Last night, I went with Murray to his elementary school, Harold Napper in Brossard. He had been invited to talk as part of a CARAS award the school had received. Basically, until a couple years ago, this school didn’t have any kind of music program at all. It’s an amazing idea, to give instruments to a school that has nothing – especially with everything we know about how music makes kids smarter. So anyway we walk in and Murray is just freaking out because he hasn’t been inside his old school in a very long time. We get inside and there is this open area full of kids and parents and a band playing; it’s really hot and basically total chaos. So a teacher introduces a band of grade sixers. These three kids get up and play “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” by U2, and execute it effortlessly. The drummer is playing the beat like it’s easy and the guitar player does this shredding solo at the end. They make it look so simple I felt embarrassed, like a sham artist. Anyhow, it makes me all emotional. I don’t cry or anything but I do get a tear in my eye. I filmed a video clip but I don’t know how to get movies off my camera (iPhoto doesn’t cooperate). OK so then the Rock Choir sings “I Love Rock’n’Roll” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and some of the kids are headbanging and freaking out. At this point the place is buzzing…we arrived late because the woman from CARAS’ flight was delayed, and all the older kids wanted to head over to the graduation dance in the gym next door. Murray is really nervous about the whole event, but I think we both chilled out realising how loosey-goosey everything was. He gets up and gives an abbreviated version of the speech he had written. Then he sings “Ticket to Immortality” with his acoustic. That song makes me teary, makes me think of Neptune since it was kind of written for her (before we even knew her). Later a parent comes up to me and says she noticed me getting chocked up during the song. I tried to hide it but I get so sentimental at these kinds of things. I guess the whole event is also a bit of a reminder that our baby is going to grow up and be doing this stuff, too. *sigh* After that, the Rock Choir sings “I Feel Good,” complete with (semi-)coordinated dance moves. Hilarious. A girl comes down from the choir and gives Murray a gift bag containing a Rock Choir t-shirt, and a bunch of school merch. I can’t believe schools even have merch but I guess they need to get mugs for the teacher’s lounge from somewhere. Murray is psyched about his Harold Napper mug. He takes a tour of the school with the teachers involved in the music program. I check out the graduation dance: the gym is decorated in an “I love New York” theme, and there’s a DJ with lights and an MC and everything. The kids are losing it to “Smack Dat” by Akon. Weird. Anyway, I want to backtrack a little to Murray’s gift bag: did I mention that it is frigging COVERED in green sparkles? So I’m carrying it around and I totally get green sparkles all over me. It made me feel like a mom, like this would be something to look forward to: leaving grade school with sparkles everywhere.
SCHOOL OF ROCK