Students worked in groups of 3 or 4 to prepare a musical number that they could present to parents, staff and peers. As we neared performance day, class time was given from other classes enabling students to perfect their number. One group actually composed their own piece. Others created arrangements for known pieces and several prepared a familiar song, as the populace knows it.
This morning they nervously waited their turn on stage but each group, as soon as they began their performance, appeared to proceed with ease. It was amazing. Drums, keyboard, vocal, and guitar – they tackled it all. Then, the judges posed questions to the group that centered on the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) theme that pertained to their group (either adaptability, competition, or community) and related to their band experience. They consulted with each other and answered individually providing reflective insight as to how these themes related to them.
I was asked to be a judge. I settled in on “Vicki Pinaj” and in preparation I viewed several video clips of Nicki Minaj as a judge on American Idol. I secured a blue wig from a colleague and some outrageously long, hot pink, feathery earrings from my daughter. I purchased some fake eyelashes (a first for me) to top off my costume. This morning it took me about 40 minutes to put those silly things on my eyes, and I was only successful after recruiting the help of my daughter and her friend. However, once I was properly outfitted, I walked into that room with a whole new attitude. It was so fun! I truly enjoyed displaying an alter ego.
The best part of the morning was watching these courageous middle school students stand up to perform. Furthermore, the music was actually good and enjoyable to listen to. One parent said, “This is such an amazing feature of this school – that this was a safe enough place for all of these students to rise and perform was incredible”. She continued to reiterate how rare and amazing it was. I have to agree. The scene today was special and it was largely possible because of the family like atmosphere generated at our small school.
Should we repeat the event again next year? Absolutely! Parents, staff, and students were thrilled with the outcome.