Written by Shannon Siebert
Quote of the Day— “If it’s on your mind, it’s probably not getting done.” Productivity & time management guru David Allen
MUSIC TO OUR EARS!
With the awesome success of the Heartland music program the past few years, I think it’s worth talking about how something like this keeps happening. I believe it stems from an entire community that consistently values music highly and this reflects in continued top-ranked performances by the Heartland music department. Just take a few minutes to visit the Heartland trophy case and you’ll understand what I mean.
Longevity a PLUS
Our school district has a history of hiring excellent band and choral teachers and it is worth noting the longevity of Heartland’s band and vocal teachers. Band instructor Mr. Royce Schweitzer has been here for 40 plus years and deserves much credit for his insightful instruction and building of a strong music program. A few years ago he was highlighted as the September Heartlandbeat Teacher of the Month and has been featured in the York News Times for his accomplishments. Vocal instructor Lynn Hall has been at Heartland for over 20 years and can boast about the many high achievements of his students at the annual district music contests, select vocal groups and semi-annual all school musicals.
The Data Speaks
I just read an intriguing article in the Wallstreet Journal, “A Musical Fix for American Schools” that examines new research that shows compelling evidence that “music can boost children’s academic performance and help fix some of our schools’ most intractable problems.”
It’s well documented that some of the world’s highest achievers also studied music but this article cites new studies that examine the “chicken and egg question—Are smart, ambitious people naturally attracted to music? Or does music make them smart and ambitious? And do musically trained students fare better academically because they come from more affluent, better-educated families?”
Music Trains the Brain
These studies show that no matter what a child’s socioeconomic background, music training “enhanced the children’s executive function—that is, their brain’s ability to plan, organize, strategize and solve problems.” What was even more intriguing were the studies that pointed out how music did more than sports, theater or dance improving key academic skills. Not to discount these other activities for kids, because they are beneficial as well, but the “impact of music was more than twice that of the other activities.”
One of the conclusions of the article would be to question why in the world would schools cut their music programs! I would add that parents of young children need to provide pre-school musical activities and then strongly encourage their children to continue participating in the school music programs offered. In high school, it certainly can be difficult to juggle academics, sports and participating in chorus, band and musical performances. But according to the research, it should be a top priority.
It’s not easy to successfully manage sports, classwork, and participation in band and/or chorus. Certainly, it takes the cooperation of administrators, coaches and music teachers especially in a small school where the student population is decidedly smaller.
Music education does matter and we should be proud of the way our local school has consistently offered high-quality musical opportunities for Heartland students.
P.S. The Winter Song/Winter Ball production Saturday evening February 10th has become a much anticipated musical annual event complete with white table seating and hors-d’oeuvres featuring small group and solo performances. What an innovative example of how a school can creatively showcase their musically talented students!
What’s everyone talking about?
The annual Henderson Home Show is coming up on Saturday, Feb 24th at the Heartland gym. This is a great way to advertise your business and network. Contact the Henderson Chamber of Commerce about booth rental information. As usual great food choices will be available—early morning pancake feed, yummy lunch options and homemade ice cream from the Henderson Health Care Jr. Auxiliary.
Go to GREG RANSOM who you see in the neon orange jacket tirelessly scooping snow from up and down main street and all over town at any hour of the day and night! Ransom deserves recognition for his extreme volunteerism around town making sure any stray snow accumulation is taken care of! He is not only willing to scoop the white stuff but often he hauls it away in his own pickup. After the snow is taken care of, and the melting and icing process begins, he can be seen working on clearing any drainage obstructions. Make sure you give him a high five and thank him for his tireless volunteering spirit and hard work.
What to share with that kid that’s always screaming—
Try any of these insightful tips in 50 Calm-Down Techniques to Try with Kids.
If the simple take a deep breath is not doing the trick—read this!!! Awesome ideas for young and old alike. Singing out loud, doing a down dog (inverted yoga pose that apparently helps reset the automatic nervous system), and drinking a tall cold glass of water are just a few of my favorites. A must-read for every parent, grandparent, and caregiver.
What to Read
“Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done” by David Allen is a good read for starting the new year and getting inspired about organizing your life. David Allen is a well known time management and productivity guru who has written another very popular book called “Getting Things Done” that outlines his time management methodology. In this book, Allen does a good job of providing a synopsis of his 52 productivity principles. It’s a fast read with practical advice on how to clear the clutter of your life so you can have more time for your creative juices to flow and tackle what is really important. His simple solution is to write down tasks, projects, ideas and plans so your mind is freed up. He calls it freeing your “psychic RAM”. Most of us think we can keep our complex lives stored in our mind but not so according to Allen. All those open loops and unfulfilled commitments drain our mental energy keeping us from realizing our full potential he says. Of course, if you visit his website he sells a planner system that syncs with his efficiency and productivity ideas. No matter where you are in life, many of his principles can be applied and I found his book to be thought-provoking and helpful.
Word for the day: ubiquitous
Definition: 1. existing or being everywhere; inescapable.
The cold weather and snow seem to be ubiquitous this winter in Henderson.
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