The Joys of Jazz and Children’s Voices…

The first part of this year has been filled with music sung by my English students.  (Hence today’s title.)

Last month, one of the kindergartens had a recital.  My students (ages 5 and 6) put on short plays, sang songs and played various instruments.  For the final number, they sang two songs I had taught them in class… one was a New Year’s song done to the melody of “Happy Birthday” and the other was “I Can Sing a Rainbow.”

Then a couple of days ago, I was invited to a concert held by one of my private students.  She’s a jazz vocalist and has just released her very first CD.  We’ve worked together to improve her pronunciation since most of the songs she sings on a daily basis are jazz songs in English.

As I stood and watched both performances, I was so proud of all of them… maybe how a parent would feel watching their child up there on the stage, singing their hearts out.  (Can’t be sure since I don’t have any children of my own, but maybe it was something close to that feeling.)

The children were singing as best as they could, not once stumbling over the words, smiles on their little faces.  A couple of them saw me as the song went on and I tried my best to hide the tears that were beginning to tumble down my cheeks.  They were adorable!

My jazz singer student, Mayumi, was simply amazing!  Song after song, she’d slide into the melodies and I found myself holding my breath a couple of times when I knew a difficult phrase (pronunciation-wise) was coming up.  If she was feeling the same way, no one would’ve known because she didn’t break a sweat.

I’ve always known that music has the wonderful power of healing, but during those two performances, it’s as if I was taught that lesson all over again.

Music really does make the world a better place…