Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recorder Recoil

One of the main joys in private school is learning to play the recorder; if by "play" you mean "summon demons" and by "recorder", "hideous piece of lead-contaminated plastic forged by orphans in China". The chief feature of said recorders is the ability to play a grand total of three notes, as evidenced in most practice books. Each shrieking rendition consists of some arcane combination of C, B, and A, with the occasional impossible G thrown in solely to mess with your head.

(this way, we combine both the valuable lesson that it's never fun to grow up to be a musician, and provide a handy bludgeoning weapon to each child in case of some sort of zombie apocalypse.)

Despite this, some children do manage to foster the sliver of a talent, although this is quickly stifled with the swift application of modern-day public humiliation known as The Spring Concert. Akin to being placed in the stocks, this dreaded even involves forcing innocent schoolchildren to embarrass themselves before the multitudes of peers, parents, and overly-tolerant grandparents. Song choices range from "Folk Songs You've Never Heard Of", to "Pop Songs That Were Popular During the Eisenhower Administration (In Sweden)", to "Single Choruses of Decent Songs Performed Off-Key and Out of Tempo". A frequent addition to this tintinnabulation are the dreaded "Solos for Children Whose Parents are Bossy Assholes". Mrs. Bothersome Boylan was, of course, one of the lead perpetrators of these crimes against Humanity's collective ability to hear.

All together, the music scene on campus remains collectively grim, evoking eyerolls from those of us accosted by the Public School's moaning lament, "But at least you HAVE music!" No, no we don't. We have the artistic equivalent of monkeys attempting Shakespeare, with about half the scholarly ability. Save yourselves, chaps. It's too late for me.

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