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"Every class, every conversation, is a chance to learn."

The past month has flown by and been extremely busy!  I am in the middle of interviewing for different programs and what not, we are on the cusp of a midterm break, and I have to take the GRE exam again and try to get a better score.

This weekend Kenya has the Young Musicians Competition.  I have been asked to judge, so that is extremely exciting!  It’s funny.. the thought of judging DDR competitions just came into my head… I never did that, but for some reason it popped into my head.  I wonder if they have DDR machines in Kenya.  

I am excited to be at the competition, to see the talented musicians of Kenya, and also network with the music community in Kenya.

I have been reading a lot more about the music education program, El Sistema, and it amazes me with every article/essay I read.  

Eric Booth.  

Don’t mess with Eric Booth.  Check out what books he’s written.

If you are at all interested in education, read anything this “teaching artist” writes, and either your jaw will drop, or you’ll keep saying wow.  Or maybe I’m just a geek about education.  El Sistema is just such a positive, and innovative way of teaching individuals.  The word community pops out at me when I hear of El Sistema, and from that the students learn together, from each other, and from every experience.  The one thing I really enjoyed reading in one of Eric Booth’s essays was the fact that when a person walks into one of these El Sistema Programs, every kid will go to that person and try to learn from them.  To quote his essay, “Every class, every conversation, is a chance to learn.”  To have that mentality is a beautiful thing, and eventually when I have my own program I will instill that from day one.  There are so many philosophies from El Sistema, that if you incorporate them in your teaching skill set, it will transform you students and you as a teacher. Your students will no longer be students, but the will be artists, students, and teachers.  One does not have to fully embody the El Sistema approach, but if a teacher can learn the basics and the philosophies, it will make that teacher such a powerful “teaching artist.”  

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