Due to my limited Hebrew skills I wasn’t exactly sure why I was invited to meet with the Director of the Music Conservatory in Ma’ale Adumim this afternoon. It turns out that he heard Yisrael playing saxophone in the school orchestra and wanted to test his musical abilities.
I was entertained as Yisrael sang the notes and scales he was instructed to (he never listens to me that closely), banged his fist on the desk to a beat, and patted his head & rubbed his stomach in circular motion to demonstrate his coordination – but was disappointed when he opened the saxophone case and discovered there was no reed so he couldn’t play (I’ve never heard him play).
The Director searched through all the music rooms for a reed and came back frustrated, then looked through his file to determine which teacher had recommended Yisrael so he could perhaps contact him/her for further details. I watched as a huge smile crossed his face and he announced that it was HE who had heard Yisrael play and recommended him!
After the exam he asked us to wait outside while he discussed the results with another teacher who took part in it. Then he came out and invited us to his office where he announced that Yisrael scored 100 in pitch recognition and rhythm and he wanted him to learn under his direction at the Conservatory!
I explained that we’re very honored by his offer, but that with both Michael & I currently unemployed we’ll have to delay his registration for a while (I had prepared Yisrael in advance for this possibility). An interrogation ensued as to when I thought that issue might be resolved. B’ezrat Hashem it will be soon, but… Dr. Shapiro insisted that it would hurt a child with such talent to be forced to wait and therefore he will enroll him now and we’ll deal with the money later! (I’m to check in with him monthly until we are able to pay.)
While he keyed our data into his computer, we learned that he lived in the US for about 20 years; graduated from Yale & Rutgers, taught in Wisconsin and finished his doctorate while teaching in Tennessee during the same time we lived there back in 2003 – small world! He praised Yisrael for his talent and asked if he is certain that he wants to play the Saxophone because with his natural abilities Dr. Shapiro feels that the Sax might be too easy and suggested Yisrael consider the Clarinet or Oboe (the latter being the more difficult). For now Yisrael is sticking with the Sax because he likes the sound – this is what he has in mind
I was thinking more along the lines of Kenny G, but either way I’m thrilled that a drum set (in our limited space with no attic, basement or garage to set it up in) wasn’t an option! And again I am very impressed with the quality of education in Ma’ale Adumim. Did I mention that Yisrael’s school recently won the AMIT Award for Educational Acheivement (English | Hebrew)?