Thank You Tchaikovsky!

One of the schools I teach music at has students that are very difficult and my style is a little cramped because of some rules that I respectively follow. It does make things challenging, which sometimes I welcome, and sometimes I get very frustrated.
Upon speaking with the director about some behavioral difficulties amongst some of the students, I told her I needed a little latitude with the music curriculum. With the school being an Orthodox school, the preference is Jewish music which of course is my specialty, but I would like to bring in classical music, instrumental only, and I got the blessing.
I brought in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. I gave the student’s background on this composer as a child. This is a Special Needs School and Tschaikovsky as many other brilliant people had to and have to overcome obstacles to work at their gifts and talents. I want to show these children that they can overcome their obstacles and use their gifts. There are so many talented students in this school. I believe that the job of us teachers is to show these students everyday that they can do everything they set their minds to do, but maybe in a different way. The words “I can’t, “disabilities;” and “no;” are some of the words not allowed in my class. Anyway, after the background on Tchaikovsky, I played the 1812 Overture. I played the whole thing. The kids loved it, especially, the ending. This led to so much discussion! From hearing a lot of the melody in movies, Tom and Jerry cartoons, expression of emotions, etc. I was floored! I really didn’t think they would go for it, but I am glad I went with my gut feeling. I think I will take in some old Tom and Jerry next week and some movie scenes. Then we will take a break, get back to some singing; then try a drumming circle to help with sensory issues, following instructions, and have some fun! I am thinking to do some classical every couple of weeks for a while. Oh! One of the students came up to me and thanked me for bring in the 1812, and another wrote down the title so he can play it at home.
Today our grandsons came over. We watched a movie, then I read them one of my favorite books, “Why the Moon Only Glows.” What discussions came out of that! The kids are 6 and 4. We spoke about the theme of the book, then continued on with speaking of course about G-d. This surprisingly led to death, birth, how death leads to birth, creation, and more. They both believe in God, and our 6 year old grandson is one of the most spiritual 6 year olds I have met in my career. He told me he believes that when a person passes away, the person who dies go into another to create life. He also said that when people pass away, they become G-d’s helpers. Our 4 year old grandson asked if there really is a G-d and I told him how I see G-d. He got teary eyed for a second and said that G-d has a lot of helpers. What a beautiful time spent with the grandkids.
More experiences to come! Shabbat Shalom.

About cantorrisa

I am a Cantor, Judaic Studies, and music teacher. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and help people from young to old love being Jewish. I teach and sing in several synagogues and schools in the area. I officiate all life cycle events and teach students, children and adults, privately for their b'nai mitzvah ceremonies. I also enjoy studying Bible with all faiths either individually or in small groups (chevruta). I conduct Shabbat and High Holiday Services at K'hilat Bayt Shira and Senior Communities in the area. In my spare time, I teach key board and guitar. I am married to a wonderful man, have two children and six grandchildren. My hobbies are writing, playing and listening to music, learning, reading, crocheting and knitting.
This entry was posted in All In A Day, Music, Teaching, Teaching music. Bookmark the permalink.

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