Opportunity for Maine
Opportunity for Maine
Congratulations to Heidi!
Music teacher and editor Heidi Anderson has created “Maine Motif”, a wonderful magazine for the Maine Music Educators Association. You can access it by CLICKING HERE. After checking it out, let Heidi or president and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Sue Barre know what you think. The organization is celebrating their centennial – if not already a member, consider joining. Below is Sue’s back to school message re-printed by permission from Maine Motif.
Greetings Fellow Music Educators:
Welcome to a new school year! It is that exciting time, a time of firsts. The first class, the first rehearsal, the first football game. In my household it is the first time I will send one of my children to college. Amidst the firsts there is the familiar: breaking out the pep band folders, singing through a familiar warm up, recognizing a familiar tune. At my house the familiar routine, particularly for my daughter, is the annual school supply and school clothes shopping spree.
I challenge you to work to enjoy the firsts. Note how excited those students are in class. Relish the conversation with a senior who is asking for a recommendation or the kindergartener who is so excited to be in your class. For many of us our jobs are getting bigger, the days are seeming longer, and/or some of us (myself included) the hair is becoming more gray.
The work you are doing is very important. You are changing lives. You are creating lifelong advocates and consumers of music. You may even be creating lifelong performers. Through this beautiful craft of teaching music we are also teaching the lifelong skills of communication, collegiality, and goal setting to name a few.
In each of our schools we can feel like islands, often being the only music teacher. MMEA can be the mainland for you. Take advantage of this publication; take a look at our website. We are working hard to keep the calendars up to date and useful to all.
Lastly, help us celebrate our centennial! The events will happen all year long. Beginning with the membership campaign, the first one hundred new or lapsed members (3 years or more lapsed) will only pay $100 for membership fee – saving you $30 (that’s a lot of cups of coffee). To take advantage PRINT the application from the NAfME website and send it and your payment to our executive director Sam Moore-Young.
I am grateful to be part of this board and value the opportunity to represent you as music educators of the State of Maine. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any board member, with your questions or concerns. In an effort to make it easier to reach board members we have updated email addresses to align with the position.
For example, my new email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the website for an up to date list of emails. Together we are stronger than one, do not hesitate to ask the questions that are on your mind. We are here to serve you, the members of the Maine Music Educators Association.
Sue Barre, President of MMEA
Thanks to Herb Albert
Trumpeter Herb Alpert, known for his unique brand of Latin-tinged jazz pop, and for being a co-founder of A&M Records, a label that released key albums by artists from Cat Stevens to Janet Jackson, is now making his mark on education. To access the entire article please CLICK HERE.
On the water concert
Everyone’s buzzing about the concert ON Megunticook Lake that happened last Friday evening, August 19 brought to the community by Bay Chamber Concerts. The concert on the water featuring Slavic Soul Party! was filled with energy. It was a perfect evening to be on the water – the light over was amazing. There were kayaks, canoes, motor boats and paddle boats. I am guessing about 100 boats, about 300 people and 27 dogs. (Look closely in the photo and you can see the activity). Adults and young people and dogs swimming, dancing and listening to great music – it was a real fun time!
Most interesting – as we paddled back to the landing as the sun was setting there was a peaceful rare stillness. Two couples paddled by singing in their old green canoe with straw hats, bunches of plastic flowers and a dog. In the dark the dozens of cars pulled up to the beach to load their boats and the quietness continued. I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I am to live in a state that provides unique musical opportunities in such stunning places. I’m hoping that Bay Chambers or another organization will consider providing more concerts on the water!
Thank you Bay Chamber who said: You are at the heart of everything we present here at Bay Chamber– our aim is to enrich your days and weeks through thrilling musical moments. And what a difference music can make in one week… a performance that inspires you … transports your imagination to heights unknown… or triggers a memory of meaningful moments gone by.
For those of you not familiar with Bay Chamber Concert programs I included their story in the Who Are They?: Bay Chamber blog series just over a year ago. Check them out and if you like what you see they are having a fund drive this week at THIS SITE.
As the nights begin to get cooler and we start another school year I am reminded of how important it is to connect and reach out to others. So much of teaching has to do with the relationships we form with students and our colleagues.
Everyone has a story to share about summer vacation. How will you listen to your colleagues or students’ summer stories? How will you encourage those who are on the quiet shy side to tell their stories? Will it be through song, painting, words?
