Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Our school's master teacher for music is retiring this coming school year. She sees that I have a little understanding of basic music theory although she knows that I could not pick up a tune vocally. So, one day I was called to the office. (Everytime a pupil comes to my classroom telling that I am being called by the principal, my heart skips a beat. I have never overcome the fear of "the office.") Anyway, there are two teachers in the office. I am the third. The principal asked if can conduct. I said yes. Actually, my conducting experience is conducting our church's singers. It can not even be called conducting. I think it can be more appropriately called beating, as in, like my hands are holding a spoon and a fork beating eggs in a bowl! Anyway, I can read a little music so getting lost in a piece is no problem, for me that is what important in conducting, or beating...I think.

Then the principal asks if I can teach music theory. Although I am not musically trained; I do read music books. So, teaching elementary music theory is no problem with me. Right there and then I was told that I will be the grade six music teacher. Of course I can decline, but I gladly accepted because I am also musically inclined, I think.

I am told that I will be the conductor in the graduation ceremony. Before, I am told that I will be the emcee, but, now I am the conductor. Emceee-conductor....Anyway, I attended a division seminar on conducting as a preparation. I never thought conducting can be fun. The first discussant is the Division Music Supervisor. He is also the composer of the Calabarzon march and the school hymn. He gives us a demonstration on how to conduct 6-8 time signature using two beat pattern. He is graceful, commanding, and he radiates musical authority. But I do not recognize his movements. His head bobs, his hands reaches high, he shouts as if in orgasm (sorry about that but music can do that)...then it hits me, he is not a choral conductor, he is a band conductor. That's why his hand movements are always changing, his beats are big, his stresses are exagerrated and his movements are ecstatic. I like watching him. His performance is dignified and, really, beautiful yo look at. Maybe, with the a band, he can really show his stuff. Anyway, I learned a lot from him. He is a very good conductor, and he is a famous band conductor and a composer of marches. Anyway, the Province of Rizal have the best marching bands in the Philippines ands the best band conductor proof of that is the late Maestro Lucio San Pedro.

After his presentation came the boring stuff.

This morning when I came to my classroom, wearing my headphone, conducting an invisible congregation like mad...I turned around and saw my pupils were looking at me with a strange look...

So, if anyone sees me walking wearing a headphone, my two hands doing soft karate chops, don't be surprised, I am practicing.

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