Sunday, May 11, 2008

Misunderstood, but not for the first or last time

Being the daughter of a music teacher can be a pain in the nose. First, Pop brings home all these educational toys, like xylophones and glockenspiels. No dolls, model airplanes or coloring books (this was before video games). I wouldn't have minded, only the first thing he did was take off and hide all the B’s and F’s so my brothers and I would have to work with the pentatonic scale. Pop was a Carl Orff pioneer back in the ’60’s and Orff was into pentatonics. Big time. Good luck trying to play a song you like with the pentatonic scale.

But being the daughter of a music teacher also had social ramifications. It was 1967, I was in 4th grade, and our school had just received a gift of ash trees to plant on the school grounds. Each class was to name “their” ash tree after a recently deceased famous person. I overheard Miss O mention to another teacher that she hoped there wouldn’t be seven trees named after John F. Kennedy. When she asked for suggestions on whom to name “our” tree after, my hand shot up in the air.

He was a shoo-in. Recently deceased. Not even cold in his grave, for crying out loud, and his specialty was children’s music! Of course that was who our tree should be named after.

Miss O called on me.
“Kodaly. Zoltan Kodaly.”
“Forget it.”

We named our tree after J.F.K.

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