Play them strings!

I have completely enjoyed living in a school district that offers music programs to younger children. The boys’ school offers choir in 4th and 5th grades, which Kyle participated in last year, but more to my liking is the 5th Grade Strings program. I have enjoyed the experience each time we have participated. I have to say that it isn’t always a painless experience and it isn’t always fun, but overall I can look back at the experience and say that I am glad that I had my child participate.

With Kyle being in the 5th grade this year, it was his turn to participate in the 5th Grade Strings program in Klein ISD. I am not sure who was more excited the day we signed the rental agreement on his viola – him or me. I have to say I was pretty excited. I have pictures of Kyle’s lovely face the day he got to see it, before they delivered it to the school, and I have to say that I wouldn’t trade that look for the world. I am grateful for Fishburn Violin Shop for letting us sneak if for a quick peek before delivery.

The program involves a lot of time commitment on the child’s part as they have to actually practice the instrument. Or not, as the case typically is. It involves a commitment on the parents’ part as well. We have to get the child to school BEFORE school starts at the bright and early (or not so bright and early) hour at 7:00am. School doesn’t start until 8:10 or 8:15am. This is not always fun, but I can tell you that the commitment is worth it if not right away a couple of years down the road when you sit and reflect and look back.

The program involves two concerts per year. The first concert is usually at the first part of January. The second concert is later in the school year, toward the close of the year. This is infamously known as String Fling.

The first concert of the year is the first time that many of these kids play together and it is quite impressive when you think about the magnitude of what they have pulled off. This year’s concert included 3-4 elementary schools, involving about 250 children armed with their stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello, or bass). This concert is the first time that these schools all play together in concert. By the way, that is a LOT of stringed instruments to tune…in a single high school gymnasium.

The String Fling Concert is a bit bigger of an event. This includes ALL of the elementary schools and over 600 fifth graders this year. All ready and eager to play their best in a high school gymnasium for all the eager and happy on looking parents and other family members and friends. Yes, you read that right, over 600 stringed instruments all in a single high school gymnasium. Yes, we are all hoping that the violins are no longer squeaky at this point.

The point of this post, however, is the first concert of the year…

We were fortunate enough to get a real chair that was set up in front of the gymnasium bleachers. I was grateful for this because with my prolapses, the pain it was causing, and my up coming surgery on January 14th I am not sure if I could handle any round of any amount of time perched on any gymnasium bleachers.

 Kyle before his first 5th Grade Strings Concert.

 Kyle with his viola before his first 5th Grade Strings Concert.

Kyle with his viola, Bob. Yes, the viola has a name.

This is a LOT of children! You can’t even see all of them in this picture. There were about 250 students present for this evening’s concert. That’s a lot of stringed instruments too.

The long lines of violas. Kyle is back there on his knees.

I have to say that while the concert itself was pretty boring, I actually enjoyed it. It was exciting to see the kids all play and play together. I can’t wait until String Fling!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.