Recently the boys have been trying to learn songs for school. Neither of them really knew why, but it was part of their homework. M’s class were learning songs from The Sound of Music, while D’s class were doing ones from We Will Rock You. Both boys are children with great taste in music, either that or they have been brainwashed by my tastes and therefore they know a lot of rock and pop classics. D was therefore having a much easier time with his songs as I think it is fair to say he is quite the Queen fan – the only problem was that some of the lyrics are changed for the stage musical compared to the originals and this did confuse him a little. M has of course seen the movie of The Sound of Music – it is one of those movies that if it is on the telly you have to watch it, and so he had at least heard the songs before.
I asked around the Mums to find out what it was all in aid of, and discovered the upper school were putting on a show of A Night at the Musicals. I had not had a note home about this, and assume it went out when my boys were both off sick. I spoke to the children and they both said they didn’t want to do it and had told their teachers this. I tried some persuasion, but neither were budging. I thought at this point it was the very strong line between school and home and nothing should cross from one side to the other.
They still had to learn the songs, even if they were not taking part in the performance.
Then, the school had to add a second show because the first one had sold out, and people were still wanting tickets. The new performance was going to be during school time, and therefore all children had to take part. D was not happy about this, but M just took it in his stride because his teacher had told him he had to do it, so he had to do it!
The night before the performance, D was desperately trying to get out of school, and failing miserably. I reassured him that he knew the words and therefore he would be ok. I told him about when I used to perform – I played in many bands and orchestras during my childhood, that I would just not look at anyone and instead focus on a random point at the back of the hall so I didn’t actually see anyone. It was the only advice I could really offer to try to reassure him. M seemed really excited about it all, all be it with a lot of nervous energy. At bed time, they were just about to settle down, when he decided he HAD to go through the songs one more time with the actions, just to make sure he had them right. I decided the quickest way to get him to sleep was to let him do it, and hope that helped settle his brain, which it did.
Hubby was working, so I got tickets for myself and Old Person. As she has to use the wheelchair when out and about, we were let in first so as to give her room. This meant we were front row, so it does have its advantages taking Old person out with me!!!
The format of the show was that each class was singing songs from different musicals, from Cats to Lion King, to Mary Poppins.
All of the kids were brilliant. Some were really getting into it and giving it their all, while others were going through the motions. The performances were all excellent.
D had obviously taken my stare into space advice to heart, and totally ignored us as he walked past, in fact it was very deliberately looking the other way. This caused some amusement to a couple of the Mums I knew sitting around me, especially as half of the rest of the class said Hi as they went past! He did look totally embarrassed the whole way through, and I’m not sure if it was by his choice or the teachers, that he was hidden right at the back. From where I was sitting, I could just see his face – which was bright scarlet the whole time, and with a dead pan look, he got every word right. I was then ignored again as they left the stage.
M was front and centre when his class took to the stage – this might be strange placing for him, but he does tend to concentrate better when he doesn’t have other people in his eye line. I got a huge smile from him and a little hand flick of a wave. It was lovely to see how confident he was as he gave it his all. One Mum commented to me about how much he seemed to be enjoying it, whilst her friend, who I didn’t know asked if my son was the boy in the middle as he was totally into it! It may sound silly, but the pride of someone making such a regular comment about something M is doing, is amazing. It is great to see, that with the correct nurturing he can exude the confidence needed to do things like this. As he left the stage, I got a high-five as he asked if it was ok. I happily told him it was better than ok.
I am really proud that both boys performed in this. They both did it in their own way, but subsequently they were able to get up on stage in front of a room full of people, and do brilliantly. Doing something like this maybe almost painful to D in particular, but hopefully next time he can remember this experience as one that wasn’t too bad, and therefore it will be a little easier for him.
The teachers of all the classes should be very proud of the work they put in with these kids to make a totally absorbing show.
When they got home, I heaped the praise on the boys, as it was totally deserved. This morning, M was talking about the second performance having been in the evening. I asked him if considering how well he had done during the afternoon, he would have liked to have done it again. He said he would not have been able to, because the time they had to meet at school was tea time, and he would rather be eating! I think this is a prime example of the black and white world he lives in. It never occurred to him that he could have an early tea – or a late one, it was just the show was on at the wrong time for his schedule. Maybe if the note had come home about it, I may have been able to persuade him that it would be a good idea, but its over now.
The school has decided to start a Glee club for years 4 and 5, at a lunchtime. D is not in the least bit interested. I can understand why, as it was obvious how painful being on stage it was for him, but I would have thought it would have been a great thing to help boost his confidence. Maybe if a few of his friends do it then he might want to get involved, but to push him into it, will only make it harder on him, so we will leave it for now. M can’t understand why his class aren’t allowed to be part of it!
It was an excellent show and all of the children should be very proud of the result. The teachers should be proud of how well they have turned a bunch of loud mouthed ratbags into sweet singers. Well done to all involved.