Educational reform

Education Reform should come from teachers and their communities. See Union Chief Faults School Reform From ‘On High’ by Alan Schwartz
at The New York Times:

The Eminent Education Researcher and Author, Diane Ravitch, exposes and explains
the many weakness of American School “Reform,” National Standards, etc:
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7th grader produces concert for music ed.

A Bucks county 7th grader is reaching out to would-be student musicians who don’t have the opportunity he has to learn to play an instrument.

His name is Aaron Albuck. He’s a member of the orchestra and jazz band at Charles Bohem Middle School in Lower Makefield Township. He has set his sights on a unique project for his upcoming spring Bar Mitzvah.

When Aaron needed to come up with a project for his Bar Mitzvah in March, he discovered Musicopia, a non-profit whose program, “Gift of Music” repairs and donates musical instruments to schools.

Albuck has been playing electrical and stand-up bass since he was 6 years old.

“When I play it’s just like everything, on the outside world, all the problems just goes away,” Albuck said. “It’s just you and playing. It’s just great.”

With the help of his parents and Musicopia, Aaron is producing a concert next month to raise money and collect instruments for students who need them.

“The admission is a suggested donation of 18$ or a musical donation; an accessory or musical instrument,” Albuck said, “and the money that’s raised can also help us go into schools we haven’t been able to work with in underserved areas that really need music education.”

Another person who said he just had to be a part of the program is Aaron’s bass teacher, renowned jazz musician Gerald Veasley. “I thought that Aaron, being so unselfish, was so unusual… and the fact that he enjoyed music so much and wanted to share that… I thought was very special.”

Veasley will be a special guest at Aaron’s concert next month. It’s set for Sunday afternoon, February 6th at Beth El Synagogue.

You can get more information about Musicopia by following the link to the charity’s website.

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Professional Drummer Mike Veny Becomes a Philanthropist Sponsoring Music Education

Mike Veny, professional drummer and drum teacher promotes music education for kids of all ages on his two e-commerce websites through his “You Save – We Donate™” program that benefits the Fender Music Foundation.

Mike Veny has been teaching and playing drums professionally for over 20 years. From his drum studio located in Times Square, New York City, he has built not only a thriving drum lesson business and musical outreach to emotionally and mentally disabled children, but now manages two wildly successful e-commerce enterprises that are helping to fund music education programs nationwide.

Advocating music instruction in schools, Mike Veny donates a portion of each purchase made at and to help fund the efforts of the Fender Music Foundation. This nonprofit foundation provides funding and resources for music programs and music education across the United States; helping kids and adults experience the joys of music first hand. Mike Veny says “Music is an important part of my life and I was fortunate as a child to have a music program in my school. Some kids are not so lucky.”

Performing as a professional drummer since the 11th grade, Mike immersed himself in the world of drumming at an early age. His musical interests range from contemporary Christian music to blues and jazz. He considers himself a “funk drummer at heart”. “I have a passion for music with a strong groove that feels good.” Veny says.

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Conservatory Is to Cut Ties to Children’s Music Project

The classical music world’s latest Big Idea — a movement to marry music education to social work — has been jolted in this country by the rocky divorce between the effort’s fledgling national organization and the New England Conservatory here.

The organization, El Sistema U.S.A., an offshoot of El Sistema, a national music training program in Venezuela that has inspired similar efforts around the world, is expected to leave the Boston conservatory by June for a home to be determined. The conservatory, which has basked in the glow of association with the movement, has declined to provide funds for an expansion that Sistema backers say is crucial and inevitable.

“We really felt this was outside our mission altogether,” the conservatory’s president, Tony Woodcock, said in an interview last week. He forcefully praised the movement’s goals and said that the substantive work of El Sistema U.S.A. — a program in which 10 fellows a year are trained to go off and establish or run music education programs — would go on at the conservatory. The institution has promised to finance the program, now in its second season, for five years. Mr. Woodcock left open the possibility that the fellowship would end after that. He said his decision to sever ties with El Sistema was made with leaders of the conservatory’s board.

More at the NY Times.

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