Every Friday in harp class, I give a short quiz. This quiz asks questions about stuff we talked about or studied that week. Of course, I use the quizzes to gauge the progress of the students' learning, but I mostly like to give the quiz out of sheer curiosity... I wonder what in the world they will write.
A quiz question from a couple weeks ago was "Name three ways music serves us as a culture." Some of the answers were:
to help us dance
to express feelings and ideas
to entertain each other
to enrich religious services
to help us feel emotion
The other night I went to the Midland Odessa Symphony's pops concert. That's an entire blog entry in itself, but I've got to say here that they played one medley of songs called “Salute to the Services.” The conductor invited veterans to stand and be honored when their armed force's song was played. Wow. Powerful and moving.
Earlier in the afternoon I had been at an outdoor harp recital at the hospice in Odessa. Some of my students played in the garden there, and it was lovely. I know one person personally who was there that has been facing the death of a close friend. I thought about that quiz question. Why is there music? What's point of it? How does it fit in to our lives?
In this case, the music may have caused the person to feel hopeful and sad at a time when it was perfectly alright to feel sad and hopeful. In the case of the pops concert, the music had evoked in me feelings of gratitude and humility in front of about 50 men that had served my country. And now tonight as I write this, I'm listening to Sigur Ros. Perfect music for reflection and inspiration.
Here are some photos of the last month's harp happenings in Odessa. School is out for summer time. I'm going to miss seeing these peeps! I'm happy to have some time off from schlepping harps around... I've discovered this great diet called "Harp Mover 3000." Move 3000 harps in a month and shed those unwanted pounds. (I didn't get a completely accurate count, but I think it was around 3000 harps.)