Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catching up after a long blog hiatus

So it has been nearly 5 months since my last blog post--yikes! Now school is getting ready to start again, and next week I'll be teaching a blogs and wikis workshop to fellow teachers--so I'd better get with the program!

I hope you've all been having a wonderful summer. One reason I never caught up with my blog is that I've been able to spend quite a bit of the summer doing this:

It wasn't all lounging at Jordan Lake this summer, though. I had the opportunity to design and teach three weeks of summer camps at CFS. The first two weeks of the summer, I taught a camp called "Radio Show" for 9-12 year old campers. The subject of the camp was podcasting, and my campers turned into techie journalists, interviewing other campers all over CFS, editing their interviews in GarageBand, and even creating their own musical soundtracks and sound effects. We learned how to post our creations to a wiki for friends and family to enjoy.

The last week of July, I led a camp called "Musicians' Toolbox" for experienced musicians, age 10-13. This is an age when many music students start to lose motivation and have trouble keeping up with practicing their instrument. This camp was intended to inspire and motivate young musicians to explore their instrument and musical world in new ways. We coached each other on works in progress, improvised, composed (for our own instruments and less familiar ones), played with high-tech practice tools such as SmartMusic and GarageBand, played games, and put on a little show on the last day of camp. It was a talented, entertaining group, and I had a great time!

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the annual North Carolina Symphony music educators' workshop in Raleigh. As a classically trained musician and classical music enthusiast, I was delighted to be given some inspirational ideas for my teaching, especially applicable in the Lower School. Not long ago, playing in orchestras and chamber ensembles was the major focus of my career. It is exciting for me to find some better ways to integrate these parts of my life--and to get students enthusiastic about this music!

I've saved the biggest news for last. Next time you see me you may notice that I have grown a bit larger. It's not just too many pints of Ben & Jerry's....

It's a boy!! Due 1/1/10. Stay tuned!