The truth about music.

"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtues"


Friday, May 2, 2014

Youth In Action

Youth in Action came to our class the other day and it was an interesting and confusing experience.  Mainly because I had to blow up a condom like a balloon, but that's besides the point.  I was confused because I didn't understand the point Youth in Action were trying to teach us.  I never felt so stupid in FNED before.

I understand the lesson now after discussing with the my classmates and professor.  There is one thing that still bothers me though.  I asked myself this question to this day.  Why didn't I get it the first time?

I understand how my groups' egg was suppose to break.  We didn't have valuable resources or the access to succeed.  After all, how can you save an egg from the second floor with 3 condoms? Anyways, since our egg survived we didn't understand the point of the egg drop.  We thought that our box resembled society and our egg represented the people that live in that society.  Since our egg survived, we didn't think about ability and access the same way they expected us too.  

I do believe that our class has way more ability to understand the lesson by doing the egg drop.  After all our egg survived with 3 condoms.  Reality is though that people don't survive with 3 condoms.  relating it to Delpit. It's just the rules and codes of power.  People with more power and money have more access than the family who has more ability but no access.  
It is a shame that our society has come to this point. The point of no matter how much ability you have, you still might not be able to succeed.  You would think that ability should affect the access you have, not the access affect your ability.  I mean sure, that can be the case with any situation.  I have the ability to play soccer, but if I don't have the access of proper equipment and a field I couldn't play.  I understand how it happens everyday in real life.  I just think it's insane that our ability and access affects our ability to survive a normal accessible life.

I believe that everyone should have the access to use their abilities in life.  I also think that someones ability should alter their access.  Those are my beliefs.  Unfortunaetly it's not a reality, instead our society has set access points for our generation.  In this case the truth really does hurt.

I'm still grateful for Youth In Action coming to my class.  It was a great experience and I had a blast participating with my peers with the egg drop.  Although we didn't understand the lesson at the moment.  I understand it now and that lesson is helping me on my path to becoming not only a great teacher, but a good person.

Special Event

I was able to go back home to watch my High School Musical this year.  The musical this year was Shrek.  It's a great show and the students did a great job performing the show.  Their was one thing I couldn't get off my mind throughout the show though.  All I kept thinking about was how I can relate this to my FNED 346 class.

It was easy to connect the two.  Considering the fact that we talk about diversity all the time.  Nothing saids diversity like an Ogre, talking Donkey, Pinocchio, and other mystical creatures.  Watching the show made me think about our society as well.  If they were able to unite and over power differences and segregation.  Why can't we do that when we are all people?  Why does society have diversity issues when we aren't that different from one another?  Shrek is a reminder of what and how society should act today.

I was also able to make another connection to the musical Shrek.  There were Delpit moments left and right throughout the show.  Shrek, Fiona, and Lord Farquaad worried about the rules and codes of power throughout the show.  Shrek wanted his swamp back so he could have his power back.  Fiona wanted to be a beautiful princess, so she wanted to have the power of being beautiful.  Lord Farquaad simply wanted to rule the whole kingdom.  Of course, at the end of the musical though the power doesn't matter cause love concurs all.  I know it's cliche but that's how it ends like every other musical haha.

Shrek is a musical that I think every person who is either interested in education or is currently a teacher should see.  The storyline has our FNED class written all over it.  It is a great show!  The music is great but the hidden lessons and meanings are what steal the show.  At least, that's my opinion.

Here is one of my favorite songs from the musical.  It's when Donkey asks Shrek a simple question.  If you could be anything? who would you be?  I think this song can relate to our class because it involves how the rules and codes of power affect our feelings of who we are.  So Enjoy and Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Schooling Children With Down Syndrome- Extended Comment

So this week I read the article Citizenship In School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome and appreciated the topic discussed in this article.  I personally believe that the argument is one that needs to change and is one I can personally agree with.  After reading the article I took my normal rounds of reading other peers posts for a better understanding of the article.  There is one post that I really liked this week for many reasons.  This blog had some very good quotes and good arguments to support them.  After reading the article I decided that I'm going to write an extended comment blog.  My extended comment blog this week is on Jen's post from earlier today.

