I’m also really thankful for all the music education I’ve had in my life. I’m really curious how common it is. Like, in elementary school, we had a school two part choir, sopranos and altos for the upper grades (4th through 6th). Is this common? Jieun said her school didn’t have it. I can’t remember if we met during or after school.

I’ve told this story before. But there was an “audition” during a music class (one music teacher for the school, Mr. Seyler, and each class had music once a week) close to the beginning of the year. He’d line up the people who could sing and then have each of us say “hello”, and based on that he’d put us in sopranos or altos.

I was always a soprano, which sucked. A devastating blow to my elementary school masculinity. But just practically speaking, most of my friends (all male) were altos. So during section practice, I’d be with mostly a bunch of girls. During combined practice, I’d watch them goof around on the other side of the bleachers while I was stuck with all the well behaved girls. The absolute worst was the first year, 4th grade, when not only was I a soprano, but I was also among the shortest there so I was at the bottom of the bleachers. Standing there in the front left totally emphasized that I was a short kid with a really high voice. Not good times.

By 6th grade I was determined to be an alto, so when Mr. Seyler came around, I tried to muster up the deepest “hello” I could. He paused for a little bit, and then said, “soprano”. Sad. Even worse, my sister was in 4th grade that year, and she was an alto. My 4th grade sister was more masculine than my 6th grade self. Depressing.

Anyway, we sung a bunch of two part songs, a lot of which I still remember, and each year we’d have a districtwide concert, in which the choirs from all the elementary schools got together. Each director would handle one song. It’s there I realized that while Mr. Seyler only taught at our school, other music teachers taught at multiple schools. The reason that sticks out is, at I think almost every other school in the district, the GATE program was set up so the kids were bused somewhere a couple hours a day or a couple days a week, something like that, and took classes together. But at Glider, the GATE program was self-contained, so we weren’t bused anywhere. So in 7th grade, the kids in the “smart” classes already knew each other because of GATE, except for all of us from Glider. Why Glider did its own thing I have no idea.

Anyway, yeah, he taught everyone how to read music and how to sing correctly, a lot of which I still remember even if I never do it. And I dunno, that and band I think was a cool experience. Did everyone do stuff like this? No clue.