Once last year while performing at 34th street station I saw a group of about 20 young school children passing through. It isn’t strange to see school kids traveling in large groups, but rarely have I ever had a teacher point me out as this one did. What I usually experience is at least one of the kids will start mugging, dancing, being silly-air guitar or mouth singing. But this particular time, the teacher to my surprise and thrill gathered them around me to listen. I sang my song Through My Eyes, and eventually they caught on and by the end were singing along. It’s a memory that I cherish. The lyrics are “see the world through my eyes," so imagine these young children singing along. It was quite a sight and sound. At the end I spoke with them a bit, asked if any were guitarists, a couple of boys said yes, and there was one girl too. I encouraged them to practice and thanked their teacher for stopping. I never did get their names. They said they were from The Bronx, and I handed out my card to them-the teacher had to keep them from all taking one! I had hoped to get an email to let me know who they were, but never did. I was just happy to have provided a school class from The Bronx a chance to hear a subway/performer.
It’s just one reason why I believe that the MUNY program is so essential to NYC. An interesting coda is the following day I was at Graybar and could see a group of kids heading my way, and wanting a repeat of the day before, I attempted to engage them. Nothing doing. No reaction. Goes to show these spontaneous moments cannot be recaptured, they are little gems to savor as they happen. That moment of those 20 or so kids singing along with me will stay in my head for a long time.
Unfortunately I didn't have my camera filming that day (some things are best left to memory), but here is a clip made of kids I have captured. edited by Brendan Padgett