Jen always writes exquisite blogs week after week. I really liked the quotes that she used.  I thought that those quotes portrayed Kliewer's argument very well.  More importantly though, the quotes supported her argument.  Which goes into the other reason for my liking of Jen's post.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading her stories and her honest opinion.  The way she represented her beliefs and feelings added a certain factor that kept me engage with her blog.

One factor that I mentioned in my blog are the quotes that Jen used from the article.  They are strong quotes that have a lot of meaning in my opinion.  The quotes that she used are as followed.

"We have got to learn to get along as individuals and as citizens"
"To eliminate a single person through any form of banishment, no matter how benevolent the logic, reduces the web and makes the community a less democratic and less rich place"
"Educating all children together reconfigures the representation of Down Syndrome from burden toward citizenship" 

These three quotes are sentimental and truthful.  Out of all the great information and writing from this article.  I consider these quotes to be the most valuable in this article and I'm glad that Jen brought them up.

Another reason why I appreciated Jen's post is because of her writing.  This blog post was more than just one type of blog.  It's like a mash-up of different ways of writing blogs.  She mashed-up quotes, argument, and connections post all into one.  This blog is a triple threat in the blogger world.  I can't name any flaws from her post.  It's well written, has great connections, supports her opinion and describes the argument of the article accurately.  If you want to have a general idea and understanding  of Kliewer' s article.  Then simply read Jen's blog.  Great post this week Jen.  I'm glad to see a post that stated my beliefs and and helped me understand the reading.

I found this inspiring video on youtube of a girl with down syndrome talking about how teachers should teach.  It's a great influence for me as a teacher in training.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude- Argument

This was a really long article to read.  After reading this article, I like my other peers read some other posts from our classmates.  I believe that everyone can make the connection between Finn and Delpit.  The rules and codes of power affect every school system.  Our society is based upon following the rules and codes of power.  The way Finn handled his classroom is a great representation of how a classroom should be run.  He treated the students like adults and was straightforward with them.  In today's society, teachers can't baby the students any more.  Our society consists of both independence and individuality.  How can students become successful in this democratic society without being taught how to become a successful and independent individual?

One part of this article that was a real eye opener was when Finn talked about the five schools in Northern New Jersey.  I understand the rules and codes of power and how they affect every school district in the country.  It's still unbelievable to see these drastic differences within a close distance from one another.

I personally believe it's despicable. The fact that students are limited to what education they receive based upon where they are from and where they live.  Reading about the inequality students have is a cause for action in my opinion.  I understand the variety of levels in education in order to adapt to the individuals that are learning said education.  I guess what I don't understand is the differences in education at an early age.

Finn talks about these five schools and compares them by contrasting their differences through the education students receive and the teachers teaching. Finn gathered this information from Jean Anyon's study of fifth grade classes in public schools.  These five schools are located in either "rich rich neighborhoods" or "not so rich neighborhoods" in northern New Jersey.  The differences between them is unbelievable.  The way some teachers teach and how they teach their students is preposterous.  Telling students to "do it this way or it's wrong" and to say that "students are getting dumber every year" shows how the education system is at fault for the level of success with our society.  The best way to put it in my opinion is as simple as this.  TEACHERS AREN'T DOING THEIR JOB!  No teacher in our society should speak, think, and act this way with students.  These teachers are found in schools called a "working class school".  Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have schools that are considered "executive elite schools".  These schools are considered more rigorous and more intellectual.  Finn wrote towards the end of this section describing "executive elite schools" the purpose of these schools.  "In the executive elite school the children were developing a relationship to the economy, authority, and work that is different from all the other schools. They learned grammatical, mathematical, and other vocabularies by which systems are described. They were taught to use these vocabularies to analyze and control situations. The point of school work was to achieve, to excel, to prepare for life at the top." Which is great for students in those schools cause they are receiving a "BETTER" education.

