I have finished my English preparation quicker than I thought.
There is a precious half hour before I have to leave to teach six frighteningly precocious little girls of 8 and 9 years old (and one boy) a bit of English cunningly concealed in a theatre workshop. The long and short of it is that they dress up in my old stage clothes and we make up stories about princesses and magic handbags with genies in them.
So I will tell you about the girl who loves keys.
This morning I went to give my usual music workshop to my autist students.
The girl who loves keys was there waiting for me to drop my guard and part with my key ring. She is 16 years old and the most noticeable thing about her is her eyes. They are a startling cornflower blue, and beautiful. She has some speech, but she has a fixation on keys. She will ask me over and over again to give them to her. These keys are a valuable negotiation tool. I can persuade her to do most things, if I promise her temporary possession of them.
She has learned to trust that when I say she will have them, she will get them.
She has also had to learn that when I give them to her, she must give them back when I ask for them, so that I can trust her. That has taken a little longer, but now we understand each other.
She prefers the keys to the Kangoo, but will make do with the old mercedes’ keys because when you press a button, the key pops up. She likes to stroke her cheek with the soft plastic surface, and she does this throughout the music lesson. When we make up a musical story, she describes my car, and her driving away in it and going to Paris or to the swimming pool.
She doesn’t sing very often, but she is very musical. She can play notes on a trumpet and hit a drum in time and sing a note in tune, but she is rarely interested and stays locked in “keyworld”.
I thought I would try a new song today.
I started to perform a barely recognisable version of Wonderwall, by Oasis, on the harmonium and sang with a very croaky wheezy voice .
I don’t think you can possibly imagine the surprised look on my face when the girl who loves keys sang the exact melody along with me with the right words every now and then… IN ENGLISH…
I wonder where and when she had heard it before.
1 week ago