This week provided my first opportunity to hear a music concert by students at my school. It was . . . well, it wasn't what I expected. It wasn't bad, really, given what our music teacher has to work with, but it wasn't what I was used to.
At my prior school works a man of music who teaches his students along classical lines, but has the benefit of teaching students who either take the class seriously, have additional lessons on the side, or who have been playing the instrument(s) for a number of years. His concerts are just under two hours long and include instrumental, jazz, and vocal--up to ten numbers in each section, at times. I always made a point of going to his concerts, partly because I enjoyed the students and the program, partly because I prefer the arts over athletics.
At my current school, students have only the classroom time to learn; practice time at home is probably distrcted and not all it should be; and the students have no outside, formal training. The concert the other night included the beginning band, the choir, the jazz band, and the concert orchestra. There were fewer selections (the entire evening ran about 45 minutes), the acoustics in the gym were less than adequate, and the audience was . . . (perhaps "rude" is the wrong word) unaccustomed to attending music concerts--there was talking, there was moving about, there were distractions. At one point, I felt bad for the teacher (who was very upbeat throughout the whole thing, actually), and then I felt a little bad for the students who had worked so hard but clearly didn't get the audience they deserved, and then I felt glad that our school, where the students don't have much and still work hard to satisfy, had a concert at all.
And I missed my previous school's Maestro.