Are we on a Roller Coaster?

What is happening?  How do we make sense of it all?

Schools out!  Like a rock song one minute, then an eerie realization.  For two weeks, no longer, no requirements, yes requirements, suggested work, "what are you doing in your district?"  Why is it different just a few blocks away?  Cancelled concerts and trips.  Will there be prom?  Will there be graduation for the class of 2020, whose birthday was in the shadow of 9/11?  What about Kindergarten registration for the littles?  Everyone else in between?  The events and milestones, all hang in the balance.

Home-bound:  arguments, tears, laughter, fighting, I forgot we had this!  Why do we still have this?  I'm hungry!  Mom, MOM, MOM!  Keep a schedule, don't keep a schedule.  So much sitting.  Too much screen time was so bad, but now it is connecting us to school and work, friends and relatives.  Delivery exploded in the last few years; a luxury yesterday, now a necessity!

Why is this so hard?  It is the first time.  The first time everyone around us has had such upheaval.  The first time for everyone to be under the same roof with no end in sight.  The first time the adults don't know to expect.  The first time the children have had to learn in new ways.  The first time the adults are also learning so many new things at once!

Think back to when you or your student first touched the instrument they now study.  It was new.  It took a lot of effort to do the new things correctly.  It didn't sound good a lot of the time.  It didn't feel good a lot of the time.  That is what first times are like!  Just like the journey of music study, everyday will be a little less new.  Everyday will take a little less effort.  It will start to sound better.  It will start to feel better.

The teachers are learning a lot of new things, too.  A lot of good is happening!  The little, happy eyes on the computer screen!  Watching each other play one at a time.  A new perspective, different from in person; not better, not worse, just new.  The sound is not like in person, often so terrible or lagging!  The true tone can be seen in the expression of the player, felt in the listener's heart, shared with words and looks between all of the little boxes showing people on the screen.  Share a clap hands emoji for a job well done!  Love each other more.

Continue to make music a part of your/your student's life.  The students are already musicians.  The familiar sound; the familiar feeling... comfort, ability; "I am in control."  "I love sharing music with family, neighbors, and friends."  This kind of expression is available to musicians forever.  They will call upon it in this time of trouble and in future times of great joy!

And, just like a roller coaster, this ride will come to a full and complete stop.  Our hair may be messed up, we may have lost some coins from our pockets, and we may feel exhausted and exhilarated.

Jennifer Madge, 4/1/20