I'm sorry, but I think I might just be the best piano teacher ever to exist in life. I know, I'm being a braggart, but I really think it may be true! Every year, I give my students each a mix CD, usually with a lot of songs that use piano. Sometimes I'll mix it up and put on some kid-friendly rock music, or some stuff that they might consider cool, and intersperse it with awesome rocking classical piano stuff. It's usually a big hit. But this year's Holiday Piano CD has surpassed any of the previous years' CDs. And I'll tell you why...it's because of the packaging.
Before I go any further, let me give you a little bit of history here...paint a little picture, if you will. I've never been a huge fan of all this visual art that everybody is always talking about. I used to yawn my way through field trips to the Art Institute of Chicago in grade school. I'd go to my friend's art openings in high school and hang out by the snack table, waiting to leave. The only visual art I ever really appreciated when I was a kid was photography. Other than that, I just didn't get how people could sit and look at this unmoving piece of something for longer than a minute or so. I definitely did not appreciate well.
The other thing is that I was never ever good at any visual art. I took a ceramics class in high school and all I ever made was a whole bunch of triangular shaped boxes with lids (my sister told me that this particular art teacher was afraid of triangles - I was such an asshole as a teenager) and a couple of money banks in the shapes of human heads. I cannot draw to save my life. I made my own deck of tarot cards for my fortune teller costume this Halloween that all turned out pretty great - I named the card, drew a picture on each, and labeled them with "Tarot of Reem." All of the pictures were pretty accurate except for any of them that had feet. I cannot effing draw feet. It looks like there are no ankles...just that there is this curvy part of your leg and then all of a sudden, whoops a daisy, there's your foot! And I can never get the toes right...Have a look at those feet - so awful!
Here are the two cards that had feet in them:
Close up on The Body Wax - look at that stumpy foot with awkward toes!
Close up on Athlete's Foot - nonexistent ankle! Grody!
Anyhow, I'm not good at the visual art. In fact, this aforementioned picture I'm painting would not be very impressive if it were an actual painting. Trust me.
At least now I've reached a place where my appreciation has grown. I'm still not talented in that sense at all, but I now love paintings and sculptures and collages. I'd even try a trip down to the ole Art Institute sometime. If you promise we only have to spend an hour or two there and can then go out for lunch. Oh, and I can totally appreciate colors and how colors go together. This may be due to Tara and her love for colors, or my sister and her beautiful paintings. So maybe this is why I am taking so much pride in the Holiday CD this year. Not necessarily because of the colors, or because I did anything really artistic, but just the fact that I made something that looks cool. For serious, I'm really impressed with myself. Check the pictures:
Here are some of the "winter" stickers I bought at Factory Card Outlet, a heavenly haven for teachers, crafters, and nerds alike:
Screw the big candy canes, I just got 40 mini candy canes for $2! These ones are also more difficult to break, so the kids won't whine and ask me for another like they do with the big ones.
Glittery pencils! They serve so many purposes: kids need to write on their music with pencils, not pens, and also they have glitter on them, which is always very purposeful.
This is the CD I made, with a scrap of green plaid wrapping paper and a curly ribbon wrapped 'round. One kid did ask me if I used Packers colors on purpose. I was immediately ashamed.
And the finished project! Come on, how cute is this? Do you see what I mean about me being the best piano teacher ever? Jeez...
The only thing that might not be so great is the fact that I totally left the CD making to the last minute. So...maybe it isn't the most exciting CD musically. Maybe it's mostly classical music and some other stuff that's pretty cheesy. Whoops a daisy. But I still think the packaging will take all the attention away from the actual music and the kids will be ecstatic, hands sticky from candy canes, skin glittery from cheap pencils, and spirits aglow from my awesomeness.
Okay, I'm done bragging. But just for like, the next few hours, while I sleep. Then I'll be back to do it more tomorrow - don't you worry!
I have to make 36 more of these, by the way. Part of me wonders if I'm going to hate this beautiful little CD by Monday...
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