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    Category: Musical Mayhem

    Instrumental Teaching

    | Glenville, NY, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Movies & TV, Musical Mayhem, Students

    (I am substitute teaching in a third grade general music classroom, and had just finished showing the kids a video about woodwind instruments. The video explains that reeds are made out of a plant called cane, which confused a lot of the kids. Although I explain that sugar cane is different from cane, the silliness has already taken root. One little boy raises his hand to ask a question.)

    Student #1: “Is mayonnaise an instrument?”

    Me: “No, Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument.”

    (The student raises his hand again.)

    Me: “Horseradish is not an instrument either.”

    (The kids all stare at me in slack-jawed wonder.)

    Student #2: “You got that from SpongeBob!”

    Me: “Yes, I did.”

    (There were no more behavioral problems from that class!)

    When The Class Lets It Go, The Class Gets Going

    | UK | Movies & TV, Musical Mayhem, Students

    (It is the last lesson of the day on the last day of term. My French teacher hands us some sheets of paper covered in lyrics.)

    Teacher: “All right, I want you to go through these and highlight all of the verbs you find in the future tense.”

    (Most of the class is bored of working, as this is our second French lesson in the day, but we work quietly until one student starts squealing excitedly.)

    Student #1: “Oh! I know what this song is!”

    Student #2: *looks carefully at the paper* “Oh, my god! I do, too!”

    (I look at my sheet, but I can’t understand much of it as it is in French. A few minutes later, the teacher starts playing a song on her computer and the entire class’s nearly dies of excitement.)

    Half The Class: “It’s from FROZEN!”

    Me: “What?”

    Student #3: “It’s [very popular song from the movie ‘Frozen’]!

    (It was! By the end of the lesson, the entire class was singing along to the French version of the song. It was a great way to end the term!)

    Dancing Around The Important Stuff

    | Dallas, TX, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Musical Mayhem, Teachers

    (I am in an AP US History course, shortly after the teacher shows us a video about George Washington.)

    Teacher: “One of the things I like about this video is that it mentions some lesser-known facts about our first president. Did anyone else notice when it said he was an excellent dancer? Now, I’ve never been able to find any YouTube videos showing how to dance a minuet like Washington, but I did learn this historical jig!”

    (The teacher clicks his mouse, starting a lively song, stands up, and does a jig.)

    Teacher: “Who wants to learn the jig? Come on, if you participate in my dancing days I’ll let you teach me your dance moves at the end of the year!”

    The Lesson Fell Flat

    , | FL, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Family & Kids, Musical Mayhem

    (I am leading our weekly preschool story-time. It is this boy’s first visit. He is three.)

    Me: “Everyone stand up now. We’re going to sing ‘Wheels on the Bus.’ Put your arms out and make a circle.”

    Boy: *stands still, arms out but not moving*

    Me: “Come on, get your wheels going.” *I demonstrate the first motion*

    Boy: “I have a flat tire.”

    A Noteworthy Point

    | Houston, TX, USA | Language & Words, Musical Mayhem, Teachers

    (I am in a community youth orchestra and we have just finished running through a new piece.)

    Conductor: “So this will be the hardest piece on the program. You’ll have to practice. Make sure you play all the wrong notes—”

    (The orchestra erupts into laughter.)

    Conductor: “The RIGHT notes! You played the wrong notes just fine…”

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