Day 18 March 31, 2009
Tomorrow will mark the beginning of April and only a month left to teach the children and teachers flute and basic photography we are all curious as to how it will all turn out. For Celine the Flute classes for the adults are going extremely well. All the teachers are eager to learn and several of them have natural musical talent. Among on of them is Mahdhani who is now ready to start private lessons and will be inheriting Sarah bassingthwait’s open hole flute. As far as the orphan girls, only half are excelling and half are behind. Celine is now splitting the classes between the two so the ones who are making progress aren’t having to wait on the children who need a little more help all girls however are equally excited to be doing something so new. They love playing and taking pictures and are always so excited to see Celine and I walk down to their living quarters with our equipment we hope they pursue what we have taught them when we are gone.
One man who has exceeded Celine’s expectations and has put forth so much effort to see this school through is Seyoum Micheal flutist and music director of St. Lucy flute school. Seyoum is the main teacher assistant for flute for Celine, he helps translate and work one on one with the students and teachers that Celine cant get to right away. He himself is learning quickly and excelling in his flute lessons with Celine. Both of us are very impressed at how genuinely passionate he is, He will be taking over the flute lessons when Celine leaves. He will be a tremendous asset to any future flutists coming to teach here. His goal in the long run is to go to an American college for music he is very determined to get there one day and we are rooting for him, someone so genuinely nice and talented should be able to get the chance to really flourish with their passions and unfortunately there are no music schools here that would allow him to progress as much musically. Celine is going to help him get to where he needs to be as much as she possibly can.
On top of everything else Celine now has a full schedule revolving around all 45 aspiring flute students between those times we are teaching the rest of the children grade 1st-6th American children songs to help develop their English skills, songs like: Twinkle, twinkle little star, Head and shoulders, Old McDonald and Skip to my Lou. The songs are a hit and the students are responding well. The teachers are really enjoying the lessons as well often times Celine will make them join in on the singing and dancing and she will use them as marionettes to show the kids head and shoulders which results in the children laughing uncontrollably. Several people have approached my aunt and me and asked us to teach them how to sing like we do, so now we are starting voice lessons with kids and adults once a week.
I have hopes of showing the children and adults more American music such as Blues, musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters and Etta James. I want to teach them some music history, blues being my top choice because it has shaped so much of American history and music but its roots are all stem from Africa. We shall see how that turns out and if I will be allowed to pursue it. Since it is a Catholic school there are certain rules about the music that must be followed so that rules out songs like “Lets go get stoned” and “I Just Wanna Make Love to You” (damn.) I have a feeling though when I introduce these songs to the kids they will like them. I even want to teach the children how to sing “Hit the Road Jack” and “Georgia” if I can.
Things are progressing and can only get more interesting from here.