Friday, August 14, 2009

Here We Go Again!

Greetings everyone and welcome back!

Can you believe that the summer is gone and we are all back in school? Where did the time go?

For my first blog of the 2009 - 2010 season, I want to begin by asking you a question. What can I do for you?

This year I want to be able to provide you with a dialogue that will be useful for you not only as a music educator, but also help stimulate great conversation about what is going on in our school districts, county, and state.

We are living in a time when traditional education is radically changing and we have to keep up. We are seeing a time when students no longer step into classrooms, but rather log onto computers and interact through cyberspace.

How will this effect us? How will this effect music? How will this change our children?

So, I propose a dialogue between us all, exchanging new ideas and working together to keep music alive as an interactive activity!

Here is to an exciting adventure!

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's May, It's May, The Busy Month of May!

Yes, we finally made it to May, the final month of school. The month when all of the testing is finally over and all the field trips and special convocations occur and we will only see some of our students two more times. Now I know that some of you enjoy not seeing a certain class, but remember that in that class might be the best singer in your school and we at ICC would love to see them at the Choral Festival.

I know that the last thing I need right now is someone asking me to add one more thing to my already full plate, but the ICC needs your help now more than ever! We have so many spots still open in the choral festival and we would love to work with your students. All we are asking is that you pass out as many of the registration forms as you can to all of your good singers!

As for us, we are ready to come to your school and help you in any way that we can! Henry, Ruth, and I will be making school visits during the month of May and would love to come and see you and your students. If you have a time that you would like us to stop by, please give the office a call and we will set that up! Our visit can be as short or as long as you wish. Remember we are here to serve you!

I also want to take a moment and address the issue of school funding and the arts. We as teachers are all feeling the strain and the worries about money. Isn't it sad that the future of our children all rests on how much money we have? As we listen to the news, the word "cuts" is echoed over and over and I know that in many schools systems the arts are the first to go.

Please know that you have a family and support system here at the ICC. If you need someone to come and bat for you and your program we will be there. We would love to come and talk to your principal, superintendent, and school board. We are here to help you and if you need some extra voices in that choir, we will be there!

As I said in the first blog, we are all in this together. We all need to stand together now more than ever and show the world why music is so important to us all!

Have a wonderful May!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why Music?

Hello All!

I see that we have had a few people vote on our next topic! To get us started here are a few quotes provided by The first set are quotes about music in general and the second are for our administrators!

I hope you enjoy them!

1. “During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North, and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children.”
- General H. Norman Schwarzkopf — United States Army

2. “Music is exciting. It is thrilling to be sitting in a group of musicians playing (more or less) the same piece of music. You are part of a great, powerful, vibrant entity. And nothing beats the feeling you get when you've practiced a difficult section over and over and finally get it right. (yes, even on the wood block.) Music is important. It says things you heart can't say any other way, and in a language everyone speaks. Music crosses borders, turns smiles into frowns, and vice versa. These observations are shared with a hope: that, when schools cut back on music classes, they really think about what they're doing - and don't take music for granted.”
- Dan Rather — CBS News

3. “In every successful business…there is one budget line that never gets cut. It’s called ‘Product Development’ – and it’s the key to any company’s future growth. Music education is critical to the product development of this nation’s most important resource – our children.”
- John Sykes — President, VH1

4. “The things I learned from my experience in music in school are discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, courage and pride in results. . . Not a bad preparation for the workforce!”
- Gregory Anrig – President, Educational Testing Service

5. “Music is an essential part of everything we do. Like puppetry, music has an abstract quality which speaks to a worldwide audience in a wonderful way that nourishes the soul.”
- Jim Henson – television producer and puppeteer

6. “Should we not be putting all our emphasis on reading, writing and math? The ‘back-tobasics curricula,’ while it has merit, ignores the most urgent void in our present system – absence of self-discipline. The arts, inspiring – indeed requiring – self-discipline, may be more ‘basic’ to our nation survival than traditional credit courses. Presently, we are spending 29 times more on science than on the arts, and the result so far is worldwide intellectual embarrassment.”
- Paul Harvey – syndicated radio show host

7. “It's [music education] terribly important, extremely important -- because when you are a child, you are in a receptive age ... In high schools, public schools -- that's where they must have the best influence, the first influence, which will go through their whole life.”
- Eugene Ormandy – conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra

