The end of the school year always means one thing: the end of the year concert (dah dah dah duhhhhh- in case you need it spelled out for you- that was the ominous music being cued).
Except, this year, it wasn’t so bad. And I say this was a cocktail of shock and bewilderment, as they have the potential of being the most surreal spectacles ever, where you end up applauding your child for an incomprehensible piece of theatre involving them sleeping and getting up. Or, as in the case of last year, the weirdest rendition of “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd, sung by all the children of the school.
This year, we had to attend 3 concerts. The first was my eldest’s ballet recital. Now usually, I am a little more impressed by the concerts from this school. They work hard at them and usually there is a lot of meat. This year, was a little thinner (no anorexic ballerina pun intended- really), content wise, but admirably short, which is the quality I admire most in an end of the year concert. And there was this little girl who was like a tiny Charlie Chaplin. That was worth the money all in itself.
The second was the school’s end of the year concert. Oddly scheduled at 10 am and 4 pm, this one was the best school concert I had ever seen. The gym teacher, the art teacher and the music teacher got together and put on a simple yet coherent and widely entertaining show. Again, it was admirably brief, and there was something happening at all times, with children singing on the sidelines while older kids juggled or breakdanced on stage. There was even a point where the 5th grade class surrounded the audience and drummed on big recycling bins while other classes did various acrobatics. It was well thought out, well executed and a pleasure to watch- 2 thumbs up gym, music and art teachers!!!!
The third was the end of the year piano concert. Now, my daughters only began seriously practising a month before this event, so this one made me the most nervous as I wasn’t sure they would be ready for it. It was held in a little chapel in the big church right around the corner from their school. Their flamboyant teacher had taken a photo session of them the week before and had made up a wonderful concert roster of all the kids. Each child played on a grand piano where the priest would normally be preaching his sermon, by the altar. It was beautiful, and once again, short. The kids (I think around 10 of them) each played one or two pieces and were quickly ushered off stage for the next. My daughters got through their songs with grace and it was a pleasure to hear the other children.
So in all, concert season was a success. Just in case you ever have to be in charge of one of these spectacles however, here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind (in my humble opinion):
1. Keep it short!
2. Keep it coherent!
3. Don’t let the kids do anything they want or #2 will go out the window- some guidance required.
4. Make sure the kids practise. Your ears will thank you.
That is all with the advice.