Posts Tagged ‘arts education’

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On Hiatus

July 2, 2021

The Maine Arts Education Blog is on hiatus

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Great Opportunity

June 18, 2021

What are you doing July 27-28?

Interested in getting together with other Maine Arts Educators and Teaching Artists? Learn more about Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL) and consider applying to attend the summer institute and become a Teacher Leader or Teaching Artist Leader for the 2021-22 school year.

At the Summer Institute new Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders will learn foundational practices in instructional design and leadership skills. Participants will take part in a variety of workshops focused on emerging needs in Arts Education professional development.  

Collaboration, networking, and the sharing of resources are an expectation as a member of the MAEPL community.  During the Institute participants will develop an individualized growth plan that will be shared with others for feedback and suggestions.  

Throughout the school year, participants will continue to share how their individualized growth plan is developed and implemented, and they will have the opportunity to share at a Critical Friends Day, and with a thought partner.        

There is a Winter Retreat with participants to review and reflect on the work done, and allow for time to get feedback to plan for the next Summer Institute.  

Listen to Teacher Leader Kris Bisson talk about her experiences being involved with MAEPL

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Annual Expectations: 

  • Attend Summer Institute 
  • Work with a thought partner 
  • Develop a individualized growth plan 
  • Share the outcomes of your individual growth plan within the MAEPL community and beyond (i.e. workshop, resource, video, article, etc.) 
  • Share feedback and information about MAEPL through teacher leader stories and as part of your outcomes of your personal growth plan 
  • Collaborate, network, and share resources 
  • Participate in Critical Friend Day 
  • Attend Winter Retreat

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Opportunities: 

  • Membership in the vibrant MAEPL community
  • Access to online resources 
  • Learn/Experience creative activities together 
  • Collaboratively develop educational resources 
  • Establish and work toward an individualized growth plan
  • Take on leadership and facilitator roles in MAEPL, Arts Organizations, and school communities 
  • Connect and make long-lasting relationships with other arts educators  
  • Network across diverse arts disciplines 
  • Access cutting edge professional development for emerging needs of our students and leaders within the arts educational community and beyond
  • Learn from experienced leaders 
  • Gain recertification hours 
  • Partner with the Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Program 

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives.  

APPLY TODAY — CLICK HERE  June 22, 2021 deadline for new and returning applicants

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW: 

SUMMER INSTITUTE

Pilgrim Lodge is a camp run by the United Church of Christ of Maine on Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, with cabins with electricity and plumbing, large indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, modern dining facilities, wifi in main buildings and good general cell reception, and recreation options, including swimming, human-powered boating, and trails.  

APPLICATION

Administrator Name/contact information

Paragraph of Interest — Selected individuals will be expected to be active leaders in helping to develop and support excellence in teaching and learning in Maine. A full commitment to the Institute timeline is expected as seen in the online information sheet.  Please attach a brief overview of your interest and current/past experience (if any) in Leadership. Include your experience collaborating with other arts educators and experiences relevant to the initiative.  (Please no more than ~ 500 words, about 1 page.) 

Resume/CV —  If you are a Teaching Artist, please also include websites or documentation of your teaching work.  

Letter of Reference – TEACHERS: This should be from your administrator.  TEACHING ARTISTS: This should be from a school or community  organization with whom you have worked.   Please attach a Letter of Recommendation in which the person includes comments and/or examples reflecting your leadership potential and your ability to work collaboratively.  Selected individuals will be responsible for sharing their newly developed expertise and related classroom experiences with other arts educators.

Questions? Contact Maine Arts Commission Director of Education, Martha Piscuskas at Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov.

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Congressional Art Awards

June 13, 2021

Congratulations go to Lewiston and Portland students

In an academic year that was largely defined by remote learning and minimal social gatherings, twelve high school art students welcomed some exciting news from Maine’s Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Jared Golden. 

Representatives Pingree and Golden announced the winners of this year’s Congressional Art Competition: Baxter Academy senior Elwen Bernard of Maine’s First District, and Lewiston High School sophomore Whitney Perkins of Maine’s Second District.

