by Randy Chambers, 2004-08-02
"Hit the tambourine, Billy!" Lisa's frustration rode atop her crinkled brow.
"Hit it!" she again demanded. Billy's concentration paid no heed to Lisa's angry
shrills. His tongue protruded, and wiggled about as if seeking--in vain attempt--to set
the cadence for his rhythmically challenged hands.
Billy was a hopeless case--Lisa was sure of that. He wouldnt listen, he completely
ignored her, and he didnt even seem to care. He just stood there, whacking away with
that flyswatter he called a tambourine. Lisa lifted her eyes and looked around at the rest
of the music class. Most were just like Billy. Why should she even bother? Why should she
even try? She had all she could take! She crossed her arms furiously and grimaced! I
hate you all!
Mrs. Martin wore many hats: teacher, playground monitor
had already been observing the brewing storm from across the room and with timely stealth
made her way to Lisa to batten down the hatches before the big one blew.
Now lets pick up our wooden blocks and play our song with the other
Let someone else play the woodblocks. I am so very much better with the
Mrs. Martin picked up the woodblocks and held them out toward Lisa. Here, Lisa.
Itll be fun. Lisa scowled at Mrs. Martin, looked down at the woodblocks and
begrudgingly took them from her teachers hand. She slapped the blocks together once
in protest then folded her arms and glared. Mrs. Martin turned and walked back to front
and center of the classroom.
Tap, tap, tap. The baton smacked against the steel, black music stand, then raised high
into the air anticipating the first downbeat. Ready? Mrs. Martin raised the
question above the clatter of the class, and waited all eyes to turn and fix on her. A
moment passed, then all was still. With swift agility the baton came down to strike the
silence and birth a rippled wake of varied pitch. Mrs. Martin smiled as though they all
struck chord in sync, and she received their mislaid strikes and blows as though a
childs homemade gift.
Before long, all the whistles, thumps, thuds, and whines clamored together into an
indistinguishable clump. Mrs. Martin continued waving her batonup and downslow
Mrs. Martin looked over at Lisa. Lisa hadnt moved. Her arms still folded, she pouted
with every part of her body. She stopped conducting and moved toward Lisa. The class
continued playing without hesitation.
Lisa, whats wrong?
We sound awful!
Mrs. Martin thought for a second, and then leaned closer and whispered in Lisas ear.
Lisas expression perked and gleamed. Mrs. Martin smiled and handed the baton to
Lisa, and walked with Lisa to the podium.
Class, Lisa is going to conduct for us for a little while.
The noise tapered then faded, awaiting the batons approval to continue.
Ready? Lisa authoritatively queried. She tapped the stand and with one
continual motion began pumping the baton. The class joined in.
Lisas face beamed. The other musicians returned to sternly focusing on their own
parts to play. Mrs. Martin stepped back to listen and watch. In all the clamoring chaos,
there was a melodious symphony of sorts. The clanging, clopping, clapping, tom-tom thud
and finger snapping; popping, clucking, and off key plucking sent shivers from ear to
spine. And yet, the little hands beating, and little arms flailing gave eye to heart
endearing sight of angels wings in splendid flight. For to the eye that sees, there
was the Makers mark of pleasant approval upon such a glorious display. And in that
precious moment in time, within the heart of this particular music class teacher, there
grew a deeper understanding of the Masters love for all the little children of the
At end of class, the students scooted and scraped their metal chairs, hurried toward the
instrument cabinet and laid their instruments to restas it were. They hurried out,
with their guest conductor waiting until last to leave. Lisa stopped at the door where
Mrs. Martin stood. Still beaming, Lisa looked up at her teacher.
Mrs. Martin! Didnt we sound great today?
Yes, Lisa. It was something wasnt it?
Left alone in the quiet, music room, Mrs. Martin began straightening. The childrens
music resonated in her heart, and lifted to her lips.
Jesus loves the little children