“Why do I gotta do this Mum?”
“OK - Why do I have to do this… Mum?”
Ever had this sort of conversation? Likely it was the night before a speech was to be presented. Public speaking, so we’re told, is up there with snakebite
and vampire attack in its ability to produce adrenaline fuelled fight or flight reaction. Or, perhaps it was the afternoon of music rehearsal and monotony
rather than fear was the catalyst for this exchange. “Why do I gotta practise the trombone again, mum?” - “Have to.”
Yes, schools are a place where we make kids look squarely into the face of speech giving terror and trombone practice tedium. There is an enduring
pay-off though. The ability to craft a speech with an audience in mind, making it both informative and entertaining, all the while moving an audience
to laugh wildly, cry secretly, rage openly or perhaps even re-examine one’s long-held opinion, are such vital skills that it is worth digging-in when
confronted with momentary vocal resistance. Alternatively, the capacity to be part of an orchestra that produces transcendent sound in glorious unity
at the flick of a baton is dependent upon the resolve of Mum and Dad not to flinch on the odd occasion that opposition is spat our way. It’s temporal
discipline with a long-term goal… not common these days.
Which brings me to the Junior School Musical. Why do we gotta do this Mr Morton? Why do we have to spend so much time learning to sing, dance, sit,
stand, shuffle on, shuffle off, be quiet, be loud, and smile… don’t forget to smile? Are we not just training baby elephants in a highly orchestrated
circus attraction? Well, our most enduring memories of schooling are more often than not associated with a significant event. Daily routines fade into
the ether, but the excursions, the visiting speakers, the performances are all so indelible, even the catastrophes… especially the catastrophes.
This year, the Junior School will be presenting The Missing Peace. Our deep desire is that through the sizeable proportion of effort exerted in its
production, that the impact on our children would be entrenched. We want our kids not just to know their lines or their steps, but the story and the
Story Teller. The Missing Peace is set in New Testament times and weaves a narrative from the perspective of various Centurions, circa 33AD. Each of
them has a view of Jesus and have their conclusions profoundly informed by looking squarely into His face.
We want the same for our kids, for ourselves, our audience even. This is the pay-off for the enormous amount of planning, the vast amount of preparation
and the proliferation of rehearsals.
We gotta tell this story.