“It’s Alive!” I cried out, a little maniacally.  “Did you hear that?  You’re starting to get it.  I actually recognized the song that time!”

My sixth grade band students were caught off guard.  They have been working on a simple version of the Hallelujah Chorus for the Christmas Concert (I’m glad the Backpack School System still lets me call it a “Christmas” concert) and they are just starting to figure out the notes and rhythms.

“Now for the real work,” I said.

“What?” they asked.  “You said it sounded pretty good.”

“Oh, no, we have only just brought our creation to life.  Unless we’re happy to let it stumble clumsily around BandLand, babbling incoherently, and knocking things over – not unlike some of you – we will need to make it do more than walk and talk.”

“What do you mean?”

“Rhythms and notes are the bare bones of music; now we need to dress it up with good intonation, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, and balance.  It needs to be graceful, with good manners.  So let’s get to it.”

And with that we set out to make our creation presentable in polite company.


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