of the best people I know, in a meaningful way.  Certainly, it started with 'Holly Jolly Christmas', counting in four four time, in marching band.

The year I learned flute was the same year California was flooded from stem to stern because of rain.  The basement was flooded during some of the school year.  The boiler room for the school is in the next room (loud).  The basement is always cold.  Looking at it today, I can envision it as it actually was, not as it truly was.  It truly was a place where black lines and dots made sense to me.  It was a place where I could find myself.  This place was my nest.  Actually, it is a basement.

Now it is full of boxes, concret blocks, sidewalk salt, canisters, and teaching supplies.  It still smells the same.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:06 PM

    special memories! how the sometimes everyday, mundane events shape our lives!! thanks to all teachers, and especially the ones who include music in their teaching.