Dear Family and Friends,
I have two new adult flute students: Gebremedhin and Gebrejohannes. Gebremedhin is another natural on the flute. When I showed him how to play he just picked up the flute and began to play. He is very similar to Medhanie, he learns quickly and shows a lot of musical talent. I was impressed. Gebrejohannes also did extremely well. Both are very anxious to learn the flute. I didn’t realize it last year, both wanted to learn from me but were too shy to ask. These two are so sweet. They are from Sassi and I understand that the people from Sassi are very shy.
I also gave teacher Froweine Yacob her flute lesson and Medhanie’s lesson too. Medhanie is doing fantastic. He really is playing well. He has a beautiful sound and the notes spin out of his flute. I was very impressed with his skill. He said he practiced very hard for me this summer and boy does it show. I also began the flute classes for 7B and some of the adult students. It was great; everyone has worked so hard for me. All of them are playing well.
Yesterday I forgot to mention something very important. I came to Adigrat, Ethiopia to work with the CHH (child-headed households). This is where both parents have died from aids and the eldest sibling becomes the head of the household who is under the age of 18. Some of you have heard all about this. But some of you may not have. These households commonly have 6-8 children in them and the eldest has a lot of responsibility to take care of them. Sr. Mary has been working on a project with the archdiocese and these CHHs. She asked if I would come and give flute lessons to some of these CHHs and I agreed. I now have 19 new flute students that live in the hillsides of Adigrat that I will also begin flute lessons. This is one thing I wanted to do from the beginning. Here at St. Lucy’s I’m working with children who come and live with the sisters and who live in town, but now I will be with children that live completely on their own. This should be very interesting. I plan to interview these families and take lots of pictures so I can document how music can make such a difference in ones life. This difference is already demonstrated here at St. Lucy’s with the orphans that I teach at the school.
I’m still trying to figure out how to fit in more flute classes. I have several 6th grade students who want to learn as well as I will need to give private lessons to several flute students who are in the 7th A and B classes. They are showing a lot of promise and really need the private instruction. The class time is moving too slowly for them.
I start flute classes with the house girls tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear them too. Seyoum says they are playing very well. As well I will give Seyoum his lesson. He said he has been so busy with teaching the flute classes that he hasn’t had much time to practice. This will change.
Today began the general music classes and English lessons too. I was going over the 6th grade curriculum for their English studies and I believe it is the same curriculum Dr. Doris Hall of Alabama A&M University (AAMU) told me about when I met her at the NFA. She told me that she has a friend who has developed this program and she herself wants to develop a music curriculum for Ethiopia too. Doris, if you are reading this, the front flap reads: Prepared by: Alabama A&M University (AAMU), School of Education, Huntsville, AL. USA. Program director Mary W. Spor, Ph.D, program coordinator Shirley T. King Ph.D. Is that the same person that you mentioned to me? I found this to be quite a coincidence. Also, if you can develop a music curriculum, it is strongly needed here in Adigrat.
The general music and English classes went well. I taught 2A, 1B, and Kindergarten today. The kindergarten class was too cute. They learned the “Hello” song and “Peek A Boo”. They all thought it was lots of fun to climb underneath their desks and pop up with a peek a boo. I loved it. I will get pictures of that too.
I’m off to get this on the internet. I pray the stupid power stays on so I can and that the internet has enough strength for me to send these blog entries off.
I love everyone. I hope all of you are doing well. Please write.
Love and God Bless You,