Benard’s illustration Passport Photo, and Perkins’ photograph Curious, will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, alongside winning artists from districts across the country. The winners are flown to Washington, D.C. in June for the official opening of the show.

“Every year, the sheer talent of Maine student artists blows me away, and this year’s Congressional Art Competition was no exception. Art offers a great outlet through tough times. I’m thrilled to see that students are still connected with their artistic processes after a year of unknowns and immense change,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “Elwen’s piece is poignant and stunning, and I’m sure that it will stand out when it’s on display at the Capitol. My thanks to all the students who participated this year—It is an honor to view your work.”

“I had high hopes for the submissions we’d receive for this year’s Congressional Art Competition, but the students really went above and beyond,” said Congressman Golden. “This contest is a great showcase of the insight and skill of Maine students, and it’s an annual reminder of how fortunate we are to have so many talented young artists in our state. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you for making our district proud.”

The submitted artwork was judged by a panel of jurors selected by the Maine Arts Commission.  Jurors Juliet Karelsen and Breehan James judged the First District competition.

 The jurors noted in Benard’s Passport Photo, “we encounter a real person whose strength, warmth, honesty, vulnerability and soul come through the finely layered and textured colored pencil markings….It exudes an inner life and an unassuming presence. It speaks loudly in its quiet expressiveness and subtly.”

Jurors Carolyn Wallace-Zani and Teddi-Jann Covell judged the Second District competition.

In Perkins’ Curiosity, the jurors noted the variety and repetition of lines, shapes, tones, and values repeatedly directing the viewer through the nearly empty bus and back again to the young child while confirming her feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and curiosity. “This piece has a strong composition, is well presented and timely. Her backwards glance caught us looking into the now common life of all students around the world during this pandemic. Even though the mask hides a smile, it cannot mask the inquisitiveness of youngsters.”

The judges honored the works of twelve Maine students in total.

First District:  Winner: Elwen Benard of Baxter Academy. First Runner Up: Fiona Jason of Baxter Academy, Second Runner Up: Kaitlyn Sawicki of Freeport High School. Honorable Mention: Della Huntley of Baxter Academy. Honorable Mention: Alexis Milem of Thornton Academy. Honorable Mention: Kaylee Demers of Falmouth High School.

Second District: Winner: Whitney Perkins. First Runner Up: Sophia Carson of Edward Little High School, Second Runner Up: Ella Shaffer of Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable Mention: Lexi Bachelder. Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable Mention: Ruoxuan Zhang of Lee Academy, Honorable Mention: Addaline Hemmingway of Rangeley Lakes Regional School.

Click here to view student’s artwork in a virtual gallery

The Congressional Arts Competition was started in 1982 to honor the arts and talents of students nationwide. The Maine Arts Commission works closely with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s and Congressman Jared Golden’s offices to administer the program. The Arts Commission also partners with the Maine College of Art (MECA) and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to help with the process of selecting the artwork. Two art professionals from each district are chosen to jury artwork from that district. It is “blind” jurying in which the judges only see the title, size and medium of each piece. This year they convened online to review and discuss digital images to decide. Placements are first, second, third and then three honorable mentions.

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MAEA Spring Conference

April 6, 2021

A HUGE SUCCESS

Congratulations to the Maine Art Education Association for a successful virtual conference held this past Saturday. Iva Damon was the chair who waited an entire year to complete her task. Last year the conference was canceled thanks to the pandemic. Every aspect of the conference entitled Perceptions 2021 went really well. If you’re working on the planning of a virtual conference or workshop I suggest you reach out to Iva who is an art teacher at Leavitt Area High School. Conference planner Extraordinaire!

The conference opened with a keynote provided by Natasha Mayers and Rob Shetterly. She often explores themes of peace and social justice. Recently the film on Natasha’s life as an artist was released called Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. Natasha founded ARRT! (the Artists’ Rapid Response Team) in 2012, an artists’ collective that meets monthly, creating over 400 banners, props and yard signs for most of the progressive organizations in Maine. She co-founded and is editor-in-chief of The Maine Arts Journal: Union of Maine Visual Artists Quarterly. Learn more about how Natasha has contributed to so many meaningful projects and made a difference in Maine practicing her art in a collaborative way. You can read about her contributions since 1976 at THIS LINK. Conference participants had a chance to view the film before the conference.

