It’s just another version of the dance recitals – where it becomes more about the instructor than the kids. It’s very frustrating – at least for me. I don’t know exactly how the kids see it. My brother-in-law thinks I have a ‘Marlin problem’. He laughs at me because I seem to care more than anyone else does.
Marlin is the guitar instructor, and he has the nerve to say, ‘don’t pay attention to me. I’m up here to help them out, but it’s about them’. Oh yeah? THEN DON’T STAND CENTER STAGE AND PUT MOST OF THE KIDS BEHIND MUSIC STANDS!!!
Considering he usually picks the songs and takes over the vocals (which by the way, are PAINFUL. My vocal chords hurt just listening to him strain) and that the program says ‘thanks for making MY dream come true’, I have a hard time believing it’s about the kids. As Helen Lovejoy would say – “won’t somebody please think of the children???!!
Matt likes to play with the other guys and always pairs up with someone else. This way they get to perform two songs. The choices were a little predictable for 8th graders: Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. I thought Matt did well, and he did the singing on ‘Wish You Were Here’ and got away with singing the word ‘hell’. Oh – did I mention Marlin is heavy into religion and makes them change words like that to ‘heck’?
Katie, on the other hand, is a slight rebel and I love it. She refuses to be paired with any of the other students (so much so that she sat out last recital rather than be forced to perform with others who were subpar). She picked her own song too – Suzanne Vega’s “Luka”. She wasn’t playing with anyone else so she saw no reason to go to the rehearsal. She had a chemistry test to stud for! She couldn’t be bothered. I loved it.
Since it was just Katie and her guitar – and she was doing her own singing, there was no need for this Marlin character. It was the ONLY time he left the stage all night. ….and Katie did wonderfully. Arguably, she was the best one of the night. Though her vocals could have been a bit better, her acoustic guitar playing was extremely strong and she was very confident. I was very proud of her.
Marlin also has always had Katie and Matt on in the late second half of the show…which sucks, because as soon as the other kids are done, their families pack up and leave. Hey, we had to sit through your kids version of ‘A Horse With No Name’….suck it up!
This time they had a true stage to perform on and had lights (albeit crappy ones). As the first group played, Katie sat behind me grumbling about not wanting those lights on her. I said she wouldn’t notice, but they were extremely distracting, as the above was the best picture that came out (without flash – which negated any of the stage lights)…..which would be fine if you had a tab of window pane, but……it was just annoying for the grandparents. And uncles.