Archive for March 18th, 2014


Summit on Youth

March 18, 2014

Creative Youth Development

header_1Live Web Cast Opportunity: National Summit on Creative Youth Development
Thought leaders in the field of out-of-school youth development—based in the arts, humanities, and science learning—from across the nation will gather in Boston at the end of March for the National Summit on Creative Youth Development: Unite. Celebrate. Activate. The Summit will celebrate the field’s progress and success to date, document the impact of this work on the lives of young people, and chart a policy and advocacy agenda for the next decade.

Here’s how YOU can participate:

– Share your thoughts on this policy agenda

Read the Setting the Agenda research (see previous article), and email your thoughts to Your comments will be passed on to the chairs of the caucuses meeting in Boston.

– Watch the live web cast March 28 & 29

Register for the Summit’s live web cast and add your comments to the deliberations in real time. Three sessions will be streamed:

Friday morning, 3/28, 8:30-9:45am
Friday afternoon, 3/28, 2:00-3:30pm
Saturday afternoon, 3/29, 2:30-4:00pm

Get all the web cast details.

– Join the conversation on twitter

Use the hashtag #cydsummit14 to follow the Summit and add your voice to the discussion.

– Register for the March 20 webinar: Connecting Youth with Afterschool Arts

Listen to the authors of The Wallace Foundation’s new study, Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts, on March 20 from 11am-12pm. This informative, free webinar focuses on attracting and retaining low-income urban teens and “tweens” to participate in high-quality arts programs.


Another Teacher’s Story: Judy Fricke

March 18, 2014

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an arts educator

This is the second blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this  series of blog posts telling arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read the stories and to learn from others.

DSCN0239Judy S. Fricke is an Early Childhood (EC) Music Specialist at the Main Street Music Studios in Bangor, Maine. Judy has been an EC Music Educator for twenty years, first in Collierville, TN and for the last four years in Bangor. In those twenty years she has had opportunities to work with children ages one month through five years in parent/child class settings and with children one year to five years old in a large preschool of 350 students. At Main Street Music Studios in Bangor she has 23 students who attend age-bracketed classes with a caregiver. She uses John Feierabend’s First Steps in Music curriculum as the basis for all of her classes since studying with him 19 years ago.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

While working with our youngest learners, I will never tire of watching the “light bulb” gleam in their eyes as they feel the rhythm in bounces or anticipate the tickle at the end of a tickle rhyme. I will never lose the joy in watching a one year old gain control of his or her arm muscles and begin to play a drum with a steady beat, or of listening to a three year old gain control of his or her voice muscles and begin to “echo sing” dead on pitch. I also will never get tired of watching the confidence grow in the parents of these children as they learn how to interact musically with their little ones.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

The three keys I would consider highest on my list for a successful arts program would be:

  1. Unbridled passion for what you teach
  2. A safe, exciting, and encouraging environment in which to teach
  3. A wicked good sense of both humor and humility

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

As an independent instructor of the very young, formal assessment is not part of my program. Yet, informal assessment has been part of my day to day lesson planning since the beginning. By tweaking my planning based on the specific ages of my students I am able to deliver developmentally appropriate activities for various physical, mental, and attention levels.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The MAAI has given me the opportunity to meet and interplay with arts teachers and early childhood educators from around the state. I am sure I would never have had that opportunity on my own. Thank you Argy for this gift.  MAAI has made me much more aware of my place, or lack there of, in the incredibly complex world of arts education in the state. I have felt more connected, as well as more alone, in the last year as I worked beside fellow educators. We need more early childhood arts folks involved in MAAI. I need collaborators on my level so that the important work of laying the foundations for the K-12 programs does not feel as much as an afterthought, but more of the beginning of something wonderful.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I was teaching in Tennessee long enough to see children that I had in preschool excel in high school music programs and continue on to study music in college. I cannot take complete credit for these achievements, but when I would see them as young adults and they would raise and lower their arms while making a slide whistle sound, I know I had made an impression. A good impression can bring an exceeding sense of pride.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

I teach in a lovely old downtown building. The other teachers with whom I work have private studio rooms for private lessons. I teach in the lobby because it is the only space large enough for my classes. Therefore, we have folks walking through the classes, stopping to ask questions, and opening and closing the door to let in very cold air. These physical issues often get in the way of my teaching, but trying to handle it in stride and continue to love what I do makes up for it. The people I work with are professional musicians and teachers and are so supportive of my program, I know I am a better teacher because I am there.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I believe finding Main Street Music Studios on-line from Tennessee was a brilliant stroke of luck! I was just looking for any kind of employment in the downtown area so that I could walk to work once we moved to Bangor. Yes, having the 16 years of experience to bring with my proposal for the early childhood program here helped, but the fact that Bangor had the Studio for me to be a part of was definitely luck!

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

I believe the word I would most like to share with fellow teachers is “collaborate”. If you are a K-6 teacher, and you have a PreK program in your school, find out what you can do with the EC teachers to help them with their goals for the arts – in doing so, you are only enhancing your programs. Same goes for high school teachers – work with your middle school counterparts. Middle school folks work with your elementary counterparts. In doing so, everyone will be working toward the same ultimate goal – that of giving every student the best arts experiences possible in a way that makes sense to both the programs and the students.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

If I were given $500,000.00 to do with as I please, I would make an endowment to the University of Maine Systems for the purpose of creating an Early Childhood Music Education program and a Music Therapy program. Then I would ask to teach in the Early Childhood program and I would take classes in the Music Therapy program.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

If I have the fortune to live until I am 94, I hope I am still able to bounce little ones on my knee and sing soft lullabies to them when they are tired. If I can do this, I will not have any regrets.

Well, I might regret that I never got that $500,000. And so might a lot of very young children.

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