“…an engaging and lively portrait of an engaged and lively artist who uses her talents in the service of truth and justice, rather than fortune”
— Edgar Allen Beem
Natasha Mayers

Artist Rob Shetterly founded Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) and has painted over 250 portraits of ‘truth tellers’. The Samantha Smith Project is part of the AWTT work where middle and high school students use art to build a bridge between the classroom and the world to create curious, courageous, and engaged citizens. SSC projects teach students that, no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenges and problems they see around them.

One of the portraits that Rob has created is of Natasha so it was a delight to have them both share their stories and inspire art educators to make a difference in their classrooms.

Participants had a chance to attend three workshops throughout the day and meet with colleagues informally. The workshops were:

  • Evaluating Creativity with music educator Joe Cough
  • Update your Advocacy: New Ways of Promoting and Expanding Your Impact Beyond the Art Room with Brunswick Middle School teacher Cory Bucknam
  • Neurographic Art with Maranacook Community School art teacher Hope Lord
  • Teaching and Learning with Natasha Mayers: An Un-Still Life with Argy Nestor, Sweetland Middle School
  • AP Art and Design Network Discussion with high school art teachers Lori Spruce and Holly Houston
  • Hand-Build a Tour Up & Stamped Mug with Bioddeford Middle School art teacher Samara Yandell

The day ended with a gathering and door prizes presented. It was very clear that teachers missed seeing colleagues from other parts of the state and making art together. Comments around the challenges of the year and that the value of the art classroom became more clear to educators. Participants said what a great conference it was. More people attended the spring conference than has been the case in the last several years. The comment that placed clarity on our important roles as art educators this year was stated by Rangeley Lakes Regional School Art Teacher Sonja Johnson:

“The Art classroom is a place of awakening this year”.

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Silver Linings

March 12, 2021

Teacher Leader voices of Maine on the bright lights that the pandemic afforded

A year ago my school, like all schools in Maine, shut down because of the Covid outbreak. On Friday, March 13th staff left for the weekend without knowing what the next week was going to bring. Staff and parents and students quickly kicked into a complete ‘flex mode’ each day learning and building on our knowledge. In the beginning it was an amazing and unsettling feeling to watch, listen, and learn through a completely different lens. Everyone stepped up and each person, young and old, were terrific. The summer came and went with educators throughout the world considering the next steps. With open minds and a cooperative spirit the sharing of ideas flowed through the air waves (in most cases at no cost) and connected educators in a completely different way. I can only think of a couple of other times in my career when my pathways to learning were so rapid. As the 2020-21 school year progressed FLEXIBILITY continued to be necessary. And, as we pause for the one year anniversary of education changing drastically we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My greatest hope is that our pathways of learning, sharing ideas, and collaborating will continue. And, I do hope that we simply don’t ‘go back’ to where we were before unless the pieces are in the best interest of every learner!

The following Maine Visual or Performing Arts Educators kindly provided their “silver linings” of the pandemic. We all have them, what is yours? Please email your silver linings at meartsed@gmail.com so we can continue to learn from each other.

