Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category

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Arts from Home

June 25, 2020

Two or three offerings

Please share this information with others! 

DANCE FROM A DISTANCE! 

Join experienced Dance Educator, Elly Lovin, for a mini-camp experience from your home or backyard this summer. Designed for children ages 4-10, but open to the whole family! Each week our dance explorations will center around a different theme, while utilizing elements of movement to give dancers an understanding of how to use space, force, flow, levels, tempos, locomotion, focus, etc. to create their own movements. Themes: 6/30 Colors; 7/7 Night At the Museum; 7/14 Enchanted Garden; 7/21 Sky & Space; 7/28 Unicorns & Dragons; 8/4 Super Powered Dance.

Classes meet on Zoom on Tuesdays, June 30-August 4 Six Weeks 12:30-1PM Eastern (11:30 Central/10:30 Mountain/9:30 Pacific)

Cost (per household): $55 (Venmo to @Elly-Lovin) Sign up with a friend and both parties receive $10 off their registration!)

Register today at www.ellylovin.com/dancing-in-place

ORDER TODAY

Dance @ Home Kits Available! $25 Shipped w/ Camp registration

A selection of my favorite props curated to provide hours of movement fun at home or on the go. Eco-friendly drawstring bag contains mini-mat spot markers, egg shaker, bean bag, dance ribbons, chiffon scarf, pom-poms, stretchy band, and a go-to list of ideas about how to move and use each prop.

If you have any questions please contact Elly Lovin at ellylovin@gmail.com.

TAKE OUT ART

Creative kits offered by Sweet Tree Arts. Online order your favorite summer activities – a variety of kits are available with freedom, choice and creative thinking in mind. As many of you know many camp programs are not running during this summer because of COVID> This is a great opportunity to encourage your students to continue making art by starting with a kit that has everything needed to create. If you have more questions please contact Lindsay Pinchbeck at lspinchbeck@sweettreearts.org

ORDER TODAY


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Tracy’s COVID Teaching Story +

June 24, 2020

Music teacher extraordinaire

Tracy Williamson

My musical career started in 4th grade when I picked up the flute in the beginning band at Metcalf Middle School in Exeter-West Greenwich, RI. My middle school music teacher, Joe Smith, was an inspiration to me and all my classmates. He was quirky, fun, and taught us interesting and different music.  It was truly an amazing middle school music experience. I would definitely say that he inspired me to be the kind of teacher I am today. 

I went to Boston University for my Bachelors degree in Flute Performance and to Boston Conservatory after that for my Masters degree in Flute Performance and Music Education. I then moved up to Maine and finished my certification requirements through USM while playing in the Southern Maine Community Orchestra and continuing to seek out performance opportunities in the area.

My first teaching job was at Marion T. Morse Elementary School in Lisbon Falls teaching K-5 General Music and beginning band. I was hired at Gorham Middle School (GMS) in 2003 when the school was built and I was tasked with developing a brand new middle school music program that had not previously existed. Currently I teach General Music to all 6th & 7th grade students, Chorus for middle school and Steel Band to middle and high school students. My amazing colleague, Rose Skillling, also teaches GMS General Music as well as the Band and Jazz Band program.

I have always been a huge proponent of educational technology and the positive impact it can have on music education particularly in schedules where we see students so infrequently. dHaving Apple devices, a large portion of my curriculum has been based in Garage Band for many years. So when our technology director announced that the entire 6th grade would be moving to Chromebooks a few years ago I had a panic attack thinking I was going to completely lose the amazing possibilities I had opened up for the students. I did some research and I found a couple of apps that would work on the Chromebooks in a similar way and thankfully administration was super supportive and on board with purchasing Soundtrap and WeVideo for every student in the 6th grade.  Unbeknownst to me, this was about to open up a whole new avenue of connections across the world for me and the students.

At the time, Soundtrap, a small company based in Sweden, was still only a few years old and not that well known. But there happened to be a Maine educator who had connected with them and taken a position as an educational consultant. I quickly connected with her, and we teamed up to present Soundtrap at the student MLTI conference the same year I introduced the software to my curriculum. From there, the opportunities for sharing student work, lessons, ideas, connecting with music educators, blog posts, and articles just kept coming. Soundtrap has since been acquired by Spotify and is being widely used by educators and musicians. In January of 2020, through Soundtrap, I connected with the Society for Online Music Education and was invited to direct a Virtual Choir project for the International Music Education Summit to be premiered in mid-March. There were a couple of other Virtual Choir projects out there that I knew about but this was to be a new vision, one that included collaboration amongst participants, making Soundtrap the ideal software to use. We had a handful of teachers signed up for the pilot project. Things were going calmly and smoothly, and then COVID-19 hit us.

