Archive for February 24th, 2010


In the News

February 24, 2010

Drama program at The Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast growing!

Logo Design by Kayla Davis, grade 8

This article appeared in the Republican Journal on Feb. 18th. Read about the collaboration of music teacher Justin Bari and English Theater Director Jason Bannister.

There are 40 students involved in “Girl Power”, a play written by the two teachers. Sounds like it has been a great deal of fun for the teachers and students! Check it out and travel to Belfast for the upcoming event!


“4X4” Schedules

February 24, 2010

Needing your assistance – posted by Rob Westerberg

Rob Westerberg conducting chorus, York High School

Rob Westerberg conducting chorus, York High School

As school districts begin to prepare for the 2010-2011 school year, some High Schools are considering a change to a “4×4” schedule (block scheduling, same classes every day for a semester at a time).

The potential ramifications with regard to music education are significant; I
know of very few small to medium sized High Schools (under 2,000 students) in the US that went to a 4×4 without decimating their music programs, and I don’t know of any in northern New England.

To get some hard data on the subject, Jenn Witherell-Stebbins, Band Director at Thornton Academy, has put together a very cool, very brief
survey we would like all Maine Music Teachers to check out.

The music folks at Thornton Academy need the immediate data to state their case for their concerns – there’s a sense of urgency here – but we as a state also need this data for long term advocacy. It will only take a minute to
complete and we would really appreciate the feedback! Thanks in advance and have fun filling it out!

Clicking here will take you to the survey and if you need it, this is the link:


Being a Learner

February 24, 2010

Feeling like a student!

I had many outstanding opportunities during my 30 years in the classroom to attend professional development workshops and conferences, courses and hands on learning experiences. Sometimes these learning opportunities put me in my students positions. I experienced the frustrations, challenges and joys of learning something new which often helped me to understand what my students felt.

For some time I have been interested in playing the steel drums and this past Monday I finally had the chance to play. At Medomak Middle School (RSU 40) music educator, Julie Sanborn, has opened her classroom on Monday evenings to community members to learn and play together. Attending this past Monday were elementary music teachers from the district Sybil Wentworth and Jarrod Bishop, parents, a 7th grader and a 2008 graduate from the district.

I immediately felt like what I was: “a beginner”. I had to use very different skills than I use day to day. And skills that haven’t been used in some time and some that I have to develop. I was learning something very different in a very different way than what was familiar to me. The other participants had been there before, some many times.

Julie’s teaching skills are superb and  Sybil’s one on one assistance got me through the session. Yes, I was the one in the class that “just wasn’t getting it”, “slower than the others”, “messing up the group”, “not doing my part”. How did I feel? Challenged and frustrated but I was having fun as well. Will I go back… YES!

When was the last time you felt like a student in your class who was just like me… playing steel drums for the first time?

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