Possibilities

Seven little letters
On seven little keys
Along with their neighbors
The twins and triplets
Stepping and hopping
Walking and dancing
In and around
Up and over each other
A musical little bunch
Together, they will make you
Laugh, cry, maybe even dance
Depending on their patterns
And when you learn
To play them
Creating patterns
Of your own
Well, the possibilities are endless

I cannot wait for my students to see and play our new pianos! ❤️

Home

Today, I heard you calling my name

A few notes from a familiar song

In the passing of minutes, maybe seconds

A few notes, but only one word

Each new song the same

One after another, after another

Only a few notes, still the same word

I heard you again even after the music stopped

This time, a whisper from the row of pines across the road

I could smell their fresh, clean scent in my memories

See their lovely green against the blue sky

As in the songs, also in the pines

I heard you calling my name

At the end of my fifth-grade music class today, we watched the Pentatonix video, Home. It is a medley of songs all about, you guessed it, home.

I asked students to count how many different songs they heard. I counted right along with them. The total was fourteen! ( I missed one. 😉)

Though our purpose was listening to count, the activity had a slightly different impact on me. I found myself wanting to make a list and listen to each individual song. Maybe another day…

Beyond Happy Birthday

It’s all a matter
Of perspective
Well-rehearsed
Full of love
Celebratory
Happy Birthday!
Performance
Complete with
Full chorus
And orchestra

Impromptu
Full of love
Rambunctious
Happy Birthday!
Complete with
Kindergarteners
School hallway
Their stage
It’s all a matter
Of perspective

Each rendition
Delightful
In its own right
In its own space
But those sweet
Kindergarteners
Singing in
The school hallway
Provided a harmony
Beyond music

My birthday celebration this year was topped off with a special treat. My husband surprised me with tickets to see James Taylor and Jackson Browne in Kansas City, MO last night. Road trip! ❤️

Four hours of life’s soundtrack from these two artists who are still going strong. Both in their seventies, I was amazed at their energy. Inspired by their love for what they do. Sharing the power of connection that lives in their music.

I hope to write more about this event. But right now, I want to bask in the harmony beyond music. It started with those sweet kindergarteners and continued right until the final note of last night’s concert.

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s alright
I don’t know no love songs
I can’t sing the blues anymore
Oh but I can sing this song
You can sing this song when I’m gone
-James Taylor

Precious Boy

Nothing compares with the contagious laughter of a child. The kind that brings tears because it can’t be stopped. One of my first-grade friends recently demonstrated this phenomenon.

He is always smiling. When I see him in the hallway, in the music room, getting in the car with his mom to go home. Such a sweet boy.

Those with an honest laugh also have a sincere cry…

Today in music class, students sang a song about Thanksgiving. I then asked, What are you thankful for? Such sweet answers. My family, friends, brother, sister, grandma, and on and on. Almost all of them mentioned a family member.

This friend was no exception. He said he was thankful for his mom. I immediately pictured him running to his car every afternoon. Always wearing that big smile.

We ended class by watching and listening to a song about Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t say it is a sad song, but sweet. When the song ended, I teased the class.

You guys haven’t asked me what I’m thankful for!

What are you thankful for, Mrs. Morris?

You guys!

I followed this with a comment about their sweet smiles. And then I mentioned my one friend’s contagious smile and laugh. It was time to line up. I noticed he had a funny look on his face, eyes downcast. So, I asked what was wrong.

Tears began to flow. While the others lined up, I knelt to talk with him.

My sister died. When she was little.

Oh, honey, I am so sorry.

I told him how special it was that he remembered her in his heart.

Precious boy. I will not soon forget his laughter or his tears. ❤️

Two Poem Tuesday

Almost Asleep

There’s
A span
Of time
Between
Awake and
Asleep
Where hazy
Melodies
Slow to
A gentle
Tempo
I wonder
How many
Measures
This space
Is capable
Of holding?

Trying to
Keep count
I am sadly
Awakened
Sleep evading
Allowing
The lullaby
To wash over
I am sweetly
Carried
To slumber
Melody
Forgotten
A mystery
Left for
Dreaming

Daylight Savings?

