Every year I get 10 sick days. I usually use maybe 2 of them. Today was one. *cough, cough*
Actually, it was a "mental health day". Last night was my Spring Concert at school, so today looked like a good day to be home. Believe it or not, it's actually more work and hassle to miss a day of school than it is to go in, so I usually miss very few days during the year.
The concert went really well. My students did a fantastic job, and the audience was very enthusiastic! At the end of the concert, I always present awards to the graduating 8th graders, and then as a blessing we sing an arrangement of "May the Road Rise to Meet You". Right before the song, one of my students interrupted me, and presented me with a gift from the chorus. Are you ready for this...they gave me a 4GB iPod Nano! I've always wanted an iPod!!!! I am the only music teacher I know that doesn't have one. Or, I should say, didn't have one. I'm so excited!! I spent a part of the day today loading iTunes, charging the iPod, and perusing (and purchasing) music. I knew that it would be very easy for me to lose control and click the "buy" button until it was smoking (especially when the songs are only $0.99!) so, I gave myself an allowance of $20. I bought some Kurt Elling (jazz), Johnny Cash, Jacqui Naylor (jazz), Cherryholmes (bluegrass), and a whole album from The Fairfield Four (gospel). All that for only $17! So, I still have $3 to spend, and any suggestions would be great! I actually found it more difficult than I thought it would be to pick songs to buy. So many choices, so little money!
Here's a sample of what I have. This is Kurt Elling. He is one of the top guy jazz singers out there. ever. This video is him singing "Nature Boy". The song is one that Nat King Cole was known for, but Kurt's version is more "jazz" than Cole's was. Some things to watch for...the song starts out really slow and mellow, then at about 2:10 it changes over to a great bossa nova groove. Totally changes the feel of the original piece. Then, at about 3:20, Kurt takes off into an amazing scat solo for about 2 minutes. Scat - Jazz solo technique that uses nonsense syllables instead of words, so that the singer can improvise freely. Improvise - Make it up as you go along. Sorry, music teacher talking...
After the scat solo, the drummer takes a turn, and then Kurt finishes out the piece by showing off his unbelievable range. This clip is about 9 minutes long, but I promise you, it is worth every minute. Take the time to watch it!
So, what's in your iPod? (That seems to be a hot question to ask on a blog!)