Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Workshop - Arts Integration Classes at UNF

As you know, I have a music intern this Fall and my official title is "Directing Teacher." My intern also has a Supervising Teacher at the University of North Florida. Her name is Dr. Georgina (Gigi) David. Dr. David is a visiting Professor of Education at UNF and is overseeing several interns at Chets Creek this semester. Dr. David visits four times during the semester to observe Miss Lambros' progress.

Additionally, Dr. David has asked me to present a workshop at the University of North Florida at the end of October. I will be teaching curricular integration to her Arts Integration classes. The students in these classes are non-music majors but must include musical activities in their classroom once they become certified to teach. I have been asked to help them find their singing voices, keep a steady beat, use literacy to teach musical concepts and present culturally diverse songs for use in their classrooms.

This will be my first experience teaching at the university level and I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunity. Check back in a few weeks! I'll let you know how it went!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DATA: Arts Education and Graduation Rates

At our district music educator inservice last month, a PowerPoint presentation was shared with us that validated what we, as Arts Educators, have known all along. A longitudinal study of high school students who took at least one year of Fine Arts credit were more likely to graduate with their cohort from high school. The more Arts credits taken, the higher the numbers across the board.

The data show that cumulative GPA's were higher, SAT Math and Verbal scores were higher and FCAT Reading, Writing and Math scores were higher for those students who were engaged in Arts Education all four years.

Please take a moment to look at the slide presentation below. My thanks to Mr. James Perry (Florida Music Educators Association) and Mrs. Paula Thornton (Instrumental Supervisor, Duval County Public Schools) for permission to use this PowerPoint presentation.

Let me leave you with one is up to us to do that which is right by our children.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Once on a Housetop"

Our second grade students have begun rehearsing a brand new musical this year entitled, "Once on a Housetop." This program will debut on Tuesday, December 8th and Thursday, December 10th. This is the first "live" performance experience for many of these students and it is one they will remember for years to come.

As we celebrate the holiday season, you'll join a group of chimney sweeps as they dance across the rooftops of the city and discover all the different ways that families celebrate the winter holidays...from the candles of Hanukkah to bright pinatas, from a baby born in a stable to the uplifting message of Kwanzaa...and don't forget that big red fella in the chimney!

Our second graders will impress you with their stage presence and musical talent. We hope you'll plan to join us!

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rockin' Recorder Club Begins

The 5th Grade Recorder Club began rehearsing yesterday with 20 students showing up for our first after-school rehearsal! It was so exciting to see so many fifth graders volunteer to take part in a musical enrichment activity that requires additional study outside the classroom.

The purpose of the Recorder Club at Chets Creek Elementary is two-fold. The first is to allow the students to complete the "Recorder Karate" program they began last year and test out of the music through "black belt." The second is to provide a more in-depth learning environment for them to take their recorder playing skills to the next level and showcase their talent in our community. The criteria for membership in this club is 80% mastery of the recorder in 4th grade, including note-reading skills, rhythmic-reading skills, playing with a good tone on the instrument, having a good attitude and a willingness to practice at home.

Last year, the Chets Creek Recorder Club played at several venues around town including the Jacksonville International Airport's "Holiday Fest," "Chets Creek Night" at BJs Wholesale Warehouse Club and they provided pre-show music for all second grade performances of "Paint the Town December" at school.

It is with great anticipation that we begin a new season of recorder study which will enhance student learning and prepare them for music performances during their middle school years.

Until next time...