With the swift move to on-line learning, every music educator in the world immediately started to seek out virtual ensembles for students to participate in. Our project was quickly populated with hundreds of teachers and students and my director position got a lot more complicated! I asked two Maine colleagues, Rachel Scala-Bolduc and Patrick Volker, to help create vocal practice tracks to support the diverse group of new participants. Another music educator who teaches full-time at a virtual school suggested I try a Zoom rehearsal for participants to help them learn the parts. She hosted a how-to-run-a-virtual-rehearsal webinar that I participated in which ended up being an invaluable resource. The edit of the recordings took many, many hours of organizing, communicating, editing, and figuring out how to make the best quality audio. At one point I was playing the tracks for my husband and he suggested just dipping the volume at a certain point and it made a huge difference! During another moment of frustration, I listened to one of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choirs to get some inspiration and realized that reverb was a key component to blending the voices that I had yet to try. I am so thankful for this learning opportunity because it gave me a head start for what was to come with the extension of distance learning to the end of the year.

As soon as our school announced the closure in March, I set up Zoom virtual rehearsals with the Chorus classes right away. We continued rehearsing just the same as we had in school. The only difference being, I couldn’t hear them as a group and they couldn’t hear each other. We experimented together, recorded during Zooms, recorded after Zooms, talked about other apps that might accommodate multiple singers, but we just kept on our path of our end-of-year performance goals and figured out everything together along the way. The students continued learning music we had started in school and also learned new music purely through our virtual rehearsals. In the end, they have recorded six pieces of music during our time home due to COVID-19, all of which I am turning into virtual choir videos to serve as our “spring performance”. While this is certainly not an ideal scenario for ensembles to rehearse, it is temporary and it can be successful!  

Unfortunately, because the steel pans are housed at school, and the steel band program is extracurricular, that is now in a bit of a holding pattern until we know the future of getting back into the school this Fall.  I have been researching apps that could provide some type of virtual pan experience to get the students by in the meantime and I have been in communication with our facilities department about potentially holding outdoor  parking lot rehearsals for steel band next year.

General Music Class was another whole challenge when we moved to distance learning! At GMS, students have 7-9 week rotations of Allied Arts. Both the 6th & 7th Grade Music Classes were about halfway through the rotation when we moved to online classes so we had established relationships and structures ahead of time. However, the student rotation change to a new Allied Arts class was scheduled for right after April break. This meant students and teachers connecting with and getting to know each other for the first time in a new content area, virtually.  As an Allied Arts team we worked together to help our current classes connect with the next teacher through Google Classroom. In Music Class, we introduced a Tabata composition project that combined physical activity and Music to help make the Music to PE transition smoother. The last rotation has been a challenge. It has been difficult to connect with kids with the asynchronous model that our district adopted due to many class meetings happening simultaneously. I have learned a lot about what I need to change in order to effectively teach new music concepts to individuals in an online format as opposed to a full group in person where we utilize a lot of repetition and group collaboration to help support learning. Although there are plenty of other variables in a new grouping of students, there was a marked difference in the performance of the General Music students who started before distance learning and those who started purely in the online format. This summer, my colleague and I plan to meet to talk about some of these challenges and make plans for how we can better teach General Music class should we remain in distance learning this Fall.

There have been a lot of worries circulating amongst Music teachers with research studies outlining the risks of the high transmission rate of COVID-19 through singing and instrument playing in conjunction with news of music educators being laid off in districts around the country.  The best thing we can do right now is to show our communities and administrators that, despite temporary limitations, music can and should still continue in our schools regardless of whether we are in the building or learning remotely. Think of solutions that will work and suggest them to colleagues and administrators before something is suggested for you! That also requires creativity, experimenting and out of the box thinking from all music educators. During the last few months, I had an overall participation rate of about 80% in my chorus students with a couple of overwhelmed students asking to drop and a couple of students asking to join because their schedule was suddenly free to do so. I had students completing Music Class work first thing in the morning saying they liked to do “the fun stuff” first. I had parents emailing about how much fun they had helping their child compose music or how amazing it was to hear the final virtual choir recording after hearing their child singing their part alone at home. The more success stories we share, the more everyone will continue to see the value in continued music and arts education whether we are teaching in the comfort of our classrooms or through the virtual world.  

