Art & Culture
By Kayla Duvert
Volume 1 Issue 2
November 24, 2020
Image provided by Glenda Cohen
Remote learning. No matter how long we do it, it seems as if it’s a choice. A choice between you and yourself only. Whether or not you turn on your camera, raise your hand to answer a question or click Join when the meeting starts. It all seems easier to not do once you’ve already stopped doing it. It becomes a cycle of impulse. A cycle that seems never ending, until it does. A cycle that continues until a change occurs in your cycle.
During my cycle of impulse, I heard my chorus teacher Mrs. Schneider say the word “project”. Sitting at home in my room - that’s now become my classroom - I hear the words, project… project… project project! A Recycled Percussion Instrument Project.Then it struck me. We were actually learning from our computers. It actually counts. It seems so easy to avoid it, but it counts. So I start to do it.
A Recycled Percussion Instrument. It seems easy to not do it, but it’s easy to do it also. Then the words reoccur in my head. An endless thought, it counts. My ears are sharp. I pay close attention to what my teacher says: “You will use ordinary materials from home to create a musical instrument”. I can do this. It’s easy to do. It counts.
I need to make an instrument. Drums, maracas, guitars, xylophones; they’re all instruments. So many, yet I don’t know what to choose. I don’t have a plan. So, I do what I know how to do: act on impulse. I grab things. I don’t have a full thought, but I grab things. I grab a plastic container from the cabinet, colored pencils from my sister’s pencil case, tape from the desk, rubber bands from the bathroom, push pins that have already been pushed into my wall and a drawstring that was once used for my pants. Still no plan, only impulse.
I start the taping things, decorating things and tying things. Still no plan, only impulse. I’ve now created an instrument with no plan, no name, no idea of what it even is. So, confused by my acts of impulse. Confusion that I wouldn’t suffer if I hadn’t done it at all. Then I remember, it counts. I can play the instrument, it’s still an instrument, so it counts.
Weeks later my teacher utters the same words that initiated all of this. Project. A Recycled Percussion Project. She says, “You guys will present your percussion projects today if you have them”. I have my instrument, I’m ready, I’m here. While others play, I tune them out and practice in the meantime. Only hearing sounds from my instrument: my impulse enacted instrument. A voice breaks my train of thought, “Kayla do you have your instrument?” Of course, I do. I’m ready.
It’s my turn. After all of that grabbing, taping, tying and decorating, it’s my turn. I play. Welcoming each note, I played and making it my only focus. Nothing except this project seemed to matter. My never-ending cycle of procrastination has been put to rest. I did something that counts.