The last few weeks have been slightly more stressful than I'd have liked. Nothing I can't handle, but yes, perhaps a bit patience-trying. I reached a point where I started very much looking forward to a trip I'm taking tomorrow to Fresno...not exactly California's most golden destination.
This week is hectic. I'm planning a Junior High Choir Night event for next week, we had Monday off, and I had two days of teaching before packing off to Fresno for the annual CMEA conference. (California Music Educator's Association...card-carrying, dues-paying member, right here.)
After last week, when it felt like I was nearly always short with my kids, and they right back at me (some, not all, anyway), I got to school on Tuesday expecting madness but hoping for fun.
And...I got the fun.
One of our songs for Junior High Night is a very fast-paced piece with a lot of crazy meter changes. I found a piano accompaniment on YouTube and we listened to it, following along in our scores. Then we tried singing along with it. It's a bit crazy-making, and it left us all laughing in shock at how difficult it was to sing it that fast.
I cautioned my singers to think about making their notes and their consonants ever-so-slightly shorter and crisper, so we could avoid getting behind the tempo. I mentioned a couple of rhythms we'd held too long, and said, "When we do it again, let's watch out for that."
A soprano raised her hand and said, "There was also a place where we held a note too long...let me see if I can find it." She paused, rifling through her music. "Oh, where'd it go...?"
An alto chimed in: "It ran away with the rest of the song."
Suddenly, we were all laughing helplessly, and I was reminded just how much I really love these kids.