Here are the various end-products I’ve worked on with the GMS Virtual Chorus:

“I See Colors” – May 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, video collected in Flipgrid, edited in iMovie, collage and effects in WeVideo:

 

“Home” – April 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, slideshow videos of staff messages collected in Flipgrid, compiled in iMovie:

 

“Between the Bells” – March 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, stock images from pexels.com, lyrics added in Adobe After Effects:

 

“The Tiger” – May 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, video recorded in a Zoom session, compiled and lyrics & effects added in WeVideo:

 

“The Never Ending Story” – June 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, pictures from the Gorham MIddle School Facebook page, compiled in iMovie:

 

6th Grade General Music:

“Tabata Soundtrack Project”  

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Fellowship

June 22, 2020

Maine connecting  with India

Sweet Tree Arts is thrilled to announce their Fellowship Program in partnership with SLAM Out Loud. Sweet Tree Arts and the Sweetland School are located in Hope, Maine. SLAM Out Loud is an organization in India. The Fellowship is open to artists and educators and begins in August 2020. The Fellowship offers experiences in arts based, learner centered approaches with trailblazing educators and learners in Maine and India. Learn the details by clicking on the flyer (below) to make it larger. The application available at THIS LINK.

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Samantha Smith Challenge

June 11, 2020

St. John’s Catholic School – Brunswick

Students working in the classroom before the pandemic

Like other education initiatives this year the Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) has been turned upside down a bit. The The planned Samantha Smith Day celebration to bring together participating students from throughout Maine was canceled for June 1. However, some schools have continued their projects working with their teachers remotely.

One such school is St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick. The focus of Tiffany Jones 5th graders project is ‘disabilities’ and they have chosen to write and illustrate a children’s book. They are working with publisher Just Write Books based in Topsham. The book is about animals with disabilities, e.g. a moose who is blind, and how they come together to a place of acceptance and understanding. This project is a great example of using the arts to deliver an important message and of staying connected and not losing momentum in a time that has thrown us all a bit off course.

MISSION

Rob Shetterly

The Samantha Smith Challenge is a dynamic educational program for Maine middle school students designed to build a bridge between the classroom and the world and to create curious, courageous, and engaged citizens. SSC projects teach students that, no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenge and problems they see around them.

The Samantha Smith Challenge is a program of Americans Who Tell the Truth. Artist Robert Shetterly is the founder and Connie Carter works with Rob to bring the program to classrooms across Maine. It is an amazing program!

THE STORY

They have 9 animals from the story in Life On The Farm:
  • Maddie Smith – Jewel the Peacock has Spina Bifida
  • Eliza Davis – Everly the Raccoon has diabetes
  • Maeve Coughlin – Nicole the Fox has Autism
  • Tessa Couture – Puff the Ostrich has Anxiety
  • Wyatt Papernik – Maverick the Moose has Blindness
  • Aurora Blier – Carrie the Cricket has Deafness
  • Ava O’Connell – Fluffernutter the Deer has Depression
  • Abbie Minzner – Buddy the Dog has ADHD
  • Mrs. Jones – Tom the Turkey has Asthma

The animals arrive at a farm where they don’t “fit in”. The story shows how they come together and enjoy playing… learning that it is ‘Best to fit in with the ones who Stand Out’:)

BOOK COVER

STUDENTS RESPONSE

Describe your animal character and something about them that is unique.

  • Jewel, the peacock,  has two different sides.One is competitive and daring and one is kind and loving
  • Nicole, the fox, is unique because she doesn’t care whether or not people know about her “disability”
  • Everley, the raccoon, is special, caring and creative, she cares about other animals and doesn’t let her                                           diabetes define who she is.

What was the most exciting part of this project?

