Mr. Holland’s Opus

Transcript from Mr. Holland’s Opus

Gertrude Lang is a high school student who wants to play the clarinet, but no matter how much she practices, she can’t make any progress.  She squeaks.  She honks.  Her music teacher has tried to help her, but with very little success.  She also feels pressure because everyone in her family is successful:  both her parents and her siblings seem to do well with little effort exerted. Gertrude is ready to give up, to quit.

Gertrude Lang

Mr Holland?

Glenn Holland

You’re late. And you left your clarinet here the other day.

Gertrude Lang

Yeah, um… if you know anyone who wants it… I’m giving up the clarinet. I’m just goofing everybody else up anyway. So, um… I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for trying.

Glenn Holland

Is it any fun?

Gertrude Lang

I wanted it to be.

Glenn Holland

You know what we’ve been doing wrong? We’ve been playing the notes on the page.

Gertrude Lang

Well, what else is there to play?

Glenn Holland

There’s a lot more to music than notes on a page. These guys, for example. Now… they can’t sing, and they have absolutely no harmonic sense, and they’re … they’re playing the same three chords over and over again. And I love it. Do you?

Gertrude Lang

Yeah.

Glenn Holland

Yeah!  Why?

Gertrude Lang

I don’t know.

Glenn Holland

Yeah, you do.

Gertrude Lang

Because It’s fun?

Glenn Holland

That’s right. Because playing music’s supposed to be fun. It’s about… heart. It’s about feelings and… moving people and something beautiful and being alive, and It’s not about notes on a page! I could teach you notes on a page. I can’t teach you that other stuff. Do me a favour. Pick up your clarinet… and play with me.

Gertrude Lang

OK.

Glenn Holland

And this time… no music.

Gertrude Lang

Oh, what…

Glenn Holland

Because you already know it. It’s in your head and your fingers and your heart. You just don’t trust yourself to know that.

Gertrude Lang

OK.

Glenn Holland

Here we go. Ready? One, two, three, four…… OK, let’s do it again. And not so much lip on the mouthpiece.

Gertrude Lang

OK.

Glenn Holland

One, two, three, four… All right. No, no. Don’t do that. Let me ask you a question.

Gertrude Lang

What?

Glenn Holland

When you look in the mirror…what do you like best about yourself?

Gertrude Lang

My hair.

Glenn Holland

Why?

Gertrude Lang

Well, my father always says that it reminds him of a sunset.

Glenn Holland

Play the sunset. Close your eyes. One, two, three, four… Don’t stop playing!

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