On my way into work this morning I caught the tale end of the “chicken farmer” story. This is not a new story, perhaps you’ve read it or heard it sometime in your life. I googled when I arrived and found the story below online. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It brought a smile to my face.
Twelve feet or so off the east edge of State Road 103, which runs north-south through the town of Newbury, New Hampshire (population 1,500 or so), there sits a squarish brown-gray slab of rock roughly the height of a man. Its southern face is flat, nearly smooth, at a billboard angle toward the traffic, coming north.
About 25 years ago, across from the rock on the west side of the road, there sat a tidy white cedar-shingled house in whose backyard, as it is remembered, a dozen chickens pecked about. Their eggs made breakfasts (and a tiny sideline business) for a family named the Rules – whose daughter Gretchen was pretty, smart, wistful, and 16.
There was a boy – a shy boy, also wistful, also a farmer, whose name is forgotten today – who pined for Gretchen Rule. He cast about for ways to tell her or show her – without telling or showing himself – then he hit upon the rock.
“CHICKEN FARMER, I LOVE YOU” he wrote on it, in eight-inch high, spray-painted letters, one moonlit, high-starred night – or so the story goes.
And the girl saw and guessed the author (though it was only, really, a guess) – and the town and the passing motorists smiled, made their own guesses, and went on about their ways.
The message endured for years, though brambles grew up to obscure it, and the letters, once so bold and white, began to fade. Gretchen Rule went away to Harvard, then on to life. The boy, whoever he was – or is – became a man. The rock grew into a relic, a love note out of time.
One night – 10, perhaps 12 years ago (no one saw it happen, and no one today can say for sure) – the brambles were cut away. And the message was repainted and renewed: “CHICKEN FARMER, I STILL LOVE YOU.”
The rock became a landmark. “It’s your first left past Chicken Rock” the locals were wont to say. “Chicken,” “love” and “farmer” were the first words one Newbury kindergartner – today a teenager – learned to read. And every two years or so, barely noticed, the letters would be freshened and the brambles cut away.
Then, late last April, an unknown caller complained of “graffiti” to the New Hampshire Dept. of Transportation (or DOT). By nightfall the same day, a three-foot square of rust-colored primer was all that was left of a shy boy’s long-ago love. The Concord Monitor offered its requiem: “Love Message to Chicken Farmer No More.”
A week passed. Then with the coming of dawn on April 30, the new sun rose on New Hampshire’s stubbornest love: “CHICKEN FARMER, I STILL LOVE YOU.”
The same message, the same eight-inch letters. But bolder this time: thicker-lettered, almost crude, and painted rather than sprayed. As though written by an angry and defiant hand.
In Newbury, the townspeople, inspired now as never before, took steps to assure that their landmark would live on. “A Petition for the Status Quo” they called it and filled it with 192 signatures in the space of a day. The DOT responded with a letter. The Chicken Rock’s message would be forever safe.
And somewhere, surely, a shy, 40-ish man must have smiled.
Originally appeared in the February 1998 issue of Yankee Magazine as “The Best Love Story of 1997.” Also ran in “Chicken Soup for the Lover’s Soul” and in the Concord Monitor.
Edutopia is a website published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF). Founded in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas and venture capitalist Steve Arnold, the Foundation “celebrates and encourages innovation” in K-12 schools.
This is an interesting article called Learning From the Band Director, written by Dr. Rob Furman, published by Edutopia. He includes a list of what any teacher can learn from the band director. I include #2 below. You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE.
Performance- Based Learning: Music directors have always been driven by performance-based learning. The learning process in a band room is based on projects. The need to prepare for a concert, a small ensemble performance or a solo act is the definition of performance or project-based learning. Band directors teach the art and science of music, as they are preparing their students for their performances. Students know that each of them is responsible to the group as a whole.
A second article called Creating an Ecology of Wonder written by Stacey Goodman, an artist and educator from California. He believes that the best way to “cultivate imagination and wonder is through art”. He includes six ways to cultivation the ‘learning ecology’, as her refers to it. I include #4 below. You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE.
Create Assessments That Reward Good Questions, Not Just Good Answers What if we framed our exams as a series of answers and asked our students to ask questions? How do we take rote, clichéd statements such as, “Columbus discovered America in 1492,” and reveal them to be fraught with more misinformation than relevant information. Asking the right questions is the basis of good scholarship and query, and these questions are motivated by wonder.