  • I teach the littlest students. My silver lining is that, since class sizes are very small, there is time to hear all students’ stories, opinions, ideas, etc. There is also time for every student to have a turn at every activity. They get more individual attention than ever before. ~ Patti Gordan, Music Teacher, Raymond Elementary School
  • From Sue Barre, Grades 5-12 Band Director, Waterville Public Schools Like many school programs traveling with students to perform in other locations has been temporarily eliminated. Instead each high school ensemble commissioned a piece – reflective in some way to the last year we have all experienced. Ensemble members have had the opportunity for input and for interaction with the composers. “This experience has been so much more than I anticipated, really cool to watch students learn in a whole new way”!
    • In band I asked the students what dates were of importance to them and these are some that came forward: 3/31/20 – last day of school, 5/25/20 – death of George Floyd and 1/6/21 were some of the dates that came forward. 
    • I asked for sounds that they connected to last year and ideas such as email arriving into the box, sirens and silence came up…   
    • The most fascinating sessions were with the composer sharing ideas. The chorus and orchestra have had different experiences than the band. 
    • In May we hope to have a socially distanced event to share the debuts and senior recognition night all wrapped into one. 
  • From Kate Smith, Music Teacher Central Elementary School, So. Berwick
    • The pandemic has increased awareness of the value of reliable daycare and how it effects the wellbeing of an economy. I hope this will lead to additional and consistent financial support from the government.
    • Smaller class sizes have enabled more personalized, individualized and differentiated instruction. Students can ask more questions and have more turns. I am more likely to have enough instruments or resources for everyone. 
    • Free professional development opportunities abound like never before. I’ve seen increased collaboration between educators within districts, states and even internationally. Everyone has had to learn how to use technology like video conferencing which means everyone now has the skills to connect online. I hope this continues. 
  • My silver lining is the freedom this chaotic moment in time has presented to try something completely different. I am sharing photos from one of my third grade classes this week. We went outside to make art as a whole-class reward for the great choices they’ve made during the last 6 weeks that we’ve all been back together at Madison Elementary. (Other classes will earn their “Outside Art”, too. It just may take a little longer : ) I gave these students snow block makers and spray bottles filled with watercolor paint and pointed them to the snow. It was a blast and it made my art teacher heart happy to see the creativity and teamwork this class demonstrated.  ~ Lisa Ingraham, K-4 Art Teacher, Madison Elementary School, K-12 Gifted & Talented, MSAD 59
  • I have several silver fillings, I mean linings. But one came out the other day that I totally didn’t realize was there.In the pre-covidian era, it was a weekly inevitability  that a first grader would raise their hand and say” Mrs. R., I lost a tooth!” Of course every other hand in the room would shoot up and a chorus ensued with the end result that we would lose 5 minutes of Art time. This has been missing for almost a year now and despite having the 5 minutes back, I really miss those gap-tooth smiles. So I guess it is more like a silver filling after all.  ~Allie Rimkunas, Great Falls Elementary School Art Teacher
  • Thanks to Coronavirus – both the time I have gotten back with my family and the strides I have made in differentiated learning for my classroom. Technology resources have made it so learning can happen anywhere and for any student with the click of a button. ~Iva Damon, Leavitt Area High School Art Teacher, Humanities Network Leader
  • From Hope Lord, Maranacook Middle School Art Teacher
    • Zoom Parent Teacher Conferences are very efficient and I am able to attend multiple meetings to speak to parents of advisees and students in my classes. In traditional conferences I would have to decide which meetings to attend. Now I can join a meeting and share and then leave and join another student’s meeting within a few seconds. It’s been a great tool.
    • Another wonderful benefit from having to adapt to teaching during a pandemic is that most of my teaching resources, videos, assignments, and assessments are now available online through Google Classroom. If a student is absent, they will have access to the lesson online and can complete the work at home when they feel better and not fall behind. 
    • Lastly, no more snow days that extend the school year way into June. Since we have had remote learning days, we have not had a snow day. We won’t have to be in school until the end of June! 
  • My silver lining…….hmmm. No more photos turned in or left on the dryer in the darkroom : ” STUDENT ARTIST  UNKNOWN”!  Now that work is digital and submitted in Google CLassroom I ALWAYS know whose image it is!  ~Jennie Driscoll, Brunswick High School Art Teacher
  • We all have the students that are quiet in school, do not talk, that seem to want to be invisible and they never participate in class discussions, nor would I make them. I always wondered and worried about these students. When we went to remote some of these students slowly began to come out of their armor they had built up. We began to have rich conversations about their art work and the deep meanings they put into them and they share the art they do on their own. They are comfortable in their own environment and slowly have come to life and I have the privilege of really getting to know them. I look forward to my zoom sessions with these students where they smile and laugh and share their ideas with me. Connecting with these students is my positive out of the negative, my “silver lining”.      ~Holly (Leighton) Boyce, Mattanawcook Academy Art Teacher
  • I have been having – hands down – one of the most rewarding school years of my career. I’ve been creating my curriculum several weeks ahead of teaching it all year so far. And what it has done is:
    • reinforce that singing and playing is not content: it’s DELIVERY
    • when the delivery method changes that there are many other ways of delivering content
    • my program is not built on my students’ emotional dependence on it, so the transition away from singing was pretty easy
    • being a good teacher is not dependent on circumstances ~Rob Westerberg, Music Educator, York High School
  • From Eva Wagner, Bangor High School Art Teacher Class size for sure, so much better in the art room to have smaller class sizes. Eva wrote these amazing Silver Linings – Haiku Style:

