Monday, November 23, 2009

National Board Certified

It is with great humbleness of heart that I share this news with you – after months and months of working towards National Board Certification and waiting six months for the scores to be posted, I am very happy to report that I am now a National Board Certified Teacher in Early/Middle Childhood Music.

The journey was long and arduous, and I am deeply honored to be counted among the top 2% of teachers in the nation. My journey began in June, 2008. I attended a workshop at Appalachian State that helped prepare music teachers for the process. I had a great videographer that captured the essence of my teaching so beautifully; I had 5 NBCTs that read my portfolio entries over and over and helped me successfully edit my work; I had a loving husband that picked up the slack at home (grocery shopping, cooking meals, doing laundry, taking care of children, etc.) so that I could pursue my dream. It was truly a labor of love on many fronts and I am indebted to so many of you who stood by me last year and who were faithful to pray for me throughout the process. There were so many people who supported me in this endeavor and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Pursuing National Board Certification was, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done, either personally or professionally.

In this season of thanksgiving, I thank God for the intellect, the voice, the musical talent and the gift of teaching He has bestowed upon me. I am grateful for a principal who took a chance on me six years ago when there were others who were more qualified than I to teach at her school. I am also extremely thankful for teachers who invested their time and talent in me as a young child and I consider it an honor to be doing the very same thing for those that I now teach. Until next time...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kindergarten Pow Wow

Today was a big day in the life of a Kindergartener at Chets Creek!

Our annual Pow Wow was held under clear skies with abnormally warm temperatures. The day began with an outdoor ceremony hosted by Chief Red Cloud, Chief Jumping Frog and Chief Sing-Um-Song (that would be me!) Eight Native American tribes were represented. They performed tribal dances, sang Native American songs and tried their hands at drum-playing, food-tasting and symbol writing. Story-telling took place in the Great Tepee and a scavenger hunt was enjoyed by all. Chief Chets Creek shared his hunting and game-trapping skills with our youngsters and gave them an opportunity to try smoked venison too!

Chief Beat-Um-Drum (Miss Lambros) and I spent the day in the Tribal Music Center teaching the "Canoe Song" to our youngest learners. They can now tell you the meaning of the word, "keen" and can explain what it means to "dip, dip and swing."

Creating life-long memories for our children is part of our design. Pow Wow is one of those memories that will certainly last a lifetime. Until next time...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Midtown ArtFest Performance

It was such a privilege to be a part of my students' lives today as the Chets Creek Recorder Club performed at the Midtown ArtFest in Jacksonville. They were true professionals and they played so beautifully! Our program opened with "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Amazing Grace," Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and we closed out the performance with a sampling of holiday music.

Nineteen children and their families gave up their Sunday afternoon to participate and I could not have been more proud of them! We are so blessed at CCE to have parents who are committed to the education of their children. Parental involvement is vitally important to a child's success in school. PARENTS - I tip my hat to each of you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! Until next time...

Miss Lambros' Senior Recital

My intern, Samantha Lambros, fulfilled one of the requirements for her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education degree last night by presenting her Senior Recital at the University of North Florida. The recital hall was filled with family, friends, faculty and fellow students - many of whom had never before attended a French Horn recital!

Miss Lambros was responsible for choosing the music on the program, hiring the musicians that accompanied her and rehearsing the program in preparation for last night's performance. She played several concerto movements by W.A. Mozart, a lovely piece entitled "Romance in F" by Camille Saint-Sains and two duets for French Horn, also by Mozart. After intermission, we enjoyed the third movement from "Quintet No. 1 in B flat minor" by Victor Ewald and the evening ended with a Canadian Brass arrangement of the "Suite from Water Music" by George Frideric Handel.

Of all the brass instruments, the French Horn is the most difficult to play and Miss Lambros made her horn "sing" beautifully last night. It was an honor to be in the audience, enjoy the concert and support her efforts. Until next time...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Recorder Club Performances

In my post dated Wednesday, September 9th, I expressed my sheer delight in 20 students taking part in an afterschool Arts enrichment program known as the "Chets Creek Recorder Club." I had 10 very dedicated and talented students in our inaugural group last year and was pleasantly surprised to see that our numbers had doubled this year.

Miss Lambros and I have been working diligently after school with these students. We donate our time on a weekly basis to ensure that they have quality instruction and plenty of one-on-one help. We also provide music that is challenging enough to stretch them as young musicians.

Their first public appearance is Sunday, November 15th at 2:30 p.m. at the "Family ArtFest and Salute to the Troops." This festival is a 2-day event in historic St. Nicholas near downtown Jacksonville. A film crew from Douglas Anderson School of the Performing Arts will be on-hand to shoot a documentary and a portion of the proceeds will be used to further Arts education in Duval County Public Schools. We are privileged to have been invited to perform by the District Music Office and are happy to support this endeavor.

Next month, our holiday series begins. On Tuesday, December 1st, we will perform at the Beaches Senior Center in Jacksonville Beach from 9:15 a.m.- 9:45 a.m. On Wednesday, December 2nd, we will take part in the Holiday Fest at the Jacksonville International Airport. Our performance begins at 10:30 a.m. in the atrium upstairs near the food court. On Thursday, December 3rd, the group will perform at the TownCenter Mall at 6:30 p.m. in the open space near Cantina Laredo. As a service to our second graders at CCE, the Recorder Club will play pre-show music in the lobby for all performances of "Once on a Housetop" December 8th and 10th.

I hope you will be able to join us for one of these performances. Until next time...