  • The most exciting part of this project was knowing that we were actually publishing a book. Helping the world become a better place. I’ve always wanted to write a book or do something in the creative field. Being able to do this with my class is just an amazing experience I’ll carry throughout my entire life – Eliza Davis
  • Doing it with my friends and teacher. – Maddie  Smith
  • I think the most exciting part of this project was the fact that we could actually get this book published, which is amazing. – Maeve Coughlin
  • Maybe getting money from the book and giving it to charities.- Medal of Honor Recipient / Wyatt Papiernik
What skill or tidbit that you learned that you can take with you throughout your lifetime?
  • Well, something I learned was not really a skill, but I didn’t previously know about spina bifida.  I also learned how cooperative you have to be to write a book. – Maeve Coughlin
  • A skill that i learned that i’m certain i will take with me is the use of different words. Will writing Life on the Farm a lot of our writing sounded very repetitive. There’s so many words out there so we learned how to use them. Often I find writing just needs a variety of words to spice it up a little. – Eliza Davis
  • Being patient. – Maddie Smith
  • Be grateful and be respectful in life. – Medal of Honor Recipient / Wyatt Papiernik
If you were to write and illustrate your own book what might the title be?
  • Deep within. – Maddie Smith
  • If I were to write my own book it would most likely be a novel. I would call it a night on the train. A murder mystery story where each time they leave the carrige there numbers decline. – Eliza Davis
  • I would probably write a nature book, I don’t know exactly what I would name it though. – Maeve Coughlin
  • Learning about  Disabilities For Kids – Medal of Honor Recipient / Wyatt Papiernik 
FROM TIFFANY
“Nancy Randolph is the amazing Publicist. We are getting so so close to publishing!!  We have an ISBN number and may have a first published copy by June 8th!! YAHOOOOOOO!”
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Summer Learning Opportunities

June 10, 2020

For young students

Opportunities for the summer are filling my inbox each day. Below are a few to share with your students who might be asking.

DANCE

  • Creative Dance Virtual classes for 4-10 year olds start Tuesday, June 30. Thirty minute classes are being provided each week for six weeks by the amazing dance educator Elly Lovin. Each week Elly will start with a different theme and make dances around that theme. Elly also offers Dance at Home Kits with dance props and ideas for using them. She will ship them directly to your home. LEARN MORE – Elly Lovin at www.ellylovin.com/dancing-in-place

THEATER

  • Virtual camps, blended outside & at home camps, and half day outside camps. Options for rising K-12. Financial aid available for these programs. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!
    FREE RESOURCES include: Facebook live-streaming of Play Me a Story Dramatic Readings, Tutorial Videos, Games to Play at Home, Follow-Along Videos, and other Interactive Activities. These resources are designed to get your bodies and creativity moving, all from the comfort of your own home! 

    Each resource is accompanied by an age recommendation for ease of access, but you know your students & kids best.

    Contact Portland Stage Education Administrator Julianne Shea if you have any questions.
  • Check out the online summer camps from Unwritten Roads! Learn filmmaking from home! Engaging acting and filmmaking camps available for two separate weeks. July 20th – July 24th for  Grades 1 -4 and July 27th- July 31st for Grade 5 and Up! Visit unwritten roads.com or find them on facebook or instagram @ unwritten roads! Please be sure and reach out with any questions. Included is a link:  link from our website with our summer offerings.

MUSIC

  • Fiddle Camp will take place online this summer. I included the information on it – you can find at the bottom of this blog post.
  • Midcoast Music Academy, Rockland
    • Lessons will be offered in packages of one to eight lessons.
    • Once you purchase the number of lessons you want, you can add yourself to your instructor’s calendar on www.mymusicstaff.com. (If you are a new student, you will be sent the login information.) We are also happy to help with this!
    • You can schedule your lessons for any available time on the calendar, with 48 hours’ notice. You can also reschedule a lesson (with 24 hours’ notice) if your plans change.
    • Lessons can be purchased online at www.midcoastmusicacademy.com/summer-2020 or by contacting our Operations Manager Maddy at (207)701-7410 or info@midcoastmusicacademy.com.

    Lesson packages can be purchased in the following amounts:
    Single Lessons (normal cost)
    60 mins = $64
    45 mins = $48
    30 mins = $32

    Packages:
    4 Lessons (10% Discount)
    60 mins = $230.40
    45 mins = $172.80
    30 mins = $115.20

    6 Lessons (15% discount)
    60 mins = $326.40
    45 mins = $244.80
    30 min = $163.20

    8 Lessons (20% discount)
    60 mins = $409.60
    45 mins = $307.20
    30 mins = $204.80

    TUITION ASSISTANCE NOTE: If you are receiving or would like to apply for tuition assistance, these discounts would not apply. In that case, please contact Operations Manager Maddy Silletti to purchase summer lessons.

