In concert with community: West Michigan orchestras explore new ways to make music a part of everyday life

When West Michigan Symphony Music Director Scott Speck visited Germany, he attended a free Bavarian State Opera performance. A crowd of at least 200,000 people greeted the orchestra musicians as though they were national heroes. 

Such an enthusiastic and huge audience at a classical music event is linked to Germany’s cultural heritage, which includes a healthy concentration of musical organizations. It also helps that the country can boast a history of legendary composers, from Beethoven to Hans Zimmer. 

“Orchestral music is so embedded in their culture that nobody could imagine a society without it,” Speck says. 

Outside of Germany’s borders, many orchestras are struggling to create that same spark and loyalty within their own communities. Not all are in dire straits, but there is a growing concern among musicians, educators, administrators and patrons regarding the future of orchestras. 

Read more here: In concert with community: West Michigan orchestras explore new ways to make music a part of everyday life

Election Update: There Are 4 Ways This Election Can End — And 3 Involve Clinton Winning | FiveThirtyEight

OCT 21, 2016 AT 8:27 PM

Election Update: There Are 4 Ways This Election Can End — And 3 Involve Clinton Winning

Source: Election Update: There Are 4 Ways This Election Can End — And 3 Involve Clinton Winning | FiveThirtyEight

Writer’s Weekend Edition – Bring on the Love

Writer’s Weekend Resources
by Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)
What fears lurk in your writer’s mind?
What fears lurk in your writer’s mind?

On Friday, we shared some of our writerly fears, and some of you shared some of yours back (thanks!). If you missed that post, I encourage you to check it out and maybe add your own not-so-secret fears/worries to the list. As Ursula K. Le Guin made clear in her Earthsea series, there is power in naming a thing. By naming it, you gain control over it. It no longer has the ability to make you afraid.

So, in honor of Halloween, perhaps today is the day to face your fears and teach them who’s boss. Dan Blank had a great post about this very topic earlier this week. In fact, he provides four very tactical tips on how to overcome fear and get out of a writing slump.

And, might I also suggest tapping into your dark side to fuel your writing? Sometimes, the best defense is a strong offense … like when I used to growl to keep the monsters in the basement at bay.

Overcoming your fears isn’t a quick-fix, silver-bullet kind of thing; but it’s also not an impossible goal. You can do it.

_jamie sig

Books I’m Reading:

Live to Write - Write to Live

eb-white-love-stone-heartToday’s post is short and to the point … partly because what I want to say is, at least at first, pretty darn simple; and partly because I’m due to my daughter’s volleyball tournament in exactly thirty-one minutes.

··• )o( •··

Are you ever overwhelmed by feelings of love? I don’t mean feelings of love for your partner, parent, child, friend, or dog (though those are lovely, too). I mean feeling love for the whole of existence, for – as Douglas Adams put it – “life, the universe, and everything.” Have you ever been going along through your day, more or less minding your own business, when suddenly you found yourself close to tears or to laughing out loud because the world is suddenly almost unbearably beautiful?

This doesn’t happen to me all the time (I’m not crazy), but on occasion I am struck with an unexpected opening of my heart…

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Ed Reform 2.0: If You Can Train a Pigeon to Detonate Bombs…

Ed Reform 2.0: If You Can Train a Pigeon to Detonate Bombs…
by Emily Talmage
Back in 1977, Superintendent James Guines of Washington D.C. explained his district’s competency-based education pilot program like this:

“The basic idea is to break down complicated learning into a sequence of clear simple skills that virtually everyone can master, although at different rates of speed. If you can train a pigeon to fly up there and press a button and set off a bomb, why can’t you teach human beings to behave in an effective and rational way?”

“We know we can modify human behavior. We’re not scared of that,” he added. “This is the biggest thing that’s happening in education today.”

laughing-gif1.gif

HA! Those crazy 70’s! Boy did they have some crazy ideas back then.

But wait…

Save Maine Schools

Back in 1977, Superintendent James Guines of Washington D.C. explained his district’s competency-based education pilot program like this:

“The basic idea is to break down complicated learning into a sequence of clear simple skills that virtually everyone can master, although at different rates of speed.If you can train a pigeon to fly up there and press a button and set off a bomb, why can’t you teach human beings to behave in an effective and rational way?”

