Friday, January 12, 2018

The music teachers

Around the ocean drum

“Shake it to the east, shake it to the west,
     Shake it to the one that you love the best....”

The young music teachers’ eyes gleam in their college cubicles
     as they study, study, study
     the music of all the world.

“Step it, step it, step it down.  Remember me....”

On the diploma, “Fine Arts,” a college degree,
     each note, each measure of music gathered up and treasured,
     building a matrix of joy in the heart
     to support us all for a lifetime.

“De colores, de colores se visten los campos en la primavera.....”

Studying the songs and dances
     that bring us all together, the whole human race,
     passed down from person to person, child to child
     over millennia, yes, millennia.
Why? “It’s good for the children,” says Bessie Jones,
     Sea Island mother of music,
     surehandedly guiding us all.

“Shalom chaverim, shalom chaverim....”

We study each culture, ever more in love
     with how this music is what truly matters,
     this music that holds the world together.
We memorize details of steps, costumes, melodies, harmonies,
     songs in ancient modes, polyrhythms,
     feats of mind and body set to music,
     all for this shared joy.
The smile on the partner’s face,
     the warm touch of hands clasping,
     the harmony in two, three, four, five parts,
     pulling us all together, tighter and tighter.

“A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam...”

The music teacher comes to her classes full of children
     and she knows, she knows
     we will endeavor to preserve this, to love this,
     to keep the proud meters and the intricate steps,
     with our bodies and our voices joined in love,
     remembering as we move and sing,
     what is important in this world.

“Sansa Kroma, nee-nay wo, a-che-che koko-ma...”

The music teachers with years of experience
     hear the new politics, the hatred, the viciousness,
     the ignorance, the bigotry, and we say, “NO.”
Decades of our lives, pulling this all together,
     the pride and the joy in children’s eyes learning the dance, the song,
     and “NO!” We will not give way
     to suspicion, lies and separation after all this joy.

“Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,
     all dressed in black, black, black....”

All our lives have we woven our children, your child and mine,
     into a fine tapestry of all our abilities,
     stepping and singing to the World’s beat,
     together creating a future full of love.

“Brown girl in the ring, tra-la-la-la-la......”

With the people of all cultures we stand,
     knowing this is a world filled with music,
     every imaginable rhythm,
     new sounds yet unheard,
     steps we have yet to find,
because this is what matters: the love, the love,
     each people unique and brilliant, our lives all interwoven,
     all of our notes a symphony,
     all of our steps a path.

(Words in italics are from children’s songs of the world.)

Annelinde Metzner

October 2, 2017

Three kids in preschool music

Jayma studying piano

Orff instruments and recorder

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments!