Guest Speaking at Alex's School

IMG_5279 Each month Alex's class learns about a style of music. This month it's Jazz and I was invited to come into the class and talk to the class about some jazz instruments. On Wednesday 2006-10-19 I had the honor of being a guest speaker at Alex's School. I brought in a Soprano, Alto and Tenor Saxophone and a Trombone. I explained that jazz was a style and showed them how to play some familiar songs straight ad with a jazz feel. Christine suggested showing them playing a song slow and fast which went over very well. They clearly preferred fast as well as a little improvisation. Having played a for many types of audiences, I can comfortably say that the kids in Alex's class (3 to 5 year olds) were the best audience ever. As soon as I started improving or diverging from the melody they start cheering!

Alex was my assistant. He showed the other kids how to work the saxophone cases, and saved me from playing the soprano while it still had the pad saver in it. [Playing a sax that still has a pad saver is analogous to walking down stairs and getting to the bottom floor and then taking one more step as if you were still going down. ] He also requested I play Old McDonnald Had A Farm which was a big hit. After I talked about the saxes and played a few songs (Row Row Row your boat, Jingle Bells and a few others) I took out the trombone and let the kids (one at a time) work the slide while I provided the wind power. Alex showed the other kids how this worked and most of the 30 kids gave it a try. Friends and Family can see the pictures here if you're logged into flickr.

When the visit was done it was the usual gig breakdown of the equipment. The big difference was Alex was there to help. He helped take the instruments apart, put the pad saves back in and store them in the cases. It went a lot faster with his help.

It was a blast to visit Alex's class. I was blown away by how well behaved they were. Thirty kids sat in a circle for about 40 minutes. They listened, asked questions shared stories and seemed to have a lot of fun.