Saturday, November 05, 2005

Speak Softly and Carry a Small Saxophone

What started out yesterday as a medical condition ended up turning into an interesting sociological experiment. The condition: Having been wracked by allergies the past few days, I ended up nearly losing my voice by the end of my last combo class on Thursday night. The dilemma: I was asked to go down and assist one of my fraternity chapters with a ceremony last night, which required me to make a speech. This is, of course, very hard to do without a voice. The remedy (with its own dilemma): Rest my voice as much as possible yesterday, which is hard to do during a day of one-on-one music lessons. The solution: What I did was pretty close to the "grunting and hand gestures" that Dingus jokingly suggested on Thursday night; I actually made it through the whole teaching day speaking as little, and as softly, as possible.

My Friday consists only of middle-school students save for one (whom I didn't catch until after school anyway due to trimester exams). Middle-schoolers are often known for their "exuberance" (i.e. most of them are really, really hyper), so it was interesting how they responded to sparse and quiet verbal instructions. I was especially amused by the couple of sixth-graders who replied to near-whispered instructions by whispering themselves. It was also funny to see the looks on their faces when they first heard me speaking so softly; while I may not be as animated as most of them are, I am by nature a fairly loud and talkative person, so hearing "quiet me" must have had them feeling like they were in Bizarro World.

Since yesterday consisted of run-throughs and mock auditions for the older kids, who have their all-city tryouts on Monday, it was a fortunate coincidence that I really didn't have to do too much explaining of things, though I certainly didn't hold back just to "save my voice" if someone needed a lot of verbal instructions. Overall, everyone was less hyper during these subdued lessons, though that could have been attributed to their nerves at being put into an (admittedly simulated) audition situation. So will I be that quiet in the future on general principle, just to make the students calmer? Nahh--that's not me. But it is a good tactic to use work if someone is just bouncing off the walls.

Oh, and if you're wondering, my voice made it just fine through my presentation, even if it lacked its usual resonance. Now I just need to rest it some more for my MC-ing duties at tonight's gig and a history presentation tomorrow for another one of my chapters. Great timing, one might say, but allergy season is something which is a given for me at this time of the year.

With a little help from my friends: Don't forget that the "Kev and Friends" gig is tonight at the Broadway Bistro from 7:30 until 10:30. If you're in the area, please drop by.

Could I be this fortune-ate? At Panda for lunch today, I got a fortune cookie with two fortunes inside: FAME AND FORTUNE LIE AHEAD and YOUR HARD WORK IS ABOUT TO PAY OFF. They go surprisingly well together, and it would be nice if they actually came true.


Eric Grubbs said...

I love how vague the fortune cookie messages at Panda are.

Kev said...

Heh, yeah, but if they went too far the opposite way (say, if they said something like YOU WILL WIN THE PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE ON FEBRUARY 16, 2006), someone could easily sue them. ;-)