Last weekend at the MMEA convention, I had the pleasure of working with 90 fifth graders from across the state. They came together to sing as a demonstration chorus for the convention. They were from diverse backgrounds, financially, socially, and racially. They started the day with their classmates in rows but were quickly shuffled. They rehearsed and rehearsed, tackling some really difficult music. They worked really hard.
The most amazing moment day came not during rehearsal but from our lunch break. A group of students started playing a game with their teacher. It was a catchy singing game and their group quickly grew from five or so to half of our chorus. By the time our second break was finishing up, the circle contained all of our kids. No ipods, no magazines, no fooling around. Just the simple, pure joy of kids playing a music game. It made me believe the power of music that becomes cliche so much of the time. It also reminded me that you don’t need anything but yourself and perhaps a friend or two to have fun.