We had the school Christmas program a couple of weeks ago. Mikey has been practicing for it since October because on top of playing in the 5th grade band, his teacher also asked him to play in the junior high band. Mikey is the first student to play above his grade level in the 9 years the school has had a music program. We were very proud, of course.
He did not play clarinet! In both bands he played the bass clarinet, which is about the same size as he is. Somewhere inside his tiny body he managed to find the lung capacity to play with the junior high band O come, O come, Emmanuel, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, and Joyeux NoŽl.
He practiced with the junior high band one Friday per month. I asked him if he was nervous on the first Friday he practiced with the big kids.
“My body felt like an empty shell. I walked in and wanted to put my organs in a small pile by the front door so I could pick them up later when my body was actually functioning.”
He has a flair for story telling.
The junior high kids were very nice and welcoming. It didn’t hurt to have a mom who works at the school.
The night of the performance went off without any problems. Mikey was feeling a little under the weather, but nothing was going to keep him from playing. It was a special moment for me to see him sitting there all by himself on the stage, waiting for the junior high band to enter and set up. I heard the people behind me say, “Look at that little boy! How old do you think he is? That instrument he’s holding is bigger than he is!”
That is when I wanted to stand up on my seat with a bullhorn and yell, “My son! My son! My son!”
Nico was adorable on the stage singing with his 2nd grade class. At that age they get so into it and thrust their chins up in the air while they…yodel. They look like the Peanuts Gang singing Christmas carols.
Mikey says his goal is to learn to play every woodwind. The Mister wants to learn guitar. Nico says he wants to learn to play the clarinet, but I’m not sure if that’s a good fit for him. Honestly? I’d love to play the banjo! (I won’t.) Buttercup doesn’t care what we play so long as its music. Mikey taught himself to play O come, O come, Emmanuel on the piano and the other day I heard Buttercup whistling it to himself.