Thank you, Detroit Symphony Orchestra!

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Yes, you read that correctly. I am thanking the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

On May 7th, the DSO invited the entire DAA to watch and hear a specular performance. But before I get into the magic, I want to tell you more about how our kids were introduced to the trip.

A couple of days before the trip, we met one of the famous bassoonists in the orchestra, Michael Ma! This was no ordinary introduction, though, it was an introduction that my kids would never forget.

In morning crew, I played a guessing game with my students. I told them that a famous musician was coming to our school and I wanted them to guess what type of instrument he played. I mentioned that he came from the DSO (after explaining what an orchestra is) and that he would be playing an instrument for us. My kids named a few instruments: maracas, guitar, trumpet, organ, drums, and tambourine.  I waited to tell them the instrument until Michael, the bassoonist, met them.

At 10am, we walked over to Mrs. Brophy’s class to get ready for the excitement that was about to take place.  Michael walked in a greeted the students. He asked them to guess what type of instrument he played in the DSO. The kids repeated their guesses, and their eyes waited for Michael to reveal his magnificent instrument. Michael assembled his bassoon for them piece by piece and played every piece separately. He constructed the entire bassoon right before our eyes! The kids were absolutely thrilled. Their eyes lit up and were so wide.With each piece, he played a tune so that the kids could understand how sound works and what it takes to make beautiful music. After the bassoon was built, he played tunes such as the Star Wars theme song and the Super Mario theme song. The kids were so excited that they could relate to the music and you could tell that they had a connection.  All of our students danced around and had an amazing experience.

I walked my kids back to our classroom and talked about how they felt about meeting Michael and being introduced to a new instrument. They were thrilled about meeting him and were even more excited to know that we were going to the DSO to watch him play in the orchestra.

The next week we all boarded the bus and headed downtown to see Michael, the bassoonist, show us his magic. The kids walked into the stunning Max M. Fisher Music Center and immediately looked up at the beautiful ceiling. Many said, “Ms. Johnson, did Michelangelo paint that?”  I sadly replied, “no,” but I was so excited to see that they remembered what they learned in art a few days before. We finally sat in our (amazing) seats and the conductor came to introduce the orchestra. Once our students saw Michael and they screamed his name loud and proud. Michael gave us a big wave and smiled back. I think that solidified the whole experience.

It is wonderful that our kids were able to make a connection to the orchestra by having Michael visit our school first. As the orchestra played, our kids’ eyes were lit with excitement. If it weren’t for the DSO our kids would have never experienced such an exciting trip. They were able to learn about a new instrument, meet the artist, and see both of them in action (great example of an Expeditionary Learning experience).

Thank you so much, DSO, for allowing DAA the experience of a lifetime and one that they will forever cherish!

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