Having a substitute teacher is usually akin to goofing off or getting extra homework done, but not when two jaw-dropping substitute teachers made an appearance at Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in New York on Monday. These teachers were none other than Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, two musicians who have garnered tremendous acclaim and notoriety in their respective genres.
The performing arts students were floored when they made a surprise appearance at their school on the last day of class. Bennett, who founded the school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens in 2001, gave a master class in the school's concert hall, discussing topics ranging from jazz music to the nature of creativity. He invited Lady Gaga, with whom he's currently collaborating on a jazz album, to join him.
The pair also fielded questions from the students, and even serenaded each other with the jazz standard "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," and slow danced cheek-to-cheek.
"When I first heard Gaga sing, my reaction was that she is going to be bigger than Elvis," Bennett said. "She is so bright and intelligent and she has it. In jazz you either got it — the syncopation, the rhythm — or you don't, and when I heard Gaga I said 'she's got it!'"
Gaga returned the favor, gushing about Bennett's talent. "When I am with Tony I feel like I am 15 years old at home listening to Ella and Coltrane records," she said. "The way he sings is effortless and so prolific. It’s so liberating to be able to sing jazz, especially at this point in my career!"
The event concluded with student choirs performing renditions of Bennett’s tune "Smile” and Lady Gaga’s "Applause."
This isn't the first time renowned musicians have appeared at the school – Billy Joel and Paul McCartney have also delivered master classes for the lucky high school students.