August 5th, 2014

I woke up this morning to Khalid practicing his piano nursery rhyme on the floor above me. It was 7:30 in the morning. The kid is dedicated.

We had two classes today: one at the Cultural Center, and the other in a town called Sebastya, about a half an hour away from Nablus. Both classes went extremely well. Our lesson plan was ironed our after its we piloted it yesterday, and the kids in both classes were eager and cooperative. They seem to enjoy vocal exercises the most, even if we’re just going up and down the scale, because that’s when they get to interact most directly with the music.

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It’s getting harder and harder to find time to write; each class takes at least two hours, between lesson planning, transportation, and the class itself. And of course, we now have Khalid to teach during the evenings.
At 7:50 pm he knocked on our door, ten minutes before the scheduled time. That’s actually huge, considering most people here are at least ten minutes late to just about everything (though I should mention that our students haven’t been late once yet). I was pretty tired, but I invited him in and we got started immediately. The funny thing about Khalid is that most of the time, he’s an uncontrollable ball of energy, but the second you put a piano in front of him he becomes this focused, perfect student. Yesterday, he only knew the piano keys by numbering them. Today, I taught him Solfege, and he immediately, intuitively made the connection between Do and 1, Re and 2, etc. By the time I sent him on his way, he was playing his nursery rhyme from memory, without numbers, and playing with new combinations of notes. I was grinning like mad for fifteen minutes; it’s unreal to witness this kind of progress, especially when you had a hand in it.

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