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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A little musical excursion.

I've been making a list of all the things they don't teach you in school. They don't teach you how to love somebody. They don't teach you how to be famous. They don't teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don't teach you how to walk away from someone you don't love any longer. They don't teach you how to know what is going on in someone else's mind. They don't teach you what to say to someone who's dying. They don't teach you anything worth knowing. Neil Gaiman.

Here is where we were today. Wynnum is one of the older suburbs: quarter acre blocks; old high~set houses; tree~lined streets; old gardens. I like Wynnum. It has character, rather like the school.

Founded in 1901 the school sits on 50 acreas. In other words it's huge! It has its own road winding through it & what amounts to a small township on the grounds. Most of our schools don't come close to being this big ~ which meant we not only got lost getting there we got lost on the grounds themselves!

We've just done Creative Generation ~ state school oriented; the comparison was obvious & glaring. I was on my very best behaviour. So was Moreton Bay. The girls were very well drilled but it must have made it so much easier for Alison to work with them because they remained quiet for the duration of the rehearsal & the rehearsal, as most rehearsals do, contained long periods of boredom. What's more both bands were the beginners bands. I don't think there's anything quite so excruciating as beginner violins ~ en mass! Truly awful. Awful of me because they were all really young & learners but I thought Ditz was going to have a corony about the bowing, which was all over the place, let alone the wind band which was having serious problems with their counting. If both Ditz & I noticed it, it was major. It was such a relief to listen to VM. Not that the MBC choir wasn't good. It was excellent but the girls voices had the thin reedy sound so many young choirs have & lacked the beautiful harmonic mastery VM has, the fuller, rounded sound, the subtlety. I am so spoilt. *sigh*

MBC was extremely hospitable. The modern music centre was a wonder to behold & very comfortable though I thought the acoustics could do with improvement.

Brisbane Girls Grammar[1875] & St Margaret's [1895] are both older but right in Brisbane proper so I'm pretty sure this is the oldest girls school round here. Most of the elitist schools are single sex schools holding to the belief girls & boys do better academically if they are separated. I tend to agree & have no problems with segregation per se. However all the schools provide a pretty standard education ~ for a price. They sprook about individuality & different learning styles but the truth is they can't possibly cater to that in an institutionalised setting though I must admit today was the closest I've ever seen to *helicopter teaching*. You know, like helicopter parenting & with one music teacher to every 7 or so students they were doing plenty of hovering. My jaw nearly dropped watching 4 other music teachers conduct with Alison, push, poke & prode students & otherwise meddle to the point if I'd been a student they'd have worn the violin or trumpet as a neck~tie. I thought they were making it very difficult for their girls but of course the school was on show & they did want to impress. They didn't impress me musically but I was certainly more than impressed with the girls manners & self~discipline, which really were excellent.
I was also made very aware of how blessed Ditz has been with her music teachers & training because I know next to nothing & God has made sure every opportunity to come Ditz's way has been of the highest calibre. So weird because when we started we couldn't possibly have known how musical Ditz was. We had other tags for her: drama queen extraordinaire; theatrical muse; ADD; Wild Child...Ditz! Yeah, there's a reason for that nickname.


seekingmyLord said...

You paint such a wonderful pictures with words. A performance is usually so well staged, but the rehearsals are much more revealing about the people.

Ganeida said...

I agree. Seeing someyhing come from nothing, watching how people cope in the pressure cooker ~ very interesting indeed!

Mrs. C said...

Helicopter teaching! LOL, I would love some of that, but I don't wanna have to pay for it because I'm too cheap. :]

Molytail said...

Oh ha, the "college" isn't what I expected at all! Here, a "college" is a name only used for 'higher education' places.. ie, college & university, after high school, y'know? But we differ from the US too, where you, as I understand it, can almost use College and University interchangeably .. colleges don't give degrees here, only universities do that.. I believe in the US they can.. here, you'd find programs like: auto mechanics, cosmetology, book-keeping, business management, carpentry, early childhood education, etc at a college.. diploma programs.. not PHD and MA and BA and all those alphabet soup things. ;-)

(and definitely not the name for a girls k-12 school!)

I was very nearly sent to one of those fancy private schools as a kid - good thing I wasn't, I'd have never made it. Pah, I was too out-of-step even for the public schools LOL

Ganeida said...

I read my way through one of these schools so I've seen them from the inside. Look good but the fruit is tainted. More money, more expensive sins is my take. I'm just not convinced all that money buys you a better education because I believe all true learning is self motivated & not geared towards exams & such. Even a monkey can splash paint about if you provide the materials but he won't ever be a Rembrant or a da Vinci.

MrsC: lol I'd pay for it if I was a millionaire with squillions to waste but I'm not & I'd have trouble justifying this sort of money on an education that will be forgotten as soon as they leave school.

Jan Lyn said...

Your descriptions are so vivid, Ganeida, that I feel that I'm there watching and listening as I read! I belly laughed over your comment of the young violin players. My husband and I always secretly say that whenever we have occasion to hear the young schreechers. It's a wonderful instrument once learned.

Ganeida said...

Ditz learns violin so I know this up close & personal. Actually I was lucky. We didn't realise she needed to roisin her bow at first so she practised with no sound! lol. By the time we discovered roisin it was bearable but violin dinted her confidence quite badly & though she refused to give it up she has struggled until just recently. However it has meant we are an extremely critical audience who know far more than we should about this sweetest of instruments. Ditz is starting to sound quite good ~ thank heaven! :D