Why I became a music teacher and my mission to reshape music in UK schools
Rohrs has been nominated for a Grammy Foundation award for her work in music. (David Crane / Staff Photographer) They each teach music at a private school in Southern California after years spent perfecting their craft. And each was recently named as a semifinalist for the inaugural Music Educator Award , to be presented in January by The Grammy Foundation and The Recording Academy. Kathy Rohrs, who teaches middle school at Chaminade College Preparatory in Chatsworth, and Kristina Turpin, whose students span preschool to eighth grade at small private Pinecrest School in Simi Valley, are among a group of 25 culled from some 30,000 teachers nationwide. We want to shine the light on the excellent work that music teachers are doing, said David Sears, executive education director of the foundations Grammy in the Schools program. That person will be an example of the tens of thousands of music teachers who are doing amazing work. Rohrs, 52, has taught at Chaminade for a dozen years, preceded by 20-year stint at St. Mel Catholic School in Woodland Hills. But her love of music goes back to the age of 5, when she picked up her first guitar. Within a few years, she was teaching her elementary school classmates, the first step on a path to a career as a teacher, professional guitarist, harpist , vocalist, composer and conductor. Knowing how music opened her eyes to lifes possibilities, Rohrs strives to do the same for her students. The walls of her classroom are adorned with instruments from around the world, including a rustic wooden chordophone from China and a sitar from India. Students might spend time learning a new chord on the ukelele, beating out rhythms in an African drum circle or plucking the metal keys of a mbira, a thumb piano made from the half shell of a gourd or coconut. Kids get to create and express themselves, to find out who they are and (what they) want to do with their lives, said the San Fernando Valley native who is married with two adult children. She also directs Chaminades choir, the C-Notes, which has twice performed at New Yorks Carnegie Hall.
Music Training Helps Gets People Talking
26 (HealthDay News) — Music hath charms to improve a person’s speech, a new study suggests. Music training’s effects on the nervous system’s ability to process sight and sound may do more to help enhance a person’s verbal skills than even phonics, explained researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois. Latest MedicineNet News Want More News? Sign Up for MedicineNet Newsletters! They found that music training enhances the same communication skills needed for reading and speaking. The study included people with varying amounts of musical training or none at all. The researchers used scalp electrodes to measure the participants’ multi-sensory brain responses to audio and video of a person speaking and then of a cellist playing music. The number of years that a person had practiced music was strongly associated with enhanced “basic sound encoding mechanisms” that are also associated with speech, the study found. “Audiovisual processing was much enhanced in musicians’ brains compared to non-musician counterparts, and musicians also were more sensitive to subtle changes in both speech and music sounds,” Nina Kraus, a professor of communication sciences and neurobiology and director of the university’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, said in a prepared statement. “Our study indicates that the high-level cognitive processing of music affects automatic processing that occurs early in the processing stream and fundamentally shapes sensory circuitry,” Kraus said. The study was published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Robert Preidt SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Sept. 24, 2007 Copyright 2007 ScoutNews, LLC.
The drug’s dangers became more clear after a rash of overdoses and four deaths this summer, including two at a huge annual electronic music festival in New York City. The parties of the late 1980s and early ’90s saw the heyday of ecstasy, but its popularity began to wane a decade ago after a number of deaths and hospitalizations. RELATED: ELECTRIC ZOO DEATHS: CREATOR RAN REPUTED DRUG-FUELED CLUB TWILO IN CHELSEA That’s when Molly made her way onto the scene. Over the last few years, drugs sold under that name have “flooded” the market, said Rusty Payne, a spokesman with the Drug Enforcement Administration. In some states, there has been a 100-fold increase – the combined number of arrests, seizures, emergency room mentions and overdoses – between 2009 and 2012, according to DEA figures. The drug is accessible and marketed to recreational drug users who believe it to be less dangerous than its predecessor, which was often cut with other substances, from Ritalin to LSD. Like ecstasy, Molly is said to give a lengthy, euphoric high with slight hallucinogenic properties. In reality, however, the promised pure MDMA experience “doesn’t exist,” said Payne. RELATED: UVA SCHOLAR DIES FROM ‘MOLLY’ OVERDOSE Most of the Molly is one of several synthetic designer drugs that have been flooding the U.S. and European marketplace from chemical labs primarily based in China, Payne said. “A lot of people are missing the boat here,” he said.
Music teachers from Chaminade, Pinecrest vie for Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator Award
When I graduated I was determined not to be a music teacher, the route everyone expects from a music grad. I took a year out working in hospital as a care assistant. I threw myself into working there and really loved it, especially the rehabilitation side and seeing people through from the beginning to the end of a journey (not realising at that time that’s exactly what you do as a teacher). Then I started a PGCE and the course showed up so many of my own weaknesses as a musician. My training had been purely classical, I had never picked up an instrument and just tried to play it. I got my first job as an NQT at Sele School , Hertford. I was actually the only teacher in the music department which is quite common for even NQT music teachers. I was locally involved in the Hertfordshire county music service and became an advanced skills teacher (AST) around 15 years ago. After a maternity leave I went to work at Monk’s Walk , Welywn Garden City, and I was employed as full-time head of music rather than an AST. After another maternity leave I went back to work three days a week, that’s when the county music service (now part of a hub) came back to me and asked to buy my time to do some AST work in the county. That’s was when I became involved in Musical Futures and my whole music teaching life changed. It’s the reason I’m still a teacher today. Musical Futures started as a pilot programme to re-engage kids in year 9 with music in schools. If you asked a year 9 kid what their hobby was, music was high on their list, so many of them were passionate about it, but there was a big gap.