Music Magic and “The Rhythm in My Head”

I watched my son’s middle school music concert with tears streaming down my face. I know what you’re thinking. Really? But it’s a middle school music concert.

I know, I know. But I also that know that my dad would have really loved this. He was a huge jazz fan. My dad played the clarinet and I grew up listening to him play and all different types of music, including jazz.

The funny thing is, my son was not a big jazz lover until recently after my father passed. Now he listens to jazz all the time with his earbuds in and attached to his iPhone, snapping his fingers and tapping his toes. Now it feels almost as if my dad is living through my son somehow or maybe it’s just in the genes.

There’s also another huge factor. My son’s middle school jazz band is top-notch. One of the best in the country, in fact, as rated by Downbeat Magazine. His music teacher John A. Zimny (his initials are JAZ!) teaches at both middle schools in the city of Folsom, close to Sacramento.

My son wants to play in the jazz band next year. His instrument is the baritone horn. This past year, he was in the Advanced Band. He plans to practice all summer and audition in the fall. I sure hope he gets in. I was absolutely blown away by the talent of these musicians at this concert.

Most of all, I was touched by their devotion to their band teacher and to each other, and to their high level of commitment. If you ever have an opportunity to support music in the schools, please do! It’s worth every penny and they need many more pennies.

Many of the students spoke during the concert to thank Mr. Zimny for giving them the best year of their lives. One even said she loved her jazz band more than her family. Sorry family! Kids from both of these middle schools traveled together by bus, competed against each other and, for the final concert, were on stage playing together. It was grand and what a sound!

jazzband

Music has such a unifying power. Mr. Zimny told the audience that when you set the bar a little higher, you would be surprised what these kids can do. They surpassed expectations and took things further than he ever thought they could.

During the concert, my son watched in awe, snapping his fingers as he does and typing in the names of the pieces he heard into his phone.

My son between listening to pieces, inspired and all jazzed up!
My son between listening to pieces, inspired and all jazzed up!

The next day, my son gave a presentation of a poem he wrote for his English class. I was such in awe, I wanted to share it here. 

The Rhythm in My Head

As I walk through the world
I see a rhythm to things
like a way of life
while with the snap of my fingers
and the blow of my horn
I form a picture of
the world around me,
A picture full of sound and
beauty where the rhythm just won’t
stop.
Then I open my eyes and realize
the world is just too quiet.

If you want to take a listen, here’s a bit of the jazz band with Mr. Zimny conducting.

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Doing It Their Way – Friday Fictioneers

I figure Sunday is as good as any day for a story! I have a quick confession. Somehow I thought I saw the prompt come up in my Reader, thinking it was this other, older one we had before and I wrote a new story (for a prompt used before!). Maybe because it was Friday the 13th?! I don’t have a good reason. I mixed myself up. 

And, I took this prompt to be a theater. But here’s my story anyway.

Thanks as always to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for leading the group and to Ceayr for the wonderful photo. 

arena
PHOTO PROMPT © CEAYR

Doing It Their Way

From behind creaky doors to the spotlight down to the pit of darkness, theaters hold a history all their own. Gossip, rumors, it’s all part of the show. The final review is the truth whispered in the wings.

Like the one about the dancer who languished in the back row, her arms like lead, her head drooping, a flower wilting past her prime. Except she burst; spinning in front of the star with such speed and bravado, she flew into the orchestra, toppling the cellist and his instrument.

Her abrupt entrance was their exit and they left hand-in-hand, stars of their own show.

**************

Please visit the linkup for more stories from Fictioneers who know what they’re doing. 🙂

Accompaniment – Friday Fictioneers

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to her husband Jan Fields for the wonderful photo.

All are welcome to join this challenge, which is to write a 100-word story based on the photo. Here are instructions. Give it a try. My story follows.

hh-spinet
PHOTO PROMPT © Jan W. Fields

Genre: Realistic Fiction (102 words)

Accompaniment

Liza pounded the piano, the way her mother told her not to. It had been Mr. Stevenson’s cue to play.

Mr. Stevenson, a pianist for mama’s ballet class, was so good you hardly noticed him. “Like a waiter in a fine restaurant,” mama had told her. But mama had noticed because they had done the fine dining together.

Sweet music filled their small quarters like jasmine on a summer night. Liza and mama danced with roses in their hair. At night Liza heard a more percussive number, what Liza determined could only be 3/4 time.

“I miss the music,” said Liza.

“Me, too.”

****************

You can find more stories from the Fictioneers here at the Linkup.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet

This week’s photo challenge is Alphabet.

Take us to school with your photos this week, and show us some ABCs.

These were found pretty close by. My son’s room and his music class.

ABC2

ABCs represented a different way:

ABC4

ABC1

For more ABCs, please visit the Weekly Photo Challenge site.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected

This week’s photo challenge is to show how two (or more) things — people, objects, places — come together. I have a few photos to share.

Connecting with Nature: Under the Rainbow BridgeFullSizeRender (32)FullSizeRender (30)

Connecting with Music: From Bach to the Beatles
BachtoBeatles
Connecting with Food: At the Farmer’s MarketFullSizeRender (34)FarmersMarket3 FarmersMarket2

For more connections, please visit the Weekly Photo Challenge site.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

Music

Here we have a Staff, Treble and Musical Notes and another photo with my son’s keyboard. Music is our universal language and, for me, any symbols of it are the equivalent of the peace sign.

StaffTrebleNotes
Staff, Treble and Notes
treblekeys
Staff, Treble and Notes with Instrument

To see other ‘symbols’ visit the Weekly Photo Challenge site.

Mihran Kalaydjian And His Element Band My Childhood Remembered

Enjoy some beautiful music from the talented pianist, Mihran Kalaydjian, and his Element band.

Mihran Kalaydjian's Official Blog

Mihran Kalaydjian And His Element Band My Childhood Remembered

Mihran Kalaydjian And His Element Band My Childhood Remembered

Honor Guest: Violinist: Charlie Bisharat

Mino Element Band Members

Aram Kasabian – Lead Guitar
Sevan Manoukian – Drummer
Hratch Panossian – Bass
Samer Khoury – Violin
Tony Amer – Saxophone
Haim Cohen – KeyBoard
Albert Panikian – Trumpet
Nicole Del Sol – Percussion
Dana Debos – Trombone

Lyrics:

Childlike Faith In Childhood’s End
Existence is a stage on which we pass, a
sleep-walk trick for mind and heart:
it’s hopeless, I know,
but onward I must go
and try to make a start
at seeing something more than day-to-day
survival chased by final death.

If I believed this the sum
of the life to which we’ve come
I wouldn’t waste my breath.
Somehow, there must be more.
There was a time when more was felt than
known, but now, entrenched inside…

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