VISUAL ART

  • Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland

Zoom ArtCamp – for ages 8-13

In order to keep our community safe, we will be offering two summer camps through zoom. Working closely with a teaching artist, campers will turn creative ideas into tangible original artwork right at home. Each week campers will be provided with an art kit filled with materials and tool needed for artmaking, which can be picked up the previous week. In addition, campers and families will be encouraged to visit the CMCA during the week (w/free admission) to take a closer look at our galleries.
For more information contact Mia Bogyo, Education Coordinator at mbogyo@cmcanow.org

CLICK HERE TO LEARN  MORE!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

  • Youth art classes with Erin McGee 
    • Ages 6-14 – Eight Lesson Self-study ECourse for Youth Art

Artist, Erin McGee Ferrell, offers Art Classes from her Painting Studio.

Fun Art History as EMcGee becomes Frida Kahlo, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe and others. CLICK HERE

  • Summer Online Art Lessons (June-August 2020) Ages 6-14

Virtually Join EMcGee as she paints around Maine, Kentucky, and New Hampshire.

Students around the world step outside into yards, onto porches, or by windows as the interactive class learns drawing and painting techniques.

With students participating from around the world, it will be fun to compare differences in buildings and nature.

  • Oil Painting Online for Teens. Landscape and Architecture (June-August 2020)Erin McGee Ferrell leads teens in an interactive online oil painting class.Classes will be streamed from woods, beaches, and cities.With students participating from around the world, it will be fun to compare differences in buildings and nature.CLICK HERE.  https://www.facebook.com/EMcGeeArtLessons/

 

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Young Artists in Quarantine

June 9, 2020

Student’s share their stories

This is part of a series highlighting the stories of young artists in quarantine. The period of free time that many people are experiencing has led to a sense of freedom in creating– when not held back by the standards expected by society and in much of art education (or needing to prove talent/fill resumes) it’s incredible what can be done. Alone in your room with just a paintbrush or guitar has led many students to find a new independence in art when they have the ability to create just for themselves. We’re hoping that by telling these stories, a change will occur in the way we approach arts education, to focus on the growth of the individual, even after quarantine comes to an end.

This post is written by Robyn Walker-Spencer, 2020 graduate, Camden Hills Regional High School who had the seed for this blog post series.

At 18 months, my family would play “name that tune” with me as I was strapped into my high chair, gleefully crying out the names of song after song, with an impressive base of musical knowledge for my age. I was by no means a prodigy at any point in my life, but as I grew up I felt my love for music grow with me. I took part in piano lessons, then band and chorus in middle school, and eventually musical theater, guitar, and chamber singers once in high school.

I never planned on studying music or becoming a professional in any aspect of the arts (I will be majoring in biology at Bowdoin in the fall), but it didn’t matter. Music and performing was something I always did for myself. As a child, I made up songs to sing as I played in the yard, and now I will play guitar for hours after a long day to blow off steam or relax. I love to express myself on stage, become an evil nanny or a god-fearing nun, and singing in Chamber Singers at my high school has always been cathartic.

I started lessons at Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland, Maine, in the spring of 2018. I was able to discover the importance of music to my own mental health, but perhaps more significantly I began to develop somewhat of my own musical pedagogy. Much of my previous music education had been extremely structured: practice for this rectial, prepare for this audition, complete a piece following specific guidelines. I practiced because I was told to practice (most of the time) but I didn’t enjoy it– it was seemingly necessary to get better, but I spent many a piano lesson wondering if it was even worth it. Starting high school added in another layer. Not only was our creative time structured, but many students kept participating for the sole reason of padding their resumes. At MCMA, I initially found it difficult to get away from the mindset of what I fondly considered mandatory misery– I wasn’t used to practice being something that I felt motivated and excited to do. So what changed? For the first time I wasn’t being ​told​ to do anything– each lesson was simply exploring what interested ​me,​ what ​I ​wanted to learn and improve at. And if my attention shifted, it was fine! We just moved in a new direction. I was practicing frequently because I wanted to, and because I was excited about what I was learning.

I think that this period of quarantine has provided that same sort of change for a lot of young artists my age. For the first time in a long time, we have all the time in the world and just ourselves to keep our minds busy. Groups like ​Quarantine Karaoke​ on Facebook show people coming together to make music from all over the world– people who normally never perform but are now creating for the sake of creating. I’ve seen friends pick up new instruments and play for themselves for the first time. I’ve personally stretched far out of my comfort zone, teaching myself recording techniques on my laptop and even writing a song for the first time. The period of free time has pulled aside the curtain and has really just exposed people’s raw selves: we are able to create art just for the sake of creating. We are practicing because we are excited about it. And we are taking risks that we never would otherwise.

