Speak Your Own Truth in Empathy

March 16, 2015 by Bill Ivey

To all my new #TLConf2015 friends, go back home and make a difference. #DoSomeGood #PeopleAreWorthIt - Val Brown (via Twitter)

It was like the best of all fantasy books, when you walk through a door and suddenly all your favourite literary characters have come to life. Only this was better than a fantasy - meeting face to face people I'd known through various virtual communities, sometimes for years. Mutual smiles and long, tight hugs showed I wasn't the only one who felt a deeper connection. I knew the meetings and conversations would enrich not only my present, but also all future online conversations with these people. What I didn't expect, though, was that I would also travel back in time and retroactively add layers of feeling and meaning to words I'd already read.

Filed Under: find your voice, Education, NBPTS

Quite a Way to Go

October 28, 2013 by Bill Ivey

"That Rock Band," a parent said, shaking his head. Clearly searching for words, he added, "Wow." It was not an uncommon reaction, and when I emailed my usual post-concert congratulations to the group, I told them about the moment and noted, "Yes, you performed that well; you literally left people speechless." It's true, from the first notes pounded out on the piano as they slammed through "Yoü and I" by Lady Gaga, through the last, sweet harmonies held over a cymbal roll and an echoing piano chord as they ended "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars et al, they were amazing, all of them: Bonnie, Charlotte, Heather, Jin, Joy, Joyce, McKim, Molly, Natalie, Olivia, and Susan. And when I pointed out that the vocalists wrote all the harmonies themselves, the speechless factor among audience members rose even higher.

This is just our first performance, just a few weeks into the year. While six members of last year's group returned and one moved up from the middle school band, four were brand new, and one of those was a complete beginner to her instrument. Yet, they came together so thoroughly and so rapidly that we chose and began working on our next two songs even before the first performance, something we have only rarely been able to do in the past.

Filed Under: gender, find your voice, girls' education, Lady Gaga, Rock Band, Performing Arts, girls' school, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School