Mastering The Secrets Of Harmony in My Sixth Grade

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Finally the day arrived. The first trimester of sixth grade had just started and I was on my way to school with smiles all over my face because a new subject had just been added to the curriculum-music. I had heard wonderful stories about music from my friends who studied it in their schools too, and I was certain that it would be an unbelievable learning experience due to my love for music and the piano.

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I was excited especially to be taught by Mr. Fred Hammond, a genius in one of the best music ensembles in Ghana-Harmonious Chorale. Surprisingly, he also had the same name as another musician in the United States Of America, who I liked so much. After just a few lessons with Mr. Hammond, I sure knew I was on the path of greatness. He had very sharp musical ears, could detect wrong notes in chords, and by virtue of his sense of humor, made every lesson fun. As I prepared for weeks on the piano for one jazz piece, he warned me continuously prior to a performance in class that, 'Do not overplay this, Afriyie, or you would alter the impact of the piece. Every note you include in harmony is essential'. Ultimately, the day came and I performed it beautifully and frankly, I was amazed. My secret was listening to the advice of my amazing tutor.

Halfway into the trimester, he introduced the formation of groups and encouraged us to bond together and learn from each other. Mr. Hammond often had a saying that, 'Harmony fosters love', and often explained that amazing harmony would breed love because of careful combinations of notes in chords. For some time, we all thought our teacher was referring to only music but the 'harmony' was ambiguous and his ambiguity was indeed intentional. Ambiguity in the sense that he was training us in learning in 'harmony' in music and also living in 'harmony' with others through the groups he introduced.

In just a week, I saw the power of harmony starting to manifest through my group. My group comprised eight members with four being boys, and the other four,girls. We became more than just friends and like a family. We attended other classes apart from music together, learnt together and even ate together. We even studied each other's musical instrument within weeks which formerly seemed impossible to achieve while alone. Mr. Hammond noticed that our group was flourishing, we had become more knowledgeable and vibrant students, and commended us for the strong bond we created. It literally manifested in all aspects of my life positively as I learnt tolerance, building relationships, hard work, enjoying what I did, persistence, and above all, love.

Sixth grade indeed turned out to be an unbelievable experience in my life and although Mr. Fred Hammond taught me great stuff about music and the piano, in the end, his greatest lesson about life.

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