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2020 Books Challenge

May 31, 2020

Update

I think this is a great project! I’ve had the opportunity to help support this effort and it is so wonderful to get books into the hands of many children who simply don’t have any or very few books at home. I invite you to participate! If everyone gives a little there will certainly be a lot!
Educate Maine launched the 2,020 Books Challenge on March 27 with the goal of getting 2,020 books into students’ hands while supporting our local bookstores.

As of mid-May, we’ve raised $6,575 for local booksellers statewide. The challenge has also spurred book donations from other nonprofit organizations, individuals, and publishers and at least 8,000 books have been donated directly, and counting!

In addition, we are excited to announce a generous $5,000 MATCHING GRANT from the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. Every donation of a gift card for the next $5,000 will be DOUBLED thanks to this donation!
Will you help us reach 2,020 books – that’s $20,200 to bookstores – before the end of the school year in just a few weeks? You can contribute by purchasing a gift card to your favorite bookstore and notifying us of it through THIS FORM.
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Call for MALI Teacher Leaders

May 29, 2020

Deadline – June 1

Interested in taking on a leadership role in education – the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) might be the right match for you. Click on the images below to make them larger! Don’t hesitate, apply today. Deadline: June 1!

 

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Painter and Art Educator

May 24, 2020

Translated art lessons

Erin McGee Ferrell is a Contemporary Maine Oil Painter and Art Educator. She is a graduate from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, and the University of the Arts Philadelphia. Erin has spent 28 years as a visual artist in the gallery world and as an art educator. She is a member of the National Organization for Arts in Health and an advocate for visual arts in medical environments.

During the pandemic Erin translated her in-studio art classes to lessons online. She has allowed herself to act goofy through interactive and non-interactive art history experiences. Each week she dresses up as a famous artist or sometimes just surrounds herself with accessories that the artist is associated with. For example, this next week will be on the Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers. Her studio will be full of quilts with art exercises having to do with pattern and storytelling.

In June Erin is stepping outside with a new series of the online classes. The Spring theme of famous artists will shift to “outdoor environments”.  Each week will focus on a subject in nature or in the city. One week she will talk about techniques for drawing and painting trees, another week will be learning perspective to draw architecture. The interesting part is that she now has students across the world participating and so each students’ surroundings will be different.

Erin’s teaching name is EMcGee and her professional chef friend in Chicago, is Chef LaRee (Larry). Each week, Chef LaRee offers a short cooking demonstration related to the featured artist. During Monet’s week, he showed how to soak and cook dried beans. Monet ate lots of beans during his early painting years.

Join the fun!

https://www.artistamerican.com/art-lessons

https://www.facebook.com/EMcGeeArtLessons/

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Gray-New Gloucester High School

May 22, 2020

Zoom connection

Carol Clark, Instrumental Music Director at Gray-New Gloucester High School, recently shared a wonderful story about a zoom meeting that she arranged with someone many of you music educators may know. Below is the exciting story in Carol’s own words. Thank you Carol for sharing!

World renown composer, conductor and lecturer, Dr. Bruce Pearson, joined the Gray-New Gloucester High School Concert Band via Zoom. Although he lives in Minnesota, Dr. Pearson has had considerable impact on our students’ musical development, as many learned from his instrumental music methods. In our high school band, we typically began our class sessions with his Technique & Musicianship exercises and chorales. Now, during remote learning, they continue to work with this method at home. Dr. Pearson spent an hour talking to our students, answering questions about his life, music and the creative processes of composing and arranging. We all had a great time learning from such a kind, knowledgeable and creative teacher!

Here is a link to his website:  http://brucepearsonmusic.com/about-bruce/

From our students:
*  It was good to be able to hear Dr. Pearson’s answers to our questions. I think hearing his story and a bit of his composing process was helpful. It was also just really cool to be able to hear what he had to say, since he wrote the books that we’ve been using in band since 5th grade. Thank you.
*  I found this class interesting and informative, and I’m so glad we could do it! It was fun to hear from someone on the other side of the music we play in band, and to have some ideas and direction for approaching composing, which is something I have been interested in recently. Thank you for the opportunity!
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