Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Joy of Developing One’s Talent

If one has a real passion for a talent or skill, there is no way of preventing him/her from utilizing it.  I have taught piano to many disadvantaged youth and one trait I observed was a determination to learn and to play the songs which I taught them with accuracy.

There are countless numbers of stories in history of individuals who pursued a passion and accomplished much just by doing so.  James Ford of Miami, Florida is one such individual who was able to develop his talent, even in the face of discrimination against him.  However, his mother desired to see him to pursue his dream and was able to enroll him at The Miami Fine Arts Conservatory in 1951.  She especially wanted to enroll her son because he was composing music at home. 

They were able to find acceptance and encouragement from Ruth Greenfield, the founder of the Miami Fine Arts Conservatory, the first to admit students of all races during a time of segregation in the U.S.  James Ford was her first black student.  James Ford became a concert pianist and still plays today at the age of seventy-seven.  

Another black pianist who was denied piano instruction was Margaret Bonds, (1913-1972), who composed her first piece of music at the age of five.  She later studied at the Julliard School of music and with two private instructors.  A third refused to give her private lessons, stating that she needed further study.

After graduating with a master's degree in music, she played in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Women’s Symphony Orchestra.  She then formed her own Margaret Bonds Chamber Society, which performed the music of black classical composers.  Margaret Bonds was well known for setting the woks of Langston Hughes to music.  Later in life, she became very active in theaters in New York and with the works which she dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr.

 These stories should be an inspiration to anyone who is trying to pursue a career in music or is merely trying to develop a talent and passion for the piano or any other instrument.   For this reason, the RI Kids Create Music School is planning a music and art camp in Portsmouth, RI this summer.  For more information, visit the event site where we are offering a discount for a limited time only.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Interactive Music Videos – Do Children Benefit?

The Digital Age has changed the way that we acquire knowledge and has provided ways for us to accumulate knowledge at a more rapid pace than before we had access to computers.  Just about everyone we know has access to some type of digital product, whether it be mobile phones, iPad’s, computers, videos, or tablets.  Many of us rely on these products to help us make important decisions in our lives about products and services.

In their desire to help their children to develop their talents and to expose the child to an environment of learning, many parents are choosing interactive videos to teach their children about life.  Some parents desire to give their children a head start on their learning process to ensure that they have acquired the knowledge and necessary skills to help them perform better in school.

As a result, many parents who value a musical education for their children are choosing the Baby Einstein videos and DVD’s to help educate them.  Many understand the benefits of a music education and desire to groom their children before they enter preschool.   Studies have shown that children who have a music education have better reading and math skills and perform better on standardized tests.  

With the introduction of interactive videos, educators fear that parents will use it as a way to keep the child occupied while they do their work around the house or take a needed break away from the child.  However, educators warn that the best way to utilize the videos in an effort to educate the children is to engage in discussions with the child after viewing to reinforce what they have learned.  In this way, the child has a better chance of learning than they would if they were left on their own.  For more information about the Baby Einstein videos and DVD's or to order them, please refer to the right sidebar of this blog.