Music exams here at ASAPH happen from time to time. I have printed two levels of exams for trumpet, trombone, tuba, drums, plus other instruments and some music theory. It's kind of a way to measure who has made it past the 'beginner' stage and is able to play with other musicians. Kids work at varying rates, and we don't really teach the test, and so, from time to time a student will ask about the exam.
This week a young man asked to take the glockenspiel test. He's been playing the instrumetn off and on for some time. He drifts between drums, keyboard, and the glockenspiel. I have often encouraged him to concentrate on one. It's funny how you can hear kids play, and you think to yourself : "There isn't much hope here. This won't go far." Then weeks go by, or months, and the same kid seems to blossom. That is what happened to this young man.
He did great on the glockenspiel test. He has also begun playing for worship services on certain songs on Children's Sundays.
A great part of my job is being witness to that kind of development. I have learned over and over to allow students to be weak, but to offer advice and encouragement while they are struggling.
Another young man was struggling with trombone. The sound was...not pleasant. He seemed to have musical ability, but the sound made it hard to listen to him. We switched him to tuba. The sound isn't great, but much more acceptable, and his sense of musicianship has blossomed. He loves playing blues bass lines on his tuba. He has found a place to blossom.
This week several of my beginner trumpet players made it to that step where they can play songs on trumpet. While we were working, a young drummer was there. He said, "I'll play for them." That made it more fun. Then the glockenspiel player showed up and said he could play chords on piano for the young trumpeters. Soon about seven young people were making real music together. It's a beautiful thing to see happen. That is what we do here...here at Asaph Teaching Ministry.
Missionary in Haiti.