Once again I understand how the education has to have diverse ways to receive an education to adapt to the population.  What I don't understand is why the place you live or where you come from or money you have affect this?  I have to note that I'm talking about the differences in education from public school K-12, not college or any extra education methods.  The contrasts from public school to public school are too radical.  I regard this information and facts should change because we aren't giving students an equal or fair opportunity to achieve to their highest ability.  No matter what public school you come from, everybody should be taught in the best way for them to achieve success.

If public schools became less diverse in their teaching methods;  Students would all have an equal chance to make a difference and have the qualification to strive for something more.  I know from experience that some teachers teach students how to be successful after high school.  Meaning that some teachers don't prepare you for the college level.  In order to be successful in society today, you almost have to go to college.  These variations from public school to public school jeopardize the students' chances at being successful.

To summarize my beliefs and my post.  Students are either screwed or privileged from their first day of school in a public school.  Why should students be segregated like this and possibly loose an opportunity to receive an education that'll do more than just get them by? After all, we can't know how or what a student will become at such an early age.  As teachers, we need to give students the freedom to learn and figure it out on their own.

This is a great youtube video that I found taking about the education system.  It's also pretty cool because of the drawing but please watch it.  It's very thought provoking.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In the Service of What?- Extended Comment

Service learning is one of the best experiences I've had.  Being able to serve in a public school in providence is simply life changing.  I have the opportunity to start teaching young students music and make a difference.  I don't consider service learning a chore or a requirement for FNED 346.  I see it as a start of my journey to becoming a music teacher.  I never participated in service learning before I came to Rhode Island College.  I learned from this read that some high schools require service learning or some type of volunteer work to graduate.  Since, service learning today is mostly considered a requirement to either graduate or for a class.  Do the students or participants learn or receive a positive experience because of service learning?  Sadly, that statement is questionable.  Service learning is considered volunteer work and people either don't have the time or simply wish not to participate sometimes.  Making service learning a requirement at some schools and in other programs is forcing people to take part in the service learning experience.  I personally think that people should experience service learning.  It will change their lives for the better and can ultimately create a positive society.  

I read Shannon's Blog about this article and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  I think that are stories and experiences are similar considering we are both music education majors and have the same teacher for our service learning.  I agree with Shannon about "directly and indirectly using service learning".  I was glad that Kahne and Westheimer talked about these differences.  Service learning is considered either a charity or a change.  The best way to describe the difference between the two is from the quote on a worksheet Dr. Bogad gave out during class by Nessa Sylvia.  Nessa wrote "In this Essay, Kahne and Westheimer discuss two different viewpoints on service learning: the charity view and the change view.  Those who support the charity viewpoint want to promote a sense of altruism in students by encouraging them to focus on the rewarding emotional experience of volunteerism.  Those who support the change viewpoint want to encourage students to think critically about the socioeconomic state, how dominant ideology works to create inequalities, and how it might be reconstructed."  Service learning can be categorized as either charity or change.  Both categories make a difference in my opinion.  Whether or not you make a long-term change or a short-term charity, it makes a difference.  

Shannon did a great job of talking about the two different cases in this read.  The one aspect that she wrote about was the "caring and personal relationships" that can be formed from this type of work.  I personally believe that the connections and relationships you create make the service learning experience remarkable.  Shannon and I have the same teacher for service learning and I can relate to her experiences.  I've also made a close bond with the students over the semester.  I definitely plan on visiting and continuing my services throughout the rest of their school year.  Shannon talks about the students as her students, and they are my students as well.  Being able to help teach these kids the one thing I love is life changing.  The service learning that I'm in is the best way to start my career as a music teacher.  This experience has solidified my decision and is the reason I want to teach music.  If I had to categorize the service learning we engage in, I would call it a change.  Making this change while creating great relationships with others is momentous.  I have had some great experiences throughout my life.  Service learning in a Providence school is by far the greatest experience to this day for me.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unlearning The Myths- Hyperlinks

