Appalachian Spring

“Horns, ready, and…”
“Tsss!!”
Their hands shoot up somewhere between the mouth and the nose, right hands in fists punching open left palms.
“Ok, you see how the forearms should make a triangle? Good, move down just a bit, relax your shoulders, there you go. Good job.” Erica is clapping out a tempo, repeating “Right hace! Left hace!” every few seconds. The kids are having trouble keeping up, and I walk around the terraced room, correcting posture and foot position, encouraging. It’s their first day. It’s my first day too. I have returned.
For seven years, between sixth grade and my graduation from high school, I played the clarinet. Along the way, I traveled across the United States, learned one or two things about the meaning of practice and hard work, and discovered that there is something specifically wonderful about a musical education.

Listening to Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” in the band room during high school class breaks is one of my fondest memories. Copland received the Pulitzer Prize for Music for Appalachian Spring in 1945.