From Leah Olson, Ellsworth High School Art Teacher

  •  The silver linings that I’ve discovered in the age of covid are many! Since March 13th, life has been a bumpy journey to say the least! The hybrid of learning for students has forced me to rethink projects differently in regards to curriculum, material use and social interactions in and out of the art room. In regards to curriculum, I had to change my units as immediately as school started in the fall. I realized that my units were not going to work as well for students who were completely remote. So, I met them where they were at. Units were and are chunked down with reinforcing the basic concepts of ceramics and jewelry. It has worked out so well that I may rethink the sequential curriculum for next year! 
    • In regards to using technology, I’ve been using Google Folders for years as portfolios to grade student work, so that was easy to keep track of student progress. I started using Google Classroom last year after March 13th to post Zoom Meeting links and reminders. The newest learning tool to navigate around was creating a Google website that students could access rubrics, videos and links most relevant to the lesson. It’s been so helpful for students to access this if they miss a class or need a review of the techniques. The silver lining is that I finally created a website that can be used in the years to come! : )
    • Another silver lining is that through the covid grant, I was able to purchase materials so that Ellsworth High School students could work from home and from school. Because of this, students would create two projects using the same technique – the easier project would be done at home and the more difficult one would be done at school. This reinforced fluency and confidence using the tools and materials.   
    • Having no more than ten students in class allows me to demonstrate techniques for students remotely and physically. I’ve been able to work alongside with students in a way I never could before. While they are working with their works, I am too. We talk with each other, laugh, and at the same time, the bar is raised. The social connections with students could not be experienced in the same way as a class of twenty. You all know what I mean! There is time to talk with one another.
    • Finally, I’m also learning more about teaching ceramics through trial and error. Like, don’t travel with bone dry projects. Telling students to not leave clay in the freezing cold car overnight, and cheese graters at the Dollar Tree work great for downsizing thick places in pots and evening out the surfaces. I learned that cutting pinch pots in half to see the thickness of the walls make for better pinch pot luminaries, raku clay is an excellent starter clay for slab containers because you don’t have to wait to join the walls, watercolor underglazes are a game changer for creativity and traveling back and forth from home to school. This is just to name a few! I often wonder what students will think of learning about jewelry and ceramics through the pandemic years from now. Hopefully, they will look at something they made and see the year 2020 or 2021 scratched into their work and feel a sense of relief, pride, and nostalgia! I am reminded daily by the phrase, “The Darkest Nights Produce The Brightest Stars”.
Sierra Andrews) who absolutely loves her “Mainely Mug”
Think you can “Handle It” assignment
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Speak Your Voice

February 22, 2021

Maine Art Education Association Spring Art Exhibit

MAEA members are invited to submit artwork for consideration in the upcoming Speak Your Voice exhibition, hosted by the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at MECA! Have you expressed yourself through a work of art this year? Join us! Are you inspired to make art during what remains of our vacation? Share with us! SPEAK YOUR VOICE!

Registration Window:  March 1 – March 15, 2021

Online Exhibit: April 15 – May 9, 2021 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONCERNING Speak Your Voice, please contact Samara Yandell at syandell@biddefordshools.me

Submission is open to any art educator in the State of Maine who is a member of MAEA. Artists who have work accepted will have their websites and pieces promoted through MECA’s and MAEA’s social media channels. (#MAEASpeakYourVoice). As long as all submission requirements are met, anyone submitting who is an active MAEA member will have one piece chosen for the exhibit. 

Please review the Guidelines at http://www.meca.edu/maea before submitting. You will receive a confirmation email after submitting.