Time change?
How is that
Possible?
An enigma
At best
Lose an hour
Gain an hour
Tomorrow
Arrives the same
Sleep comes
No faster
Rest feels
No sweeter
At least not
From this
Sleepyhead
…until
My morning
Drive to work
Was no longer
Shrouded
In darkness
Instead,
A pretty
Pink sunrise

The word of the day, or the week, is sleep. It feels like I cannot get enough. It’s funny how gaining an extra hour makes me feel so tired. 😉

Carry Hope

Do you ever feel
Restless
Lose track of time
Or maybe your
Car keys

Focus blurry
From
Tired body
Tired mind
Too much time
Thinking about
Life’s worries…
Place your hands
Over your eyes
As a shield
But remember to
Spread your fingers
Wide enough for
Tiny particles
Of sun dust
To filter thru
The open spaces
And carry hope
Into your heart

This past weekend, a song I had not heard in a long time came to mind. One of those you are not alone kinds of songs. I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear these words, soak them in and then send them back out. Have a listen.

https://youtu.be/61Wm_qlVD4Q Brother by Need to Breathe

Are They Listening?

Most teachers have moments of wondering-are they hearing anything I’m saying? Sometimes it is difficult to know. I want to believe our students remember more than we think they do. Especially the things that are most important.

My attitude has not been great this week. Several reasons that really don’t matter. But I could have easily been described as tired, grumpy, and irritable on several occasions. Today there were a couple of sparks that helped change all of that.

First, if you’ve never heard First or Second graders sing, it is precious. Their voices are pure and sweet. Today, they were learning about how music notes are placed on lines. And how they could learn to read those notes. Specifically, sol and mi.

Each song we learned was a different combination of those two tones. In one of the activities, I would sing a pattern, they would echo. The fun came when we sang along with an accompaniment.

They sounded so sweet! I was trying to express how happy it made me hearing them sing. One little First-grader raised their hand.  

Mrs. Morris, are we filling your bucket?

I smiled. Yes! You are filling my bucket!

Our teacher says we filled hers, too.

I recorded their song and let them listen. There were giggles and smiles. Then I emailed the recording to their teacher. I also relayed their bucket comments so she would know they had been listening after all.

First Grade Music Class ❤️

Alive

Sole of
My foot
Pressing
Against
Warm concrete
Rocking chair
Gently
Moving me
Back and forth
As I watch
Pines dance
Across the way
Strong-yet,
Graceful
One leaning
Into the next
And the next
Then back again
Their inspiration
Originating from
The same
Cool breeze
That graces
My face
I am alive
And although
There are no
Instruments
No melody
There is music
All the same

Dust in the Wind by Kansas Kelley Morris, piano

This song may not match the sentiments of this poem exactly. However, there is one line that stood out to me today. A line I had not given much thought to when I was younger. It really is the simple things.

“…and all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Audience of One

As the sky
Blends
Pink with
Bluish gray
And daylight
Begins to fade
A chorus of
Creatures
Greets the
Approaching
Darkness-
Frogs croak
Birds whistle
Crickets chirp
The whir of cicadas
Although hidden
From view
Their songs
Surround me
An audience of one-
The moment
I consider
Closing
My eyes
To listen
Closely
A gaggle
Of geese
Appears
Overhead
In perfect
Formation
Their voices
A final chorus
In this evening
Serenade

I wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago. It was one of those rare cool summer evenings. Tonight brings cooler temperatures once again, and along with it, the first hints of Fall. I wonder what those creatures think of that? 😉

Waterfalls

Silence is simple
Or so I thought
Best to keep
Feelings
Intense
Hidden
Fearing
If spoken
Out loud
They might
Become an
Endless
Roaring
Waterfall
Of emotion
Drowning myself
And all who
Approach
Might is the key
I suppose
It can’t see
The future
Nor can I
And waterfalls
Though powerful
Are great teachers
Inspiring
The heart
To open even
In the face of
Apprehension

Earlier this week, I sat down to play the piano. And So It Goes by Billy Joel was one of my choices. It seemed to stick in my mind for the rest of the week. So, this morning I read the lyrics and wrote from the line that stood out.

My silence is my self-defense.

Piano, Kelley Morris