It’s been about four years since my oldest granddaughter has been involved in the annual singing recital at her grade school. During these four years I have been required to endure listening to first year instrument students in the 5th grade band/orchestra recital which is held immediately after the singing recital. You can’t just get up and walk out after your kin’s part is over...can you? I never thought that it could be possible that so many bad notes could be played simultaneously on flutes, violins, violas, trumpets, tubas, bassoons and oboes all under the admiring eyes of a 5th grade music teacher wielding a mighty baton.
Please don’t misunderstand. I think it is wonderful that kids this age are introduced to the fine arts and their exposure to that world is beneficial to all. Beethoven, Bach and Brahms are resting peacefully knowing that 5th graders all over the USA are attempting to play compositions that were written by these masters hundreds of years ago. I am quite positive that as young adults they will fondly remember these days while delivering pizzas during time off from their orchestral concert dates.
But wait....! Something amazing has happened this year...2008. Mark it down! My grandkid has reached the 5th grade this year and sits in the flautist section. A major change has ocurred. It is absolutely astounding to me that the 5th grade band/orchestra could actually improve so greatly in only a year's time. How was that possible? Could Obama have had anything to do with it?