Artists have the option of selling their work for a 70% commission. A link will be posted for viewers to make purchases through the MAEA website, with 30% of the proceeds going to benefit Maine College of Art. For works of art sold during the MECA MAT exhibit, once payment method is confirmed we will contact the artist with the buyer’s contact information to arrange delivery of the work. MAEA will distribute the payment to the artist less the commission for MECA. 

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Works in Progress

February 18, 2021

Thornton Academy Dance

Emma Campbell, dance teacher at Thornton Academy has shared the amazing virtual performances created by her students. One choreographer student said: “I wanted to create a dance that would help lift everyone’s spirits”. I’d say, her goal was achieved! Emma says: “My students are desperately craving performances.” As I viewed the video I could feel the students emotions, their commitment to dance and their skills are evident. I invite you to support these students by viewing the video that includes a variety of dances. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

My favorite dance is called Never Grow Up. From the dancers: “Our piece is about going through different stages to where we are now. To achieve this for the project, we each embodied the mindset of a different phase in our life to show the growth we have each gone through.”

It’s simple to ‘buy’ your FREE ticket – CLICK HERE – it will take you to the streaming site. You will be asked to add your email address (so you can get the streaming link) and phone number but don’t worry, NO credit card. If you’re wondering what the Thornton dance studio classroom looks like, you’ll see a peek of that also. This is only available until February 21 so don’t hesitate!

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Arts Advocacy

February 17, 2021

Resources

ARE Campaign – Arts Are Education – The National Core Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) is the sponsoring organization of the ARE campaign.  Founded in 2011, NCCAS is an alliance of leading national arts and arts education organizations, dedicated to the work of creating and supporting national arts standards. The leadership organizations include:

  • American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE)
  • Arts Education Partnership
  • Educational Theatre Association (EdTA)
  • National Association for Music Education
  • National Art Education Association (NAEA)
  • National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)
  • State Education Agency for Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE)
  • Media Arts Committee of the NCCAS
  • Young Audiences Arts for Learning
Arts ARE Education is a new national campaign in support of arts education for all students
Looking Ahead to the 2021-2022 School Year

All PreK-12 students have the right to a high-quality school-based arts education in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts taught by certified professional arts educators in partnership with community arts providers. As a well-rounded subject area under federal education law, the Every Students Succeeds Act, music and the arts support the social and emotional well-being of students, foster a welcoming and safe school environment, and encourage inclusivity through multiple pathways for every child’s creative voice. 

ARTS ED NOW – This video below was created by Arts Ed New Jersey but its message is universal. It is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long that you may find useful in your advocacy.

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A Different Way to Say I Love You

February 14, 2021

Maine Voices

This was included in the Maine Sunday Telegram, February 14. It is a powerful story written by Kay Wheeler, a retired music teacher and musician living in Raymond. As Maine arts teachers take a break this week I hope you’re relaxing and taking time to reflect on the amazing work you’re doing during this challenging time. If you need a reminder of why your job is critical perhaps this story will help.

My career was music, playing and teaching violin. I taught at Ashley Hall School for girls (Barbara Bush went there) and the Charleston Academy of Music. I retired to Maine two years ago and now have time to write my memories.

I recently read in my Portland Press Herald that Tony Bennett has had Alzheimer’s for several years but still performs at home. The man in my life said, “How can that be?” And, I said, “Let me tell you about an experience I had approximately 15 years ago.”

While I was still teaching violin at the Charleston Academy of Music, Judith, the mother of one of my students, told me about a violin workshop in the same city where her former college roommate lived. Her former roomie played the violin and so did the woman’s young daughter. She invited my student and Judith and me to come down to Georgia, stay with her family and we would all go to the workshop together. Judith was willing to drive, and it sounded like a wonderful weekend. So we drove to Georgia on Friday.

Judith’s roomie had become a doctor and married a doctor. We arrived at their home later in the day. It was beautiful! The living room had a Steinway grand piano with a violin sitting on top of it.

We all visited for a while and then went to bed early to be well rested for the workshop. The next day, the workshop was very successful. We had a lovely dinner with our hostess and her husband and daughter. The plan was to stay that night and then leave for home the next morning.

After dinner, our hostess invited us to have cocktails with her father and mother, who lived in the little house next door. When her parents arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. Her father, almost 90, was a retired doctor. He was very handsome and well dressed. Same to be said for his lovely wife. They cam in, we were introduced and we all sat down for hors d’oeuvres and a drink.

