Dr. N.A.N.'s Blog

News, views, and how the world skews from San Antonio, Texas

Do you have any extra energy I can borrow?

Boy, am I’m pooped.  First, Rafaella insisted on waking me up at 6a.m. because she wanted to crawl under the sheets and she always asks by repeatedly tapping me with her paw.  I eventually got out of bed because I knew sleep wouldn’t be forthcoming until tonight…

A piano needs at least 3 legs to remain upright...

A piano needs at least 3 legs to remain upright...

Fast forward to 10a.m. and Penny and I are standing outside of my studio watching the piano movers making quick business out of disassembling my Yamaha in preparation for its trip to Schuyler, Nebraska.  It took some time to convince the movers that the piano had to go on the elevator without a piano board because it won’t fit any other way.  We’re finally on the road around 11:15.  We arrive at Schuyler Grade School just as lunch is being served.  (They didn’t offer us any…)

Ready to go...

Ready to go...

Fast forward to 1:30pm and the piano is upright in the school gymnasium, the speakers are setup, the risers are in place and I’m just waiting for the first bunch of kids to arrive.

Hi! My name is Dr NAN.

Hi! My name is Dr NAN.

They start to show up at 2pm and I start engaging them in conversation, hoping to make a connection with some of them so that they will stay focused on my presentation.  (I think I was somewhat successful!)  My presentation begins and they are active participants, clapping after every piece as well as asking lots of questions.  The microphone that I was given chose to work only intermittently so Penny kept handing me a different one until we found one that worked.

Playing the piano is the easy part...

Playing the piano is the easy part...

At one point during the show, a little girl asked me why I tapped my foot during Jam! I explained that I thought the empty measure needed something.  Somehow, the kids took that to mean they could all bang their feet on the risers so we had about 70 kids tapping their feet at the same time.  Mix that in a gymnasium and you can only imagine the noise.  After the show, I invited students to come look at the piano and they literally descended on the instrument and me.  They were poking around, playing notes, looking inside and causing general mayhem.  This moment might have bothered their teachers but I loved it.  I felt like the Pied Piper.  It was great to be surrounded by so much positive energy.  As the children were filing out, we handed each one of them a “PiT” temporary tattoo.  The tattoos will probably end up everywhere but on their arms…

Before I realized it, the gym was empty, the piano was already on the truck and it was just me and Penny, reliving the past hour.

Me and my wonderful road manager

Me and my wonderful road manager

I offered to find some good coffee for P but we couldn’t find anything resembling a coffee house so had to settle for a convenience store.  We got back on the road and drove through a torrential downpour to Lincoln.  As soon as I got home, I took a nap.  Whew–keeping up with 6th graders isn’t easy!

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