Monday, June 28, 2010

Join the Conversation

Blogs provide an easy way for a person or a group to have a web presence and move from from the role of observer to the role producer in our digital world. In this particular case, a nationally-known composer and an eager group of middle school students find each other through a blog. Posted below is an e-mail I recently received. the author of the e-mail is Danielle Todd, band director at Zora Ellis Jr. High School in Talladega, AL:

Hi Dr. Buck,


I wanted to share this with you. This just shows that a small place like Talladega can get out there in the world through use of Technology.


Below is an email that I received from Kevin Mixon. He composed the 2nd piece, Dancing the Skies that we played at MPA. How random for him to find our blog and then in turn email me. I am sharing this info with you because he would have never found us had you not encouraged us to start a blog. I am also sharing it with our students and Mr. Bailey. They will love it.


Danielle


----- Original Message -----


From: Kevin Mixon
To: Danielle Todd
Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2010 6:00 PM
Subject: Dancing the Skies


Dear Ms. Todd and the Zora Ellis M. S. Band Students--


I came across your band website and Ms. Todd's description of your recent festival appearance. I was honored that you performed "Dancing the Skies". I hope you enjoyed the piece and that it helped you grow as musicians--that's why I wrote it, of course!


I was very impressed that you did so well at the festival and that you have advanced so much in such a short amount of time. This is because of your hard work and Ms. Todd's great teaching, so applause to you all!


As you continue to perform in band, consider composing. I began composing band pieces in middle school, and though they were not good then, just like with practicing on instruments, my pieces got better as I continued to write. I love to play music, of course, but there is a particular form of expression that I love most with composing. Give it a try, you might feel the same way!


But in any case, please continue to excel as performers as you have done so far! Best wishes! --Mr. Mixon


Kevin Mixon
National Board Certified Teacher, Early and Middle Childhood/Music
Fine Arts Administrative Intern, Syracuse City Schools
Composer, Alfred Publications and Carl Fischer Music

Ms. Todd is right. Technology is the great equalizer. Someone who has something significant to say is no longer at a loss for a medium through which to say it. The internet is the same whether it's being accessed at the Library of Congress or the library of a rural school. The opportunities to participate in significant conversations are available to us.

What do you have to say that other people might just want to hear? Could a blog be just the answer? Why not get started right now?

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