Slice of Life Challenge Day 16 #sol18

Music connects in interesting ways . . .

It was after school, and our faculty meeting ended early. With computer shut down and bag packed for the evening, I pushed in my chair, zipped up my coat.  Then the door opened.  “Hey, Lanny.”  Sidling into my office came our custodian, Ray.  “I hear you’re a keyboard player.”  Ray slowly made his way toward my desk, pulled out a chair and plopped down.

“I am,” I responded.  How did he hear that? I wondered.  I also wondered why he might be taking this time to talk with me, seated in my office.  This was a marked departure from our normal interactions, which sparked real intrigue for me.

He cleared his throat.  “You interested in an organ? I have a friend looking to get rid of one.”  An organ? I thought.

In that moment, I was transported back seventeen years, when I met a singer songwriter named Patrick.  We had been introduced by a colleague, a musical colleague who played viola, at her house one night.  She’d invited me over, hearing that I play keyboards.  Sitting in her house, just inside the door, was a small organ.  The three of us jammed that night, finding common chordal ground, inventing songs, improvising together.  Three years later, the three of us would record a record, all original songs by Patrick.

I’m honestly not sure I can accommodate an organ in my house.  I thanked Ray for the offer, as it sounded like this instrument was in search of a good home.  But I am mostly struck by the way music can connect me with people in unique ways…even with the wonderful custodian in my school.




Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

3 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 16 #sol18”

  1. A happenstance connection leading to a fond memory makes for a great Slice. Perhaps you’ll tickle the ivories soon, somewhere, in honor of your own words?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a marching band girl through and through, I know the power of music and the way it can connect such diverse people. Loved that you had this surprising encounter! (And hope that organ finds a good home!)

    Liked by 1 person

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