Monday, March 09, 2009

The 163rd good thing about Lagos: a Muslim holiday gives opportunity for some piano lessons

I hope you all had a great birthday celebration for the Prophet Mohammed today! We didn't have any birthday cake around here, but it was a welcome chance to get some things done around the house. And because it was a public holiday, there was also no school, so the kids from church that I have started teaching piano were all able to come over for a marathon piano lesson. The church provided some keyboards for them to use for at-home practice, and I'm committed to donating some time to teach them piano. They are really excited about the new keyboards and also about the opportunity to learn to play the piano. I hope their enthusiasm continues so they will make time to practice.

I started with the younger group first -- 3 siblings, who then wanted to hang around after the 4 teenagers arrived on the scene. I had 3 kids lined up at my keyboard at a time, often playing the same song in 3 octaves, and we went from 9:15 AM till I ushered them out the door at almost 2 PM.

Here's the girls: Precious, Oto and her twin sister, Anuak, and then Blessing. The twins are sisters of my long-time piano student, Patrick (which is what he wants me to call him, it is actually their last name, his first name is Ididiong), who had a lesson on his own after I finished with all the beginning piano students. Blessing is the sister of my former student, Samuel, who is now away at university.

Patrick has come a long way since I first started teaching him. He was working hard at playing very simplified hymns 2 years ago, now he can play just about every hymn in the church hymnal. He's a very talented musician, as well as being a very nice young man.

Here's the kids clowning around when I asked them to pose for a picture. Patrick is in the back and Daniel and Joseph, Precious' brothers are on either end. I don't know if you can see in the picture, but several of the kids are holding their cell phones. It's an interesting thing here that even though they all are living what we in the States would consider well under the poverty line, most all have a cell phone, and when they weren't active at the keyboard, they were texting or playing around with their phones. Also, they wolfed down the cookies that I had made for them. Not much different than kids anywhere you go.

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