Friday, March 28, 2014

Amazing America

Madison Rising has released the theme song for the new program "Amazing America" on the Sportsman Channel with Sarah Palin, premiering April 3. You might recall the awesome Star-Spangled Banner from Madison Rising.  This new release is another hit celebrating the American spirit and pride in our country.
As for the new show, Sarah Palin will be on the road, exploring the hunting and fishing lifestyles of Americans.  According to her press interview with USA Today:
 it's "not going to be some kind of fake scripted reality show" but will "showcase people, places and things in order to restore, fundamentally, what makes America great,"  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Letters of Note: My Heart Almost Stood Still

Have you ever wondered how a deaf person "listens" to the sounds around them?  How a blind person sees the beauty of our world?  In today's Letters of Note, a letter is shared that was written by Helen Keller in 1924.  
I've followed this blog for awhile now, and there is often a letter shared that really touches my heart.  This is one of them.  
My heart almost stood still

Letters of Note: My heart almost stood still

Sunday, March 23, 2014

You Are The Only One

Is Jesus your compass in life?  I believe that each person wants to be happy.  No one likes to be miserable, lost, rejected.  What/who guides your life?  Does your life show the fruits that come from a relationship with Jesus?  

 Jesus is truly the only one we can count on to be there for us ALWAYS!   He is everything to us!  You Are The Only One was written by Casting Crowns.  It's part of their new album THRIVE, released the end of January, 2014. Here's their own description of the album:
  THRIVE, the brand new studio record from Casting Crowns, is packed with the band's signature style of songs about real life that redefine our identity in Christ, pointing us to our purpose from Him so that we may carry it out through Him. It's time for us to more than survive. We were made to THRIVE!.  

Consider taking the THRIVE CHALLENGE by Casting Crowns!  Each month, 1 songs will be featured from the THRIVE album.  Mark Hall speaks in 3 accompanying videos, teaching the meaning behind the song, scripture references, lyrics and thoughts from the band.  This is a great way to re-focus your life to dig in and reach out.  Go HERE to begin!
You can find the THRIVE album on Spotify and iTunes!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Carnival of the Animals - Piano Carnival

I just discovered a new iPad app that will fit perfectly into my upcoming music lesson plans!  Piano Carnival is a narrative that accompanies Saint-Saen's Carnivalk of the Animals. Attached to each page of this story is a video of the appropriate piece of music as well as additional drawings AND a movie of those drawings being created in Photoshop!  SOOOO cool!
What really impressed me was the website for educators (!piano-carnival-lesson-plans/c2hs) that is linked in the "grown ups" area. This site has lesson plans and activities to accompany the book AND Common Core Standards are listed that apply to each lesson!  WOW!  I am so excited to begin this unit with my students!
There are many ways to use this app with your classroom. Project on a SmartBoard, just use your iPad to present the story, or put on a classroom set of iPads for individual use. Another great thing about this app is that it is FREE!  Check it out music educators!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Wash me, make me pure within!"

3Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.
4Thoroughly wash away my guilt;
and from my sin cleanse me.
5For I know my transgressions;
my sin is always before me. -----Psalm 51: 3-5

"God Be Merciful To Me" by Jars of Clay, a Christian Rock Band from Nashville.  You can find them on Facebook and MANY of their albums are on Spotify as well.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Are you a Bee or a Squirrel? Maybe a Zebra or Giraffe??

"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few." - Emily Dickinson
Crocus tomm II 086

In a class that several of our staff are taking, we watched the Video "Animal School" produced by Raising Small Souls (a great website to check out as well).  It prompted lots of discussion as we shared our thoughts about how this applies to us every day as educators  - what it means in connection with the children we teach, love, guide each day.  We are all unique - just like snowflakes, no two people are exactly alike.  That's what makes humanity so wonderful!  Variety - creativity - surprises!  One person's strength is another's weakness - that's how we compliment each other, and learn from each other.

What does that mean for our children?  As parents and educators, do we expect ALL of our children to be enthusiastic athletes or amazing musicians or perhaps outstanding academics?  Maybe we expect ALL of this from every child??  As educators, we want each child to be proficient at everything they do - Math, Science, English, Geography, Music, PE.  Are we expecting more of our children than we even expect from ourselves?  

I am an accomplished musician.  Science, however, is NOT my forte!  Once I hit chemistry in high school, I knew this was NOT my calling!  Is that bad?  Should I have stuck it out and taken all the science I could and attempted to build up my science knowledge?  Of course, my musicianship would have suffered.  I wouldn't have had as much time to practice or do the other "extra" musical activities that I loved.  My time would have probably been spent trying to figure out the allotropes of carbon instead!

How do we as educators celebrate the uniqueness and gifts of each of our students while at the same time prepared them with a "well-rounded" education?  How does this all connect with the state testing that is required of schools?  Lots of questions, lots of ideas.  

Watch for yourself, and ponder. Leave a comment, add to the discussion!  Which animal do you identify with in the video?  Which animal do you see your children identifying with?  


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What To Give Up For Lent??

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.--Micah 6:8

This is one of my favorite verses.  If I am in doubt as to how to respond to a situation, I can plug into this verse to evaluate the choices ahead of me.  As you contemplate something to "give up" for Lent this year, consider the graphic below. Often we focus exclusively on physical things during Lent (no dessert, exercise etc.) and forget that it's our Emotional and Spiritual Self is just as much a part of us as our physical bodies.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Celebrate MUSIC in our SCHOOL!

Since 1985, March has been filled with the sound as music in our schools thanks to this month being designated "Music In Our Schools Month." Sponsored by the National Association for Music Education, the event focuses the nation's attention on the need for and the benefits of quality music education programs.

Locally, MGS has a tradition of decorating grocery sacks so watch for some artwork with your purchases in March!  Some classes have started decorating their sacks!  Of course, they all hope that their parents will be given THEIR sack when they check out of the grocery store!

Students and educators appreciate the support they receive from their families year-round!  Thank you for supporting the arts in your child’s school by attending concerts, encouraging him/her to practice an instrument and sing in the choir!