DAY 3: First night in Polish homes & first lessons with Polish duet partners
Updated: May 25, 2019
The children went back last night to different Polish homes. For some, this was their first time sleeping alone. For many, this was their first time sleeping away from home.
After they got back, the children reported themselves nicely through our group chat. Everyone was very curious about each other’s homes and was sending pictures to each other. One house has so many cats. One house has dogs. Another has turtles. They all seemed very excited. Some of them got along right away with their hosts. Some might take a bit more time but we hope that this week will open them up to a new world of possibilities.
The first day of our lessons at Paderewski Music School started with duet pieces with our Polish friends with Mrs. Stępniewska. It was the first day for the children to work together with their partners. Some have already practiced together at home. Some just came to practice at school together. If some people had some language barrier problem last night, today there was none. Through music, they managed to work together to achieve the sound they want.
Everyone was very impressed with the level of our Nat Studio students. Their hard work before coming to Poland really paid off. Now they feel more confident and more relaxed to enjoy their time to explore the new culture.
The children also had a chance to visit St. Mary’s Basilica today. The children were in awe with the magnificent beauty they see in every detail of the church. This 15th century basilica is one of the most important places to visit in Krakow. Not only that it is known for its beauty, it is also known for the ‘trumpet call’
At every hour, a trumpeter could be seen on top of the tower of St. Mary’s Basilica and a short melody would be heard. The origin of this tradition is unclear. Some might say that it was used to signal the opening and closing of the city gates. Some might argue that it was use to sound alarm in case of fire or attack to the whole city. Or it might be both.
Today, the tradition of the ‘trumpet call’ is kept alive at St. Mary’s Basilica. Kru Łukasz told us that this job is not an easy job for any musician. The trumpeter must be trained like a fireman. He has to climb all the way to the top of the tower on tiny and centuries old wooden stairs to play. On some occasion, Łukasz said that they might even play the same melody in different style too!
One of our students, Aliza, had walked around the main square before we took the whole group there. She shared with the group what she learnt from her host mother of the ‘trumpet call’. According to one of the famous legends of the trumpeter, he was playing the trumpet sound an alarm of an attack of the city. The helped the people to close the gates in time to protect the city. However, the trumpeter was shot in his throat and thus the melody was ‘interrupted’. Since then, this melody is play with an interrupted ending to commemorate this moment.
There are many more legends and history of this centuries old city that we will discover tomorrow. We will walk through the whole royal route to visit Wawel castle where the kings of Poland used to live and work.
Cr. Putter the photographer
A mini note on probably the highlight of the children since they arrived here is their ice-cream experience or ‘lody’. We’ve been walking through many ice-cream places since the first day we arrived in Poland. TODAY WAS THE DAY. They finally had their promised ice-cream time. You just have to see their faces. They were all beaming with indescribable joy.