Ch Ch Ch Changes…

I have been away from the blogosphere for a while (does that terminology still exist?). I have shut down a failed website on music education, redecorated my office for better aesthetics and functionality, and starting new projects for myself and my family that I am really excited about.

However, I am not going into that today. I want to share with you something that I read recently. I think this article may change the way I homeschool forever because so far the implementation of ideas I gleaned from this article has worked extremely well.

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Social Media Trend That Can Be Used in Education

There is a  trend in social media that is gaining ground. This trend lends itself to disseminating a ton of information in a short amount of time. (hence its popularity on social media platforms) The good news is that you can use this same idea in your education/homeschool with very little work because I am going to provide some templates for you that were provided to me through another company. There is no fear of copyright infringement as these were given away to anyone as a marketing device. So without further ado, here they are:

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One Major Skill Missing From Today’s Youth

For those of you that may not know, I teach music as a profession. I have taught anything from high school bands to elementary choirs. I  even taught a very cool Junkyard Taiko percussion group at a middle school in Buena Park, CA. My current venture in teaching music has led me to owning my own studio where I mostly teach piano and a few band instruments like flute and trombone. Through my public school and private studio experiences, I have noticed something about today’s youth (most of them). They are missing a key ingredient that can help ensure successful learning in both their personal lives and in vocational pursuits.

I have a piano student, let’s call her Stephanie. We start out Stephanie’s lesson with a piano technique book called Dozen a Day. I ask her to play song #3 on the page and she does so but not without some trouble. So to ascertain what her problems might be, I ask her to play it again but this time only to play the first two measure where I suspect she is missing some understanding. She then commences to play the entire song. I ask her to start again but this time to play just the first measure of the 4 measure technique. She plays up to the middle of measure 3. Whhhaaaaaaaaa? Inside my imagination, I am the helpless conversational companion of Ted Striker just trying to find a way out of this horrible situation

Ted Striker reminisces about a love lost.

Ted Striker reminisces about a love lost.

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Secret Traveler Destination #2

For Your Eyes Only:

Dear Agent~

Hopefully you’ve had a few days rest because we are going to ask a lot from you. Your current car won’t cut it where we are sending you. Ditch it and get yourself an off-road vehicle or you can keep your car and take 37 most of the way to your destination. Either way, you are eventually going to go on rough roads.

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Secret Traveler #2 Dosier and Travel Visa

COVERT COMMUNIQUE FROM HQ: 

We had to send your next destination  more encrypted than the last because we believe you are being followed. So please watch your back. You are about to leave a beautiful area and get on a cruise ship headed for Hawaii. There you will head one of two directions (E or W) to a port. When you get to the port, you can rent a car from here: Continue reading

Secret Traveler Mission #1

You have arrived at your first destination and entering customs went well. Here is your assignment

You need to immediately rent a car and drive north on the A1. You also need to rent a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus suit. Once you have done these things. You will stop somewhere along the coast, put on your suit, dive, and explore one of the greatest underwater areas of the world. What is it? Continue reading

A Creative and Tasty Way to Teach Colors and Other Things Part 2

Middle Years

Process and Alterations:

Use the same lesson as Part 1 but this is with some expansions and alterations:

We will be involving a little bit of physics, math, and chemistry as well as learning the colors. So you can follow the steps in Part 1 similarly to get your student to experiment and discover how color works. Ideally you want to have them create a color wheel or some organized chart to display their findings before even knowing a color wheel exists. But here are some more alterations you can make to the lesson:

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A Creative and Tasty Way to Teach Colors and Other Things Part 1

CupcakesMy wife and I like to bake. I am more breads, pizza doughs, souffles and cookies. She is all about cake: 3 tiered cakes, cake pops, cupcakes (Cupcake Wars is a favorite show of hers), and muffins which is our justification for eating cake for breakfast. Not too long ago, she was making some form of cake for an event. Our daughter is learning her colors. I put the two together to come up with an amazing lesson. Not just for colors but for physics, chemistry, math, and the culinary arts.

Here is what I came up with:

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Are You Out of Your Mind? I Hope So But if Not…

Out of Our Minds Book at Amazon.com

by Sir Ken Robinson – author and TED speaker

Well, what can I say? Publishers sure know what they are doing. You know how publishers sometimes add quotes on the front cover from people who are recommending a book? Well, that usually doesn’t work on me but I have to admit that I fell for it this time. I went to the library a few weeks ago looking for books on creativity. “How to”s, philosophies, education, etc and found this book by Sir Ken Robinson in the computer. There was a small, one word quote on the cover in the  picture of the computer that I couldn’t quite make out. I got the call number and went to the correct isle and found the book. On the front cover, I found the quote of “Brilliant” by none other than John Cleese. Now when John Cleese is recommending a book on creativity and education reform, I thought, “this is probably going to be worth my time”.

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