“We know we can modify human behavior. We’re not scared of that,” he added. “This is the biggest thing that’s happening in education today.”

laughing-gif1.gif

HA! Those crazy 70’s! Boy did they have some crazy ideas back then.

But wait…

Now check out this recent video from Angela Duckworth and Katherine Milkman:

Here’s what Milkman has to say:

“If you repeatedly reward good behavior, and pair it with memorable cues, positive routines become…

View original post 614 more words

Community Schools: Steady Improvement for Students and Support for Families

Community Schools: Steady Improvement for Students and Support for Families
by janresseger
A test-score-yardstick and a short time line—those are the tools we use these days to evaluate school improvement. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Obama’s Race to the Top gave us four approved plans for school “turnaround,” and if the school wasn’t turned around quick enough, the most stringent of the four was imposed—closure.

Policy makers have assumed that school turnaround could be neat, quick, and cheap only to discover that the solution too often made things worse for the students and their communities. Rachel Cohen, writing for The American Prospect, describes the impact of school closures on neighborhoods—specifically in Chicago where 50 schools were closed at the end of the 2012-2013 school year:

janresseger

A test-score-yardstick and a short time line—those are the tools we use these days to evaluate school improvement. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Obama’s Race to the Top gave us four approved plans for school “turnaround,” and if the school wasn’t turned around quick enough, the most stringent of the four was imposed—closure.

Policy makers have assumed that school turnaround could be neat, quick, and cheap only to discover that the solution too often made things worse for the students and their communities. Rachel Cohen, writing for The American Prospect, describes the impact of school closures on neighborhoods—specifically in Chicago where 50 schools were closed at the end of the 2012-2013 school year: “While black students were 40 percent of Chicago’s school district population in 2013, they made up 88 percent of those affected by the closures.”  “(T)hree years later, Chicago residents are still reeling from the devastating…

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It’s Not Just Keeping Guns Out Of The Wrong Hands, It’s Keeping The Wrong Guns Out Of Everyone’s Hands.

Mike The Gun Guy™

My first introduction to the gun business was 1965 in North Carolina working for my Uncle Ben.  Like all my immigrant relatives, Ben had been in the iron-mongering business back in the Old Country, so when he came to America he opened a junk yard where he traded scrap metal this for scrap metal that. At some point he started manufacturing a small, 22-caliber revolver which he sold to pawn shops for $15 bucks; the pawnbrokers then resold this little piece of junk for $24.95. This gun was a quintessential ‘Saturday Night Special,’ which might fire one or two shots before it broke.

            Glock 43 Glock 43

So here we are, fifty years later, and Uncle Ben’s cheap, little piece of junk for $24.95 has been replaced by, among other models, the Glock 43, which retails for somewhere around five hundred bucks.  But the Glock 43, which is actually smaller and more…

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The Attack on Teachers Goes to College

The Attack on Teachers Goes to College
by seattleducation2010
Originally published on The Progressive website. The Attack on Teachers Goes to College The dramatic lockout of faculty at Long Island University in Brooklyn this fall brought home the reality that what is happening in higher education is closely related to the attack on education in our K-12 public schools. On August 31, 2016 the […]

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Seattle Education

Originally published on The Progressive website.

liu2

The Attack on Teachers Goes to College

The dramatic lockout of faculty at Long Island University in Brooklyn this fall brought home the reality that what is happening in higher education is closely related to the attack on education in our K-12 public schools.

On August 31, 2016 the contract between the faculty on the Brooklyn campus and Long Island University (LIU) was due to expire. The negotiating team was told on that day if they did not accept the contract, faculty would be locked out.

The faculty members turned down the contract offer but did not vote to strike. In response, LIU cut off professors’ email accounts and health insurance. The professors were locked out of their classrooms and told they would be replaced. If faculty members went into the university buildings where their offices and classrooms were, they were told they could…

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Propaganda Alert! Misleading Article About Jill Stein in the Daily Beast

Propaganda Alert! Misleading Article About Jill Stein in the Daily Beast
by John Laurits
John debunks the Daily Beast’s recent attack on Jill Steins “investment portfolio” — he also calls the Daily Beast’s publications “farticles,” so there’s that…

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John Laurits | October 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Tags: Daily Beast , Fossil Fuels , Green Party , Investments , Jill Stein , Mutual Fund , Yasher Ali | Categories: news | URL: http://wp.me/p5FXIJ-Ho