Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Their Halloween Costumes (or Lack Thereof)

One of my high schools allowed their students to come to school in (approved) costumes if they made a small donation (to charity? Scholarship fund? I'm not sure). One girl I was teaching showed up in a black shirt, flowing black skirt and a fancy white scarf, giving off sort of an "island" vibe; I wasn't sure if it was a costume or not.

ME: So what are you dressed as today?
KID: Basic White Girl.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Their Earliest Musical Days

Today, I reminded a middle-schooler that, while he was still playing out of an "elementary" method book, that didn't mean it was only intended for elementary-schoolers...

KID: We played those little recorders in elementary school...and they were cheap! They didn't even record anything!
ME: So you didn't get to record anything on it, huh?
KID: I made a little song that goes like (*hums a few notes*).
ME: Nice.
KID: But it became a big hit in Australia. The kangaroos loved it!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things When They Randomly Pass By You in the Band Hall

This morning, one walked by with the following lament: "He broke my spirit of hatred!"

That was on the heels of someone last week who came in chanting, "I'm a cow, and I don't know how."

Friday, October 25, 2013

KIds Say the Darnedest Things About Their Schools

Listening to a particularly noisy lesson coming from the practice room next door, my student asked why the rooms didn't have better soundproofing...

ME: When they build a school, they take bids to see who can pretty much build the school as inexpensively as possible without the building falling down.
KID: *laughs*
ME: Which means they forgot a few things, like putting a water fountain in the Fine Arts wing.
KID: The Fine Arts wing? Where's that?
ME: We're in it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Theoretical Situatiions

This time, a beginner played a C instead of an A, and I was trying to help him remember the correct note for next time.

ME: How do you know it's supposed to be an A? (The answer I was looking for was "because the stem points upward.")
KID: Because it's in the A space.
ME: True, but I want you to remember it in other ways than that. After all, that little house in your backyard might be called a doghouse, but suppose I put a weasel in there?
KID: It would jump out.
ME: Why?
KID: Because there might be a dog in there.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

KIds Say the Darnedest Things About Their Mistakes, and the "Mistakes" of Others

Today, one was nailing the really hard counting in the half-time etude and then proceeded to mess up a half note. I reminded him that doing such a thing was like writing a really brilliant essay and misspelling the word "cat."

KID: But there is the candy bar...
ME: I know; that's the usual excuse--the Kit Kat bar.
KID: I almost punched someone the other day for eating a Kit Kat bar wrong.
ME: Wrong?
KID: Yeah, you know--how it's supposed to be broken into four parts?
ME: Right, and so...
KID: He ate it sideways!
ME: And that bothered you?
KID: Yes, it did!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Totally Random Stuff

Not sure how this came up, but the kid in question is kind of a chatterbox...

KID: My brother has a duck call! It's from the Duck Dynasty people. He uses it all the time. I wish I could use it!
ME: But then you'd have ducks in the house. Better have some crackers...
KID: Bread and crackers for the ducks; we have both of those at our house...Do you know if ducks like Wheat Thins?
ME: Ha--no clue.
KID: And if not, all the better, because I love Wheat Thins!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Patriotic Songs

One way I teach the importance of rhythm in music is by playing a familiar song with no rhythmic change at all, such as The Star-Spangled Banner all in quarter notes. I did that for a student this morning and awaited her reaction...

ME: So did you recognize that?
KID: Yes, but I forgot the name!''s that song where you go up to the flag!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Household Products

I was teaching a kid who forgot his ligature two weeks in a row, and both times, I had a spare one to loan him. But I pointed out that a while back, my own ligature broke, and the one with my jazz mouthpiece didn't fit my classical mouthpiece. Faced with a full day of teaching at the house and no time to run an errand, I improvised by making a temporary ligature out of duct tape...

KID: So you were in a sticky predicament.
ME: I see what you did there.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Kids WEAR the Darnedest Things

I just saw a middle schooler wearing a T-shirt with "FML" in big letters...and below that, in much smaller letters, was the explanation: Flute Marching Line.

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About Classic Literature

While working with a student on the jazz ballad for tonight's region tryouts, I tried to put the traditional idea in his head of the ballad being the love song...

ME: So just think of how you'd romance your true love when playing this--standing with your horn below the balcony, sort of like in Romeo and Juliet.
KID: You wanna know my favorite part of Romeo and Juliet? The part where they drink the poison!
ME: You're a true romantic, I see...

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About the Calendar

Here's a bonus KSTDT that I forgot to post last week:  As this one was initialing the attendance log, I was also hoping he'd brought his first-of-the-month payment...

ME: So did you bring me something today?
KID: *looks confused*
ME: Your payment?
KID: It's October already?
ME: For three days now! You haven't been writing "September 33rd" on your papers today, have you?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Kids Say the Darnedest Things About History

I can't remember how the subject of Albert Einstein came up, but I pointed out that really smart people weren't necessarily amazing at all aspects of life...

ME: According to legend, Einstein couldn't even tie his own shoelaces.
KID: I didn't know they even had shoelaces back then!
ME: Einstein just lived this past century; it's not like he was wearing those big Roman sandals or anything...
KID (does old man voice): Back in my day, we didn't even have shoelaces!