Posted on April 11, 2012 by fttgreenroom
We had an exciting array of outreach events around our radio taping earlier last month in Ogden, Utah! Thanks to our presenter Weber State University (WSU), our staff and performers had the chance to make some inspiring connections with students, ranging from elementary school to college, in the Ogden community!
Within hours of arriving in Ogden, our education team and the Meshugene Quartet from Midwest Young Artists in the Chicago-area kicked things off by visiting with a group of students, grades 3 through 5, involved in WSU’s Strings Project: an after-school orchestra program that is part of a national initiative by the American String Teachers Association. The quartet gave a stunning performance of diverse repertoire, including Haydn, Shostakovich, and Grieg. Their coach Allan Dennis talked about the important musical aspects, giving the audience a “listening guide” for each piece. The group also shared some of their favorite ways to practice together as a group – check out the video below!
At the end of the program, the audience had some great questions, ranging from “How many hours a day do you practice?” to “What’s your favorite type of pie?” Many of the students stayed afterwards to meet with the performers one-on-one.
The next day just before From the Top’s dress rehearsal, our producer Tim Banker met with WSU students who manage the school’s radio station, KWCR 88.1, to explore what makes good radio. Providing handouts with sample stories and characters, Tim challenged the students to determine which would make the most compelling story within a From the Top program. He talked about how our show strives to bring to life these young performers’ memories and experiences. Check out the video below to hear some of what he shared:
The day after the taping, we traveled with four of our performers to Mt. Ogden Junior High School, where we met with a class of music students in grades 6 through 8. Gathered on the school auditorium’s stage, these kids got a “sneak peek” of the show, with each performer playing a piece that had been featured the night before. Our performers also shared a range of personal insights, from struggles with finding the motivation to practice to what had first inspired them to pursue classical music.
Stay tuned for more exciting stories about our community outreach efforts on the road!
Filed under: Education | Tagged: community, newsfeed, radio | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 20, 2010 by fttgreenroom
A little variety is always nice, so today we are posting an article by guest blogger Joy Paley, who writes for My Dog Ate My Blog. While education is a large part of From the Top’s core values, this post touches on a subject that we don’t often talk about – music as it relates to academic achievement. Joy has some interesting observations and insights about current research in this area. We hope you enjoy!
Most people don’t take up music as a way to guarantee success in other areas of their life. The fun and satisfaction of becoming good at an instrument is reward enough. Similarly, parents may involve their kids in music at a young age to ensure that they’re well rounded and become exposed to a wide variety of activities, so that they are sure to find their true calling.
Recent research, however, is continuing to praise the ability of musical education to churn out students who excel in many areas besides music—students who are highly motivated, intelligent, and college bound. While politicians and school boards might not listen to the argument for pushing musical education on its own terms, maybe they’ll listen to these arguments for music as a predictor of academic success. (more…)
Filed under: Education | Tagged: newsfeed | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 9, 2010 by fttgreenroom
Last week, From the Top taped a show at Lehigh University in the beautiful town of Bethlehem, PA. Our four soloists joined us the following morning at the Arts Leadership orientation, where we explored the way music can make a difference and shared inspiring examples of arts leadership. We were truly fortunate to have one such example join us that morning: Stanford Thompson, the founder and Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune-Up Philly.
Stanford Thompson and the BOBs
When asked to define arts leadership, our performers agreed on the following:
- A way of communicating with others beyond words, and making a lasting impact
- Helping people that aren’t in the best conditions and making them realize that they can also help and change the world
- Helping younger kids find what they love to do
The group named themselves “The BOBs”, or Bring On Bethlehem, and created a fun video to introduce themselves and share their message on arts leadership. Check it out below!
To learn more about the show, check out this week’s On the Road with Joanne Robinson, and be sure to tune in when the show airs the week of January 17th! You can check specific air dates and times here.
Filed under: Arts Leadership, Education, Road Shows | Tagged: leadership, newsfeed, radio | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 17, 2010 by fttgreenroom
Yesterday we recorded an episode of From the Top in Abilene, Texas, which will air the week of December 27. Our presence in the town actually inspired 2nd and 4th grade classes at Allie Ward Elementary School to put on their own radio project! You can listen to the podcast about this production by Zane Goggans from KACU here.
This semester Cynthia Ladyman’s 2nd grade class was focused on 1940′s history and culture – World War II, clothing, speech, and classical music. She thought a radio production like From the Top would be a fun and creative way to bring all of this learning together. Each member of her class was given a specific role to play – writers, reporters, production team, actors, etc, and along with the help of a 4th grade class, these kids put on a special radio project that included three talent groups from the school, a choir, vignettes, and a commercial for the school’s library.
In order to prepare, these students visited the KACU radio studios (the From the Top presenter in Abilene) to see how radio works in real life.
Ms. Ladyman says, “It came up that [the school board] didn’t think second graders could do this, but I said yes we can, and so we have worked very hard to do that!”
This project is a great example of how classical music and radio can be interesting to kids of all ages. ”I think kids value what the teachers and parents value, and I think they need to be exposed early [to classical music],” Ms. Ladyman said in an interview with KACU.
This hands-on production was a challenge for the kids because it was so writing intensive and involved a lot of preparation, but as you can hear in the podcast, they seemed to really enjoy it!
