Today there was no school, so I met the kids and my boss at a larger branch of the program, with enough space for things like a skate park, multiple game tables, and a music room.
The music room stays locked. And when a few of the kids asked if they could use it I didn’t think twice about getting the keys and hanging out in there with them (supervision required, expensive equipment). It’s a small enough space, and the major attractions despite a couple of larger more expensive pieces and a host of others are the two full drum sets and the electric guitar.
If they could put the amp on that thing to 11 they would, but it only went to ten. As it was, I had to remind them that drums are not impervious to damage, and that purposely wailing on them as hard as possible counted as misuse and would cost them the sticks.
I didn’t know any better, but apparently most staff put time limits on that room, because their hearing can’t stand it for long chunks of time. We went for a few rounds of different kids switching out on the instruments, always both drum sets included, until they all found other things to do and it was just me and a girl with a karaoke mic. She sang me an unfinished original, and then we shut it down.
One of the staff members I was chatting with later told me that the staff were occasionally asking each other if I was still in there and hadn’t I come out yet with a certain sense of awe. I outlasted everyone. I told her it was because I have two younger brothers who both made the rounds of drumsets and electric instruments — one has a friend in a band (and thus the whole band comes over back at home) and the other did a brief stint on the bagpipes.
Now they’ve got me on tap next time our group is over there if anyone needs the music room. That, and I outlasted some of the tougher-to-get-to-know kids from my group and, as a result, won a couple of them over. I’ve got a headache now the size of Texas, but that’s pretty much worth it.