8. “It is our job, as parents, educators, and friends, to see that our young people have the opportunity to attain the thorough education that will prepare them for the future. Much of that education takes place in the classroom. We must encourage our youngsters in such pursuits as music education. In addition to learning the valuable lesson that it takes hard work to achieve success, no matter what the arena, music education can provide students with a strong sense of determination, improved communication skills, and a host of other qualities essential for successful living.”
- Edward H. Rensi – President and Chief Operation Officer, U.S.A. McDonald's Corporation

9. “A grounding in the arts will help our children to see; to bring a uniquely human perspective to science and technology. In short, it will help them as they grow smarter to also grow wiser.”
- Robert E. Allen – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Corporation

10. “Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it’s essential to being human.”
- Jewel – singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist

For our Administrators:

1. Surveys show that a majority of parents believes the arts are as important as reading, writing, math, science, history, or geography. Most parents want their children to have more experience with the arts than they had when they were young.
- Louis Harris, Americans and the Arts VI, 1992.

2. Students in two Rhode Island elementary schools who were given an enriched, sequential, skill-building music program showed marked improvement in reading and math skills. Students in the music program who had started out behind the control group achieved statistical equality in reading and pulled ahead in math.
Gardiner, Fox, Jeffrey, and Knowles, Nature, May 23, 1996.

3. Over nine in ten adults (93%) surveyed agree that music is part of a well-rounded education.
- Americans’ Attitudes Toward Music, The Gallup Organization, 1997.

4. The Kettle Moraine school district in Wales, Wisconsin is requiring piano lessons for all K-5 pupils after seeing encouraging results from a district pilot program. District officials based their pilot program on research findings that show music training - specifically piano instruction - is far superior to computer instruction in enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills.
- Karen Abercrombie, Education Week, October 14, 1998.

5. The arts are recognized as a core subject in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act approved by both houses of Congress in 1994.
- National Education Goals Panel.

6. A two-year Swiss study involving 1,200 children in 50 schools showed that students involved in the music program were better at languages, learned to read more easily, showed an improved social climate, demonstrated more enjoyment in school, and had a lower stress level than non-music students.
- E.W. Weber, M. Spychiger, and J.L. Patry, 1993.

7. Research shows when the arts are included in a student’s curriculum, reading, writing, and math scores improve.
- J. Buchen Milley, A. Oderlund, and J. Mortarotti, “The Arts: An Essential Ingredient in Education,” The California Council of the Fine Arts Deans.

8. The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college.
- Academic Preparation for College: What Students Should Know and Be Able to Do, The College Board.

9. When researchers analyzed the NELS:88 database of the U.S. Department of Education, which tracked 25,000 students over a ten-year period, they discovered that students who were involved in music scored higher on standardized tests and reading tests than students not taking music courses. This finding was consistent for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997.

10. School districts with strong arts education programs report that superintendents and school principals who collectively support and regularly articulate a vision for arts education are critically important to the successful implementation and stability of district arts education policies.
Gaining the Arts Advantage, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 1999.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We're All in This Together

Greetings and welcome to the ICC Teacher Blog!

We are all very excited about this page and hope you will come and visit it often. Our goal is to not only have a better dialogue with you as an individual, but a better dialogue between all of the music teachers in the greater Indianapolis area!
I also want to introduce myself to you. My name is Josh Pedde and I am one of the Associate Directors here at the ICC. I am also an elementary teacher at Stonegate Elementary in Zionsville. I have been with ICC for eight years, and have enjoyed all of my time with the organization. My new position at the ICC is to chair the Teacher Advisory Board, a panel made up of representatives from area school corporations.

This page is the product of that board! I have titled this blog, "We're All in this Together," and I have to admit I took this theme from Cynthia Bradford, the Artistic Director Emeritus from the Southlake Children's Choir. Why this title? Because we are all music teachers and we all want the same thing, to help improve the lives of children through music! No matter if you have singers in the ICC or not, we want to hear from you! We will discuss a variety of topics on this blog - everything from advocacy, classroom management, teaching tips, standards, and much more!!

We all have different ideas and they are all very valuable to us at the ICC and to your teaching colleagues in the area! We look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy the blog!

Josh Pedde