Filed under: Education, News, School | Tagged: community, newsfeed, radio | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 20, 2010 by fttgreenroom
"The Rave" Group
Last week the From the Top crew and nine performers gathered together in Davenport, Iowa to tape a radio show. The following morning was the Arts Leadership Orientation, during which performers reflect on using music for positive change. Upon naming themselves “The Rave,” the performers designed a video for From the Top’s Green Room which illustrates their energy and shared definition of arts leadership. Check it out below!
In case the text was a bit hard to read on our little flipcam video, here’s their message.
Arts Leadership is:
- Promoting the arts and inspiring kids to explore their creativity and imagination and inner artist.
- Music/art can be a safe haven not just a practice jail.
- Helping the community in means other than words.
Working hard to define "Arts Leadership"
Learn more about the show by checking out On the Road with Joanne Robinson, and tune in the week of November 1st to hear the show! Check your local listings for air dates and times here.
Filed under: Arts Leadership, Education | Tagged: leadership, newsfeed, radio | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 15, 2010 by fttgreenroom
Tuesday, October 5th, was the first in a series of Boston Arts Leadership gatherings From the Top is hosting to bring together local musicians – high school, college and beyond – who are passionate about using music to make a difference. We met with some of last year’s Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Award recipients as well as some Boston Arts Academy High School seniors involved in the school’s Senior Project Grant Proposal program.
Michael and Brian (left) Noni and Griffin (right)
Among the attendees were four faces familiar to our blog : Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman of the concert series Musical Diplomacy, and Griffin Gaffney and Noni Carter – two Harvard sophomores developing a project that promotes literacy and exposure to the arts for Boston middle school students.
Arnold Pesnell, Jonathan Anderson, and Gregory Groover
Joining the group were three new arts leaders from the Boston Arts Academy (BAA): Arnold Pesnell, Gregory Groover, and Jonathan Anderson. (more…)
Filed under: Arts Leadership, Education, Events | Tagged: leadership, newsfeed | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 9, 2010 by fttgreenroom
We have been avidly following the progress of Musical Diplomacy, the brainchild of From the Top’s Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Grant recipients Brian Kaufman and Michael Reichman. After an entire year of planning and organizing, their dream of using music to bring together leading policymakers, teachers, musicians, and concerned citizens was finally realized at the Fenway Center Auditorium on May 14. The event demonstrated both musical excellence and creative design, and was very well-received. We sat down with the two after the performance to reflect on the memories and values gleaned from their yearlong journey.
Brian after conducting Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story" (photo courtesy of Jesse Weiner)
From the Top: What have you learned during the course of developing Musical Diplomacy?
Brian: We learned a tremendous amount. We learned about what we’re capable of as artists, as individuals, what we have the ability to do if we put our mind to it. We learned a lot about how to put something together, how to organize things, and how to get a community excited about something. The whole thing was challenging—there was no part of it that was a walk in the park! There was constant negotiating, adjusting, and modifying original plans. To do something like this, you have to be really flexible. (more…)
Filed under: Arts Leadership, Education, News | Tagged: community, leadership, newsfeed | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 22, 2010 by fttgreenroom
We just got a neat update from composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (aka DBR). A few weeks ago we featured a blog he wrote on Musical Diplomacy and Good, Long Hugs. These days he’s been collaborating with the Boston Pops to work with young musicians in Boston area schools. Check out this video for an overview of his educational philosophy (and some really cool uses of the violin).
Filed under: Education, School | Tagged: community, leadership, newsfeed | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 21, 2009 by fttal
Sixteen-year-old pianist and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award recipient Jingxuan Zhang feels strongly about advocating for elementary music education. Jing is featured on From the Top’s broadcast from El Paso this week and recently wrote a letter to his governor in Indiana to address his feelings about the importance of arts education.
“I want to show [the governor] that music is a great part of our lives and that it demands focus and determination that builds character…. I want [him] to know that music is a very powerful way to communicate to others.”
Jing shares his letter to Governor Mitchell Daniels of Indianapolis August 23, 2009…
Dear Governor Daniels,
I’m Jingxuan Zhang, and I am a 16-year-old pianist from Westfield, IN. I’m writing to ask for your support of elementary school music education and programs. (more…)
Filed under: Alumni Updates, Alums in Action, Arts Leadership, Education, scholarship, Uncategorized | Tagged: cooke, leadership | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 15, 2009 by fttal
Allen Yu with fellow Alums Sirena Huang and Julian Langford (and Sirena's sister far left).
This past spring Allen Yu, seventeen-year-old pianist from Cohoes, NY and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award recipient, performed for all of the fourth grade students in his school district! Even more exciting, he enlisted the help of his From the Top friends from his radio taping in Northfield, MA! With the help of seventeen-year-old cellist Julian Langford, and fifteen-year old violinist, Sirena Huang, Allen put together a fun and interactive program.
“It was a wonderful experience for the three of us, but the best part was seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces.
Allen says more about his interactive school performance… (more…)
Filed under: Alumni Updates, Alums in Action, Arts Leadership, Education, scholarship | Tagged: cooke, leadership, newsfeed | Leave a Comment »