This read is quite intriguing.  Considering the fact that it incorporated a lot of historical truth.  I know for a fact that since I was little I always watched cartoons.  To be honest, I watch some cartoons still to this day.  I know that I am not the only kid that can state how the media affected my life.  The studies have shown the impact of cartoons.  Our society is trying to "fix" or "get rid of" racism.  We can't do this if we don't realize where it all started.  Fortunately, Christensen was able to post this article and shed a new light on the troubles of our society. 
The reason for this article is to talk about how cartoons affect young children.  I read this one blog post by Mr. Epidemiology about how cartoons affect children's attention spans.  I have attached the hyper link at the end of the paragraph for your reading pleasures.  This article consists of a study by researchers at the university of Virginia.  This test was testing for the attention span of children enduring three categories.  The three categories are fast-paced television, educational television, and drawing.  After reading the post and research, it's blaintenly obvious that television has an affect on children's attention spans.  When children's attention spans are altered, their learning capabilities are altered as well.  How do we expect our children to learn and succeed with these conditions?  The conditions of watching cartoons and simply loosing brain cells.

This next hyperlink is very informative because of all its valuable information.  This article titled "Effects of Cartoons on Children", mentions the serious impact of cartoons on children from every aspect. "Television's Effect on the Brain and Eyes", "Increased Risk in Child Safety", and so on are a few aspects that cartoons impact.  This article states the research from every angle about the effects of cartoons.  It's a great article with one problem.  The only problem is the research is accurate and correct.  Read this article and after you read a section question our society.  Ask why our society has become violent, prejudice, racist and so on.  We wonder why we have these problems in our civilization.

Unlearning The Myths" is a fantastic read.  The key point and phrase throughout this article is "secret education".  Meaning what children learn from cartoons without being told deliberately about the subject matter.  Children learn from experiences and what they learn.  "Monkey see monkey do" it is as simple as that.  Children aren't born racist or violent, they simply watch and learn.  Cartoons affect children in a variety of ways.  It's not the child's fault, they don't know better.  They soak up what ever they can in their brain, like a sponge.  I can connect this article to on of my posts about "Saying The Words".  Christensen wrote this article to simply say the words.  Being able to admit a problem and come up with a solution and put it inaction is inspiring.  Cartoons do alter children's lives in a variety of ways.  Cartoons can either be a positive or negative influence on children.  How society decides to adapt to it and make a change is up to us.  That's what Christensen is doing; she is simply "saying the words".

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Safe Spaces- Argument

“Safe Spaces” makes a ton of arguments for LGBT in our societies school system.  The stories told in this article about the troubles LGBT students go through are a tragedy.  I personally would've never thought our countries education system would let this happen to its students.  One story that particularly caught my attention is Patrick's story about a student named Derek.  Derek is a student that called one of his classmates "gay".  Patrick is the teacher that had to intervene the situation.  Patrick could've sent Derek to the principles office, told him to stop, or simply have a talk with him after class.  Patrick went a different direction to fix the problem.  He told his students to pull out their dictionaries and look up the word "gay".  Then he told Derek to read the definition of "gay" to the class.  Once Derek read the definition, Patrick asked him if that was the "proper" word he wanted to use?  Derek replied with a no.  Then Patrick told him to use the appropriate language; after all he was in school.  Patrick could've handled the situation in a variety of ways.  If he handled it differently, it wouldn't change anything.  Derek will still call that student gay.  Patrick's way put Derek on a pedestal, it made Derek question his use of vocabulary and change his thinking of the word gay. Students can't be told to stop cause they won't stop, they need to question their judgment and in a way feel embarrassed about their actions.  Patrick’s method causes the students to question their actions and create discussions, which makes students understand what they are talking about.  I consider this method to be the proper way to handle the situation.  Students tend to be more rebellious and speak their mind freely because they think they know everything.  In order to diminish this issue with LGBT students, students have to understand LGBT.  

