A Funny (in Music Class)September 25, 2012
Readers Digest material
This email came through last week – the names and district have been omitted to protect the innocent. However, I do have permission from the music teacher to share it….
Today in my high school band I completed the annual fall seating auditions. One of the last students to audition was also one of my best; now a senior, he made Allstate the last two years and also has been for two years a member of the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Although a wonderful kid and a great student, he is also VERY tightly wound — for example, always the last kid to leave the rehearsal because he MUST not only polish his flute very carefully after each playing, but also MUST fold the polishing AND swabbing cloths PRECISELY before returning them to the EXACT location in his case. In other words, VERY concerned about ALWAYS making the very best impression…..
So, he comes in to the audition, blasts through the scales and chromatic scale, and then flawlessly plays a ridiculously hard twentieth-century flute solo piece which his private teacher had assigned him. At this point in the audition, I give him the sight-reading piece, which is a medley of tunes from Disney movies. I ask him to start at measure 85; he looks at it for a moment, finds the measure, and then, obviously very rattled, his eyes get really big and he stammers, “Mr. Smith, I can’t play this piece!!!”.
I am dumbfounded at this, because I know the piece is child’s play for him and he will doubtless rattle it off perfectly. So I asked him, “What’s the matter? Why can’t you play it?” And he says, “Because I’ve never seen this tempo marking before! What’s ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’?” !!!!!