December 6th, 2012

promise tea

Meet Scary Miss Shanna

I survived the last children's choir session of the year. Now we just have to get through singing in church Sunday morning. They did a great job practicing in the sanctuary, so I think they'll be fine. There's just one thing that worries me: they discovered the microphone.

When the children sing, they stand on the front steps with a microphone on a stand in front of them. It looks kind of like what you see in old-timey radio shows with the actors or singers grouped around the microphone, only without the call letters. The kids have pretty much ignored it before, but last night, they discovered that their voices really sounded loud if they got close to the microphone or talked or sang directly into it.

The reason this worries me is something that happened my first year of going to this church, before I was directing a choir. The preschool choir was singing, and one of the little boys discovered the microphone. He started singing more directly into it, so his voice rang out over the others. And then since everyone could hear him, he apparently decided it would be fun to say his favorite word really loud. Since this was a four-year-old boy, the word "Poop!" rang out loudly throughout the sanctuary. As a member of the audience, I found it hilarious. If I'd been the choir director, there might have been a dead child. I could imagine the mother crawling down the aisle on her elbows to get to him and yank him down.

So my kids got to meet Scary Miss Shanna last night. I usually try to keep a fun, friendly tone even when I'm scolding them, since this choir is mostly about getting kids to think of music as fun, but I let the serious edge come through when I let them know in no uncertain terms what I would do if anyone decided to have fun with that microphone (I didn't give details because I didn't want to give them ideas). I think I scared them a bit because once they saw that glimpse of my scary side (that can make grown men nervous), all I had to do after that was give them The Look and they backed off of whatever they were doing. Unfortunately, my biggest behavior problem wasn't there last night, so she won't have met Scary Miss Shanna. However, she also wasn't there for the discovery of the microphone, and she's one of the bigger kids, so I'll put her in the back row.

I did start instilling a little jazz appreciation by playing the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack while we were passing out goodies and stickers at the end of class. I figure that's a good jazz gateway drug, since some of it may be familiar from TV (though there's a lot more to the soundtrack than you hear on TV).

Today I have baking to do and I think I may start my Christmas decorating. I got the supplies to re-do my wreath for the front door, and I'm going to make some changes to the garland on the balcony and stair railing. They played the Ella Fitzgerald version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the craft store (singing along was mandatory) and that's started to get me in the mood. Plus, they had Gluhwein at Kroger. That's a spiced German wine you serve warm at Christmas. I usually have to find it at specialty stores, so I was surprised to find it in the neighborhood grocery store. I was very happy. I imagine I'll be even happier later tonight when I kick back with a mug of it while admiring my Christmas decor.