Day 70 (of 183) on concerts
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …… right?
Concerts enable the highest of highs (such as when a student who struggles in class manages to have a solo in choir). It can also bring out the highest of stresses (when – not if – a prop suddenly breaks at the last minute or someone gets sick).
I’m fortunate to have been in schools with some of the most elaborate (just reminisced with a former student about Mrs W’s recreation of Mt Crumpit for a grinch-like toboggan ride to the village below) to some bare bones lip-synching. But you know what – both do stick out in my head, and therefore probably in the minds of the students and the parents who were involved.
Sometimes it’s not about the decorations.
It’s not about the memorization.
It’s not about the elaborations or costumes or bling.
Sometimes it’s about a little bit more….!
Don’t get me wrong – I love concerts. I love seeing students on stage. I love it when students “step up” and love it more when students push or go outside of their comfort zone. But I don’t love it when things become ‘overplanned’ or too stressful.
I’ve seen shows that looked like complete disasters minutes before parents and guests arrive do a 180 and become awesome. But the worry (and lack of sleep this can cause) is sometimes ‘bubbly’ – which is why I try to take the same approach I do with anxiety: when others (ie school community as a whole) is “high” (bouncy) I try to be “low” (calm). It’s not always easy (sometimes my inside voice is not the same as my outside voice and demeanour) but it’s always worth it!
Our recent shift has been to move to morning sessions (morning mingle for ‘meet the teacher’ and morning christmas concerts) where we can. Because while I like the neatness of being in a school ‘after hours’ – it’s not about me -my school community is on a stretch of the highway where in years past there’s always been (at least) a fender bender. It’s also on a stretch of the highway where we come into conflict with our partner-school (K-8 but takes our middle school 6-8 students) that has many of our siblings – too often we schedule events for the same day and put families into “which one” to attend. By moving to mornings (and going to work late as opposed to trying to leave early) we are reducing the stress of conflicts of some of our parents. Our PAC has been very supportive and we have received full houses – maybe the good morning coffee is good incentive? Great that so many families have been supportive of what we are doing and why we are doing it.
But not all. There are some that would still like evening performances. And I can find reasons to agree with them – that’s the problem with ‘right vs right arguments’ – they’re both right whether you like them or not.
Final Thought – the best concerts (to me) are the ones that have special connections. This years ‘special moment’ was two-fold; we have a first-year music teacher who “owned it”; we also have a teacher who inspired the theme of our concert “Christmas Around The World” with the whole-school finale being “Six White Boomers” as she is taking her family to the land down under on an exchange program. I think this concert was my favourite (at least until the next one)!