Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Jewish Childhood – 2013 Jour 3 Centre Georges Pompidou and Simon Hantai, plus a Special Concert Part 2
Monday, 17 June 2013 21:27

Last year on June 21st, Fete de la Musique, we heard public school groups and orchestras. Click here: Fete de la musique jour 11 and Click here: Fete de la musique jour 11 part 2

This warms my heart especially since I started playing violin at 6 or 7.

Many boys are playing the cello with a few girls. The girls are more advanced and play in that group. Some boys, one who is the son of one of the parents I spoke with just continued to play one note and get the timing for the music down. This is a first step toward learning.

Next we hear a group of flutes. I sat next to the mother and grandmother of a six year- old girl who was performing. The first song is TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR, followed by a few not too complex English folk songs.

Next we hear the cellos. A great piece by Mozart for advanced students. Very advanced. They compete with birds singing in the tall trees. Then violins join cellos. Most of the violinists playing in the first group look about six.

Strings hum. Birds flying through chestnut trees, one small child clowns the music restless because it is not yet their time to play.

I wonder, which ones will continue, go to conservatoire, which ones will set their instruments down at 16 like I did and not take them up until much later in life remembering the early childhood joy.

It has been a rainy day and the sun is now breaking through. The conductor says to the children who are quite wound up by now, “silence totale”. Then the cellos join in followed by the violins. Strings hum, young children echo through. I am filled with such joy by the end of the concert that I don’t want it to end. I am transported back to that first orchestra when I was seven, all of us struggling to stay in tune, to pay attention. To the music, to the conductor, to each other and longing to play for the rest of our lives, filling the loneliness with notes, with music so that we are truly never alone again.

Next we will go to a retrospective of Keith Haring, the gay activist street artist, who changed the world’s way of looking at homosexuality and the War on AIDS. The exhibit is entitled - KEITH HARING: THE POLITICAL LINE.

Thank you for reading my Jewish Childhood Blog and again, please if you wish, let me know your young experiences in music.