Sunday, November 6, 2016

We've Got Music!

With the joyous songs, dances and shows our teachers do with our kids, you might wonder why we would be adding more music. It's part of the after-school program I was charged to do. It allows our students to learn the detailed, step by step process of classical training from a professional who has done her ten thousand hours three times over. Kathy Scarborough knows how to train novices into flourishing players in violin, piano, and other instruments. Our kids are having to stretch, learn patience and improve their focus.

Just last year Kathy came to Washington from the east coast to be near her youngest daughter. After nearly three decades of playing with the best of the best musicians and a very active and successful teaching career, she continues a rich, busy life of playing, practicing and teaching. As a violinist who will practice seven hours for one song, she insists on  excellence from the first "big fat whole note" to correct posture, how to properly hold wrists and hands and stay focused for maximum results. "She is very strict," say the kids.

So far at Phoenix Rising we have Kathy for violin and keyboard after-school lessons. She is also teaching a workshop called Exploring Music where the children make their own instruments. Meanwhile they are learning to read and play music, and even write a bit of their own. Kathy has a masters in childhood education, is very savvy to the importance of brain science, and works to build multiple associations with everything she teaches. Strict, yes, along with some fun.  

Check out this well-researched article to understand the enormous value and importance of what is going on here (and please ignore the political bias in the margin). It says a great deal about the endless benefits of learning music that would take me hours to write, and it may well make you want to take up an instrument for yourself. Seriously!!!

P.S. One day we will have pianos. For now the children are learning on Yamaha PSRE353 portable keyboards which Kathy recommended because they deliver a lot of bang for their buck, with touch-sensitive keys like a real acoustic piano, and with an educational program built in that allows for practicing at one's own pace. 

Kathy has an impressive resume for anyone who wants to see. For the pdf file, please email me 
Any questions, ideas or comments? I'd love to hear from you!

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