The Old Guitar Ensemble School

Guitar Ensemble Anecdotes - The Day of the Jackal

Welcome to one of several popup windows with true-life stories from my teaching career (such as it is!)

The Day of The Jackal

CONFIDENTIAL - for your eyes only
 Venue A pupil's lounge in Cowplain, Southern England
 Agenda Teacher coaches pupils for forthcoming Examination

Final plans are made for the upcoming Graded Exam...
Briefing by Derek continues...
"OK people, we've got an exam to do. We're gonna burst into that room one at a time and we're gonna spray notes all over the dude..."

Having reassured my pupils that all would be well in their forthcoming exams, we discussed meeting in the exam practice room, and I handed out a checklist for the day of the exam, including a list of things to bring - guitar, music and footstool. I mentioned that the exam room would have a music stand, though the practice room would not.

Now I don't know what sort of music stands you have where you come from, but most of the cheaper ones round here are chromed metal and a little flimsy. Having broken such a cheap one by piling my Workshop music onto it, one pupil - I'll call him Rich (after all, that's his name...) had bought a very expensive and very substantial one. When erected, the top is a solid sheet of black metal, perforated with holes. To be honest, if you lay it down flat, it looks like you could barbecue a meal for four on it. As we keep reminding him. And the tripod base is telescopic with all sorts of things that slide, click and screw most satisfyingly. It is a fine piece of engineering and a pleasure to own. It exudes quality. It packs flat and can be carried in a black briefcase.

It was only seeing Rich assembling the stand that we all realised that it was fitting together with the click, twist and precise clunk of a dozen assorted parts that you see in the cinema when the spy assembles a tank-busting rifle from a small attaché case.

But we were mistaken, of course. Legs apart and standing on the floor without the music holder, it was obviously a mortar launcher.

I'll stop Rich from taking it into the exam room. I think the examiner might end up cowering behind the desk.

But all is not lost. We expect the Day Of The Exam to become another Forsyth Spy Film "The Day Of The Chuckle"