Tuesday, January 27, 2015

View From The Bridge 1/28/15

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I would like to share with you the Song Writing Class that I attended last Wednesday. Our guest performers were Jonathon Kingham and Ryan his piano playing accompanist who entertained us Wednesday evening for a performance at the Elementary School. They held the class on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at the High School Band room. I asked if I could attend and was told that I was welcome. I enjoyed the class and described it as one of the best afternoons of my life, (and I have had many afternoons in my lifetime)

The class consisted of approximately 10 students from Geraldine High School, their teacher, and the same number from Fort Benton High School. What a terrific group of music students and I would like to hang out with them all the time. About four students brought their guitars and quickly joined in when we began by working the melody for verse and chorus. They put four chords together for each the verse and chorus.  Ryan played the chords and added more notes as they went along. I took piano lessons for six years from the Nuns and 2 years from a teacher that came to my house while I was in high school. I never got into putting chords together to play a song when I knew the melody.    
It was utterly fascinating the way they put the words together for the song. I will try to describe it as best that I remember. Jonathon showed us a “what’s-it” from his garage.  He asked the class to call out whatever they could think of looking at the object. Soon there were at least 50 words on the board.

(Observation at that point was that they no longer have chalk boards where you could make squeaky noises with the chalk. They now have dry eraser boards that are much easier to wipe off. Back in my day when someone misbehaved, they had to take the erasers outside and slap them across the side of the building to get the chalk dust out. (We’ve come a long way Baby!)

When there were about fifty words on the board, we were then asked to choose five words.  From those five words we began building the song that ended up with two verses and a chorus.  It finalized as a sort of pep school song combining the TigerHorns. Now that Geraldine and Fort Benton co-op with basketball the song brings out the bridge that was crossed to bring the two communities together.

I will not print the words to the song. Check out the account by Bethany in the River Press, you will find the words. It was a really refreshing two and a half hours that afternoon for me. Those students are so bright and enthused about their music. Go TigerHorns.

That evening after the intermission, Jonathon had the students who attended the class, come up on stage and they sang their song. The four guitar players accompanied them along with Jonathan on his guitar and Ryan at the piano. Jonathon then read the words with the mike in hand, so everyone could hear them. What a beautiful tribute to both of our towns. I am sure that if you were not at the concert, you will hear the song around town basketball games and Summer Celebration. (Just a little bragging that two lines in the song are my suggestions.) They were the one about the bridge and we go down in history. Just wanted you to know how much the class meant to me because I now feel a part of the whole thing.

I also attended the Robotics presentation on Thursday evening by the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. They will be in a competition this coming weekend in Billings. Their presentation showed the audience how much research was put into their presentation.  

The attendance could have been better from the public. Most of the audience consisted of parents of the students. They did ask questions from the audience and one man did speak up about his family experience with Alzheimer’s.  

I would have thought that there would be greater interest in a disease that has no cure or knowledge about what cases it. You should have some knowledge of what the symptoms are and how to deal with it. I had two questions for the panel. The first was what the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is. My second question was how you know when a person needs a medical facility. The answer was it depended on the members of the family. Some people had little or no family ties while other had more help.  

Another interesting thing was that Alzheimer’s usually begins at average 65 years of age.

There will not be any Montana facts this week.  I have the flu and my cabin fever will be extended. I cannot leave the house until I have had a normal temperature for 24 hours.  What next?