August 18, 2007

"You share music with them... you share your heart."

I told the dad of one of the preschoolers that I was surprised by the love shown to me by the children. He was not surprised, "You share music with them... you share your heart."

Once a week I pack up - my guitar, kazoo and holder, capo, picks, an electronic stuffed California Quail, and music I have been collecting for 37 years - and join with 40 preschoolers for an hour of singing. We sing silly songs and songs that make you cry. We sing protest songs and aerobic songs that make an old man like me breakout in a sweat. Sometimes we don't sing and just listen. Sometimes we find our neighbor's hat more interesting than the music and sometimes we find our own antics more fun than the music - until the teachers redirect us back to the music.

I have been singing with the children at Rockridge Little School since March but for a couple of weeks in July I had to take a break because of my Big Brother's death. I had received many condolences about my brother's passing but none more touching than the unexpected one I received on my return to Little School.

"Karl, Karl, Karl..." "Yes, what?" "Karl, I heard something really bad happened to your brother. I am sorry. Are you OK?" "Yes and thank you for asking" (take a deep breath and do your job). adding a couple of other voices to the conversation "I love you Karl" "I love you too..." I say Thank you again and count my blessings.

I was caught off guard by the community we have been building. We are making connections. We matter to each other in some small way. The words we are sharing are remembered. We are getting inside each others heads and hearts.

I love singing music in a group. I think singing old songs is a way of paying respect and joining with those who have gone before us. I believe that music speaks in a very special way to the head and the heart. I love singing with the kids at Rockridge Little School. I love the kids at RLS and I am so blessed that they love me.

Reporting from my small (little kid like) place in the world

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