As a parent, it is always a "kvell moment" when your child is performing, and there are not enough opportunities for performance in many types of school work. (Kvell--a Yiddish word that roughly translates to "swell up with pride.")
While I was sitting there in the audience, I was thinking about a couple of conversations I had with my sister and sister-in-law over the past few months. They both have middle-school-age kids, and they all go to "very good public schools" (in other words, comparable to Ann Arbor). But do their kids play instruments? Not anymore. "She tried it for a week..." "After two weeks she decided she didn't like it..." "She wanted to play the flute but she could barely get a sound out of it."
Two things stand out here. First, in the Ann Arbor schools, nobody tries instrumental music for a week. Everybody has to try it for at least a year! Second, students spend a few weeks at the beginning of fifth grade trying out different instruments, and if it's hard for a student to get a sound out of a flute, the teacher will probably not assign flute to that student.
So those conversations--and tonight's concert--really made me appreciate the Ann Arbor Public Schools music scene...especially in the elementary and middle schools, before it gets super competitive. The start that AAPS gives kids in music is awesome!
Or perhaps I should say that the AAPS music program...
It rocks and
It's classy and
It boogies andit bounces!
Thanks, music teachers!