Tuesday, February 01, 2011


I don't know whether to jump around and pat myself on the back, or smack myself upside the head, but last week I was approached by one of the music teachers at the middle school, and asked if it was true that I was a piano player. Instead of just looking at my feet and mumbling something about messing around when nobody's listening, I said "Why yes, I am..." and before you know it, I was being given sheet music, and a schedule of the rehearsal blocks for the three advanced choruses. "Now, I don't expect that you can make it to all four rehearsal times for each of the three choirs, but it would really help them a lot if you could get in there when you can. Trust me, anything's better than me plunking out a few notes, and making them repeat it" he said, when I started looking like I'd bitten off more than I could chew.

So since last Thursday, I've been pacing back and forth in front of our piano, looking at the Rodgers and Hammerstein compendium sitting on the music stand, and thinking "WHAT HAVE I DONE?????"

Truly, it is above my pay grade, when all is said and done. Oh, the first page lulled me into a false sense of security. It's a solo voice, and she's singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music" and there are FOUR NOTES underneath her. I can totally do that.

And then you turn the page. And all hell breaks loose.

Why didn't I look at the music before he gave it to me, and I walked out of his office, crossing the Point of No Return?

So of course yesterday, I thought "ok, it's time to BUCKLE DOWN! I've gotta beat this music into submission. Either I've gotta get completely familiar with the tunes and the gist of the accompaniment, or I've gotta get all the vocal lines under my belt, so I can say "Why don't I just play their phrases for the various parts until they get the hang of how the music goes together?""

And then Mr Migraine came in for a landing.


So I did a grand total of about 3 minutes of practicing. Even when I was 11, and could fake my way through the easy book, that wouldn't have worked for me.

I woke up this morning with sweaty palms. It's do-or-die time.

But first, tutoring!

I'm tutoring a high school senior through his AP Chemistry, and it's really being a brain-burner for me, because I swear I didn't do most of this stuff in COLLEGE! But he comes to my house, and he's a wonderful young man (I remember him when he was 7... here, let me see if I have a photo...

Here he's just duct-taped Skip to the wall. I can't believe those little guys are all in high school now. Time flies!)

Anyways, tutoring went from 8 to 915, and then I had to race over to the middle school because the first rehearsal block started at 930.

It was when I got to the school that i realized that i only had a vague idea of where the chorus room was. Skip never took chorus, and Kelly's doing band instead of chorus, so I just started wandering in the general direction, thinking that i would hear the music as I got closer.




I poked my head in one door, and it looked promising, so I went in, and down a short hall, and poked into a room that was, indeed, the Chorus rehearsal room.

But the music teacher was nowhere to be seen.

It was a sub.

And a last-minute sub, too, if I guessed right by the looks of things.

Fortunately, I saw one of Kelly's best friends sitting right by the door, so I snuck in and checked. Sure enough. It was a last-minute sub.

So I quickly tip-toed out of the room, hoping not to be noticed, and raced all the way home.

Where I promptly sat down at the piano and went over the music for a good half hour.

I don't know that I'm any better at it, but at least now, I'll feel a bit more prepared.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go exercise my lungs while I sing along with the schmaltziest bits of "You'll Never Walk Alone".

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