After some pleasant conversation, our hostess asked her father if he would like to play piano for us. “Certainly,” he said. He got up and sat down at the piano, He lifted his hands and dropped them with power and positivity and played a Chopin polonaise without one hesitation or error. I was amazed and thrilled. He continued to play classical piano pieces by great composers. Then he began to play the “Meditation from Thais” by Jules Massenet. I’ve played that pieces so many times – it is one of my favorites. I asked the hostess if I could play the violin that was on the piano. She said, “Ms. Kay, that is why it is on the piano.”

I walked over to her father and asked if I might play along with him. He was delighted. Well, one singled to another and another and another. We played classical serious music for around 30 minutes. Then we played show tunes by ear. Then he looked at me and nodded and he switched to hymns. After another 30 minutes of hymns, we finished with “The Old Rugged Cross.” He stood up, signaled to me to take his hand and we bowed together. It was so enjoyable.

Then he walked over to his daughter while calling her name. He thanked her for a lovely evening, hugged her and told her he loved her. Then he said, “Come on, Mother, time for us oldies to retire to our abode.” He smiled, said, “Thank you” again to me, and they left.

As I turned to sit down and finish my drink, his daughter came over to me. She had tears in heroes, and some running down her cheeks. She took my hand and held it as she said, “Thank you so much for the concert. My father has Alzheimer’s and hasn’t known who I am for at least fiver years. But when he plays the piano, he always remembers me and hugs me and tells me he loves me.”

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Resources Galore

February 13, 2021

So many resources, so little time

DANCE AND MUSIC – THIS WEEK

  • Virtual dance concert from Thornton Academy. The link below will take you to the streaming site, you have to ‘buy’ a ticket but they are FREE and does not require a credit card, it will just ask for your email to send you a unique streaming link. It also gives a peek into the Thornton Academy dance class set up and combines pieces filmed in person and at home.  http://our.show/thornton-academy/59055
  • Virtual (Winter) Maine Fiddle Camp – Feb 19-20 The cast and crew at Fiddle Camp have organized another weekend of workshops, concerts, special surprise guests and more Virtual MFC replicates the offerings of “real” Maine Fiddle Camp in a pandemic-friendly virtual format. Recognize music teacher Steve Muise in the video below? 

WEBSITE RESOURCES

  • Digital Maine Library – Helpful tools for every subject
  • Massive List of Museums, Zoos, and Theme Parks offering Virtual Tours
  • Virtual story time for Kids: Authors and venues go online amid coronavirus
  • Maine Download Library
  • Storytime with Brittany! from The Strand Theater in Rockland
  • Solve a mystery with Jazzy Ash! Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons, audible book for kids with original jazz music from the creator, Ashli St. Armant
  • Broadway Babysitters Playhouse – a variety of activities (nominal fee)
  • Okie Dokie Brothers, 3-40 minute films filled with music and adventure
  • Learn the basics of partner acrobatics with teaching artist Marisol Soledad, then throw on some costumes and put on a show with your new skills! Sponsored by Shakespeare in Clark Park.
  • PBS TeachersVirtual Professional Learning
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library – Digital archive dedicated to life on Earth. Comprised of animal sketches, historical diagrams, botanical studies, and various scientific research collected from hundreds of thousands of journals and libraries around the globe. Collection of more than 55 million pages of literature, some of which dates back to the 15th century. At least 150,000 illustrations are available for free download in high-resolution files.
  • Musictheory.net – Free online content
  • edpuzzle – Make any video your lesson
  • pedagogy://virtual – A teacher support program that connects a teacher to a virtual pedagogy mentor who helps the teacher find ways to boost student engagement in their virtual classroom.
  • The Atlantic Black Box Project – This project is about “understanding history through story and building community through conversation. Maine stories on the site.
  • From a Maine music teacher: Thankful for YouTube, Google Classroom, Smartmusic, Sight Reading Factory, Sibelius, Band in the Box, Laptops, Facebook Groups, and Zoom.

BOOKS AND ARTICLES  

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