June 26, 2011
First flute class
On Monday morning, I was allowed to give the flute students their class in one of the classrooms. This day was also the day the teachers gave the books out to the upcoming class for the next school year. Seyoum was busy so he couldn’t attend the class. I shared the letters from Megan’s flute studio and how her flute students would like my flute students to write to them. They all loved that idea. I handed out the Winning Rhythms Book; Learn to Play the Flute, book 1 and 2, the metronome/tuners, and the new flutes. Not all the students received a new flute, but some received new flutes last year so that was ok.
The students warmed up on some major scales. Seyoum had told me they knew all 24 major and minor scales. I asked them to play a D-flat Major scale. Wrong, they didn’t know it. I asked them to play an e-minor scale. Wrong again, they didn’t know that too. They only know about 5 major scales: C-Major, F-Major, B-flat Major, G-Major, and D-Major. What Seyoum told me, I’m not sure? But it was obvious I needed to help my students learn more of the scales. We worked with the tuners to tune up the flutes and played some scales again, now playing in tune. Next the students performed for me an Ethiopian song, Seyoum had composed for the flute students. It was quite beautiful but stiff in the sound. I then told them I will play this song and I think it is to sound like this. I played. From my experience being in Ethiopia, the way the song was written I knew it needed some note bending and stresses on certain phrasing. After I played the students cheered and said I played it perfectly right. I asked them if they knew the words to the song. They did, I asked them to sing it. They did, it was beautiful. Then I asked them to play the song on their flutes the same way they sang it. This time they played and how beautiful it was to listen to them interpret their music through the western flute. I just loved it.