Archive for May 24th, 2013


In Today’s News

May 24, 2013

Rick Nickerson up for Grammy Honor

DSC_0036In today’s Portland Press Herald written by Leslie Bridgers

A Windham High School music teacher is up for a new award from the Grammy Foundation.

Rick Nickerson, who is also the director of the school’s chamber singers, is a quarterfinalist for the Grammy’s first-ever music educator award.

The award’s 217 quarterfinalists are from 195 cities in 45 states, according to a press release from the Grammy Foundation.

Music teachers from public and private schools, from kindergarten to college, were eligible for the award, which recognizes teachers “who have made a significant contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools,” the release said.

The winner, selected from 10 finalists, will attend the Grammy Awards and receive $10,000. The other finalists will receive $1,000, as will their schools.

Semifinalists will be named in August.


Another Arts Student’s Story: Izaiah Stackpole

May 24, 2013

Grade 5 student

IMG_1230Izaiah Stackpole is a 5th grade student at the Biddeford Intermediate School. His music teacher is Andrea Wollstadt, one of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders. The following is an interview with Izaiah that happened as a follow-up to a recent visit to the Biddeford Intermediate School. Debi Lynne Baker and I were visiting to video tape Andrea in her music classroom. You will see Izaiah in the video in the near future.

What value do you see in taking a music and theatre classes?

Music expresses how I feel and I have fun doing it. Theater is important to me because it brings out my inner-self and music helps with it too.

Name three skills, ideas, or life-long tools that you have learned in your arts classes? 

  1. I have learned you don’t need to be afraid to sing or act in front of tons of people.
  2. In art I have learned to express myself.
  3. I learned how to re-write songs, and count rhythms in musical notation.

What is your favorite part of the being involved in the arts?

My favorite part of theater is when you get to be the character and you get to be in someone else’s life.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of singing a solo in chorus, being able to play percussion without stumbling, being able to do lines in front of tons of people.

Did anyone encourage you to be involved in the arts?

Ms. Wollstadt encouraged me to take chorus, and my sister encouraged me to take chorus too. Who provides the greatest support for the work you now do and how do they support you? My Mom and my sister support me the most.

How does your work in the arts support and develop creativity for you?

In theater when you stumble on a line you have to use improvisation. One time I was in Beauty and the Beast – I was Gaston. I had to fight with someone and my wig fell off! The other character and I made up our lines to cover it up.

If you could change any part of your arts education, what would it be?

I would take more theater and chorus classes.

What are you plans as far as continuing your study of the arts?

When I go to middle school I’ll start chorus, band and theater. I hope to take an art class too.

Thank you Izaiah for taking the time to answer the questions for this interview.

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