Easter, ethics, and Debussy

As usual I fell for all the April Fools’ Day jokes yesterday including the one about Jeremy Clarkson joining the fossil fuel divestment movement. I guess I was just feeling hopeful 🙂

The kids have been asking me lots of questions about Easter that I’m having problems answering like “How does the Easter Bunny travel?” and “Why is there an Easter Bunny?”. I said the Easter Bunny hops from place to place but apparently they watched a movie at school in which the Easter Bunny was flying. How was I supposed to know that? And what exactly has the Easter Bunny got to do with eggs? Daniel asked me this and I must admit I have no idea. Why isn’t the Easter Bunny an Easter Chicken? Rabbits are mammals and mammals do not lay eggs. [Update: I’ve just looked in Wikipedia and it has an explanation for the Easter Bunny – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Bunny ]

They’ve also been learning about the significance of Easter from a religious perspective. It’s a secular school but religious and moral education are part of the national curriculum here in Scotland. This is supposed to incorporate aspects from all religions but there seems to be a focus on Christianity which I don’t really mind since Scotland, historically and culturally, is a christian nation. I haven’t looked at the curriculum too closely but I’m pleased that moral education is included. Although I hope it is of a more philosophical nature rather than a religious one but I’m unsure. There’s more about it here if anyone is interested:

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningandteaching/curriculumareas/rme/nondenominational/index.asp

I read an interesting article in the NYTimes recently called Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts. It’s written by an American philosopher who was concerned by his son’s homework which involved categorising statements as either facts or opinions. Every value statement was categorised as an opinion leading children to believe that there are no moral truths. In other words, the statement “It is wrong to kill another human” is just an opinion.  This is apparently part of the Common Core standards used by schools in the US.

The piano that came with our rental property is very old but we had it tuned this week and it’s sounding much better than it was. I’m not a very good pianist. I didn’t learn for very long and I never took exams but it’s something I enjoy doing very much. I recorded this video of me playing the first bit of Clair de Lune. I make a few mistakes in it, sorry, but it’s a magnificent piece of music even with my poor rendition. Debussy started composing it at the age of 28 but it was not published until 15 years later in 1905.

24 thoughts on “Easter, ethics, and Debussy

  1. Nicely played. But do you live in a mirror image world? I thought the sound was out of sync with pictures for a while. Or that you had a reverse wired piano. But the page turn gave it away.

    I’m learning piano too, but less advanced than you. Reading the music is the big hurdle, I find.

    1. Yeah, the camera on my computer filmed it and so everything is around the wrong way. I was a bit taken aback when I first saw it too.

      The piano is a lovely instrument. I’ve just started teaching my daughter as she has shown some interest in learning. All the best with it.

  2. I also never understood the Easter Bunny! My kids learnt about him at school, and DD (age c 6) wrote a massive thesis of questions for the E Bunny to answer while she slept. I was still answering this at 11pm! (She did the same for the tooth mouse!!) We laugh about it now! 🙂
    Lovely to hear you play the piano. There is something so much more rewarding to play your own music, than just to listen. 🙂

    1. Haha, that’s so funny. I hope my kids don’t give me any homework on Saturday night 🙂

      And yes, it’s quite different playing music yourself rather than listening to it. Both are very enjoyable.

  3. I think I may have got you, not noticing that the twin geese was an April 1st prank.

    The Easter Bunny’s fluffy tail leaves a white track (talcum powder really) around the house which leads to Easter Eggs. Obvious really. 🙂

    1. I wondered whether someone would notice that 🙂

      As an addendum to my post: there are some mammals that lay eggs. The monotremes, which include the echidna and the platypus, both lay eggs and are mammals. I do miss the cool Australian animals.

  4. The platypus is the answer to so many “what animal is the exception” questions. Definitely a cool beast.
    I loved your rendition of Clair de Lune, and I am not a great one for classical music! Your playing has a very rich tone to it.

    1. Thanks, Denise! I’m glad you liked it.

      The platypus is very cool. Australia has so many very unique animals but the platypus probably takes the cake.

  5. I love your playing and noticed the reverse immediately. lol One doesn’t have to be a great pianist or musician to enjoy making music. (listen to me for proof). The flaw is not in doing it but in not attempting to do it. 🙂

  6. Around noon your time Saturday, could you play the “Sangre du Lune” variation (surely there must be one)? I’ll be out watching! 🙂

  7. Sorry, s/b “Sang de Lune.” No such luck apparently, but there is a “Lune de Sang.” Transcribable to piano? It’s got a vocal part too!

    If you can’t fit it into your schedule, I’ll understand. 🙂

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