There are three sections in this article called Curriculum, Communication, and Good Intentions Are Not Enough.  I argue that these are the categories that need to change in our society.  We need to change the curriculum of schools to educate students about LGBT.  The education system has to incorporate more and safe communication amongst LGBT students.  The "Good Intentions Are Not Enough" category said it all.  I am a firm believer in that good is never good enough.  Being antiquate is being lazy and showing that you aren't doing enough to change the problem.  One quote that states the "solution” to this situation that isn't good enough is on page nineteen. 

"Good intentions are not enough; trying to see all students as the same is not enough.  Being a fair-minded individual is not enough.  We argue that educators must publicly commit to creating classroom climates of inclusivity and respect with the pledged cooperation of all students.  Only then can we begin to create classrooms that are safe for LGBT youth."


Our education system believes that they are doing enough.  Enough is never enough; it's simply an excuse to ignore the problem at hand.  What is wrong with having students understand more about LGBT? What is wrong with students being LGBT?  The answer is short and simple. There is nothing wrong with being LGBT.  We are all human and we all go through life.  My mom once told me that we all have the opportunity to create our future and be treated fairly because we are all human.  There is nothing wrong with being LGBT, if only the education system can accept the truth.  

This is a video from More Equal Union, which is an LGBT Civil Rights group.  They created an album supporting equality of every human being.  The song "Your Time Has Come" is a great song that states the fight for equality. Please enjoy the video.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Aria by. Richard Rodriguez


"Without question, it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease."

School is suppose to be a place of acceptance.  Being Bilingual is a great quality and has a positive impact on ones future. The ability of understanding multiple languages is praised in our society today.  This quote caught my attention because Richard didn't feel accepted for who he is and where he comes from.  When you don't feel accepted, you loose a sense of security.  you loose the ability to trust others.  Since Richard didn't feel accepted, he didn't trust his teacher.  A student can't learn from a teacher that they don't trust and feel afraid of.  Two words that caught my eye are "afraid" and "trust".  These words caused Richard to loose the sense of feeling normal.  A student that doesn't speak english should learn how to speak english.  How can these students learn how to speak english when they don't feel comfortable with who they are?  Students need to feel safe, accepted, and normal.  They can't learn until this happens and it all starts by doing the little things to show acceptance.

"Gone was the desperate, urgent, intense feeling of being at home; rare was the expe­rience of feeling myself individualized by family intimates. We remained a lov­ing family, but one greatly changed. No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness."

This quote can relate to one common issue from my last post about communication.  Richard and his siblings got better with speaking english over time.  Over that time span,  his family bond started to deteriorate.  What once made his family different and unique that made their family so close was gone.  Families all have differences that keep them close and which makes them experience a tight relationship.  One of these differences involves communication, meaning what language you speak.  Since his family talked more english and got use to that life style.  His family started to grow apart.  The reason for this change is because of our public separateness.  English is the common language in America and is the one most spoken.  Do I believe that you should learn English? I do, I believe that if you live in America you should be able to communicate in English.  The same reason why I believe this is the same reason every country feels this way.  Then again, being bilingual shouldn't affect who you are and your family.  In Richard's case, I believe that his family speaking English more often caused him to confuse himself.  To loose an idea of who he is and where he came from; That feeling of being lost.  When you lived your life a certain way and it changes so dramatically.  It can cause insecurity, which is why the family bond diminished over those years.  We Teach English so we can get along with society, not change families beliefs and ways of being a unique family.

"But the bilingualists simplistically scorn the value and necessity of assimilation. They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized. So they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality."

At first, I had to look up the definition for assimilation when I read this quote.  Assimilation means to adopt the ways of another culture.  Adopting the ways of another culture is a way of becoming a part of a different society.  Assimilation is simply the reason to become bilingual.  I believe that we are focusing to much on the "necessity of assimilation" then on the lives of the students and their families.  We need to realize that one language doesn't substitute another.  Changing one's language is changing their family culture and unity.  Is it a necessity to understand and get along with each other?  It is to an extend,  communication is key in our society. We have to be able to get along in society without sacrificing the individuality that makes everyone and their families distinct.   

This link shows a picture that I think is good symbolism for this communication barrier.