St. Lucy Flute School

St. Lucy  Flute School
Class of 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feast Day of St. Joseph

Today started with attending mass for the feast day of St. Joseph with the sisters. The mass is very interesting because it is in "Tigriniya" the local language that is spoken in Adigrat. The mass is extremely hard to follow, I have no clue of how to read the language as it looks like a bunch of swirling circles and I can't figure it out. Not to include it moves pretty quickly. Sr. Mary gave me an English version to help me but I can't keep up-it moves that fast.

Next, we had breakfast and the sisters and Safia and I sat down and plotted out what we are going to do with the children. I have now set up music classes that occur daily with grades 1-6 where I will teach them American folk songs, children's songs and hymns. This will keep me pretty busy as I will be teaching most days several hours out of the day. I then teach the flute class at 1pm Monday through Friday and I am also teaching the flute to the mother superior because she wants to learn.

As well, the music teacher at the orphanage school is a flutist and he studied flute in college and received his degree in flute performance. He came to the nuns house to meet me and I had him play a little bit. But it looks like he will need some lessons as his tone needs improvement as well as his posture and his technique. But at least he knows how to play the flute and he can help me alot while I am here and continue lessons with the children when I leave. But he could still use additional help. So if any flutists still want to come it would really help.

Today was the first flute class. I have 13 eager flute students and 7 flutes to give. So I have had to do the buddy system and have the students learn in pairs. The reason why I only have 7 instead of the 9 is because one went to Sr. Letteselassie and the other is going to the music teacher. I hope soon Safia and I can get this picture problem solved and be able to post pictures of the new owners of the flutes. Anyway, I had Sr. Lette and the children bring chairs and sit in a half circle. Today we learned how to play the headjoint and begin lessons in music theory.

Because there are so many children and the language barrier it took me the entire lesson time to get just through that part of it. But the students did amazingly well. they all can produce tone in the middle and low register and they can blow easily 8 beats. In fact most of them produced a really big and beautiful tone on the headjoint. I was surprised how easily they picked it up.

After class was over the girls handed back the flutes with great care and each gave me a big hug and kiss. I cleaned up the classroom and exited out the door with Sr. Lette to meet with Safia in her first photography class. She said it was pretty intense getting the children started. First of all she did not have a translater and she had to show them what to do. But these girls are very smart and they picked up fast. but beforeSafia could get them to point and shoot the girls were crazily taking pictures of everything. Corners of walls, their eyeballs, the floor, you name it.

Safia finally shuffled them all outside and they began taking shots of trees and other various things. Some really listened to Safia and did what she told them but others were camera crazy and only wanted to play with the cameras. I was very proud of Safia and her ability to do such a great job with her first class. She told me afterwards that she was a little nervous and today was a learning experience and shared she will have better ways of constructing the class tomorrow.

But I will leave her to tell her story from her point of view as she will describe it better than I.
I will finish my day with giving a private lesson to the music teacher and doing some practicing. The sisters have adoration tonight so I have to go to the other side of the school so that I do not disturb them. they don't need to be listening to long tones and scales while trying
to pray, that just won't work. As well, our room is 2 doors down from the chapel and the building is made of brick and mud so my flute is like a super microphone blasting throughout the convent because of the accoustics.

I am missing home but this is an experience. I love working with the children. they are the most beautiful little lives. They always come and hug me and give me kisses. they yearn for mother love and don't have it so I don't mind being swarmed on a daily basis several times a day. These children are also extremely kind and very well mannered it is wonderful to be with them. Of the 21 girls, 10 lost their parents to AIDS and the others were abandoned. It is very sad, because the ones that were abandoned still see their parents from time to time and can't understand why their parents don't want them. So I love them as much as I can while I'm here.

Well, I need to sign off. God bless all my wonderful family and friends I hope all of you are doing extemely well.


1 comment:

  1. My Dear Celine: Thank you so much for the wonderful news and assurance of your safety that we have put under the umbrella of Our Lord, His most Precious Mother and always Our Dear St. Joseph. we pray every day for your continued success and safety. Your are spending a seven weeks retreat that God has given you in this cradle of Christianity; He intends you to devote all to Him from now on. "Soli Gloria Dei!" as is the motto of all organists. We pray the computer will cooperate and the blog will emerge successful. Pray for our Holy Father that is also sharing your visit to Africa.

    All our love and prayers,