It is exactly what it says it is. A Youth orchestra that is made entirely of recycled instruments and pieces of trash. The feature is from a small village in Paraguay called Cateura. A cello made out of an oil drum. A violin made out of boxes with strings. Bent woodwinds with new keys and pads. It is pretty inspiring even with us being taxed about cuts in our school music and arts programs. I can tell the instruments do not have fabulous tones, but you can tell from viewing that it is impacting a small community tat would have little exposure without.
I have always been a huge fan of Sara Bareilles. Even though we know her for her pop tunes, she has shown great range doing standards, big band and holiday stuff. I suspect there are roots of musical theater in their somewhere. I stumbled onto her by accident waiting for a bus when she was playing on a make-shift stage at a Border’s in town trying to hawk her first solo release before anyone knew who she was.
Here it is years later and she has released a new song that will be an anthem for teens over the next decade I am sure. It is called Brave and is about everything we preach here at YPC. Finding your own voice, putting it out there and sharing it for others to hear. And if the song doesn’t have merit enough, the new music video is absolutely charming. She does not appear in it – but features a posse of young girls doing exactly their own thing with it. Guitars, keyboards, a mic, lyrics, singing along and then jumping into a pool at the end. Total Grrrl Power and infectious at that. Pass it on.
I heard an ad promo on the way into work today and immediately went to the website on arrival. It is the new campaign for our fabulous Smithsonian Institute in an effort to reach out to younger audiences with its boundless reserves of knowledge. I remember on a high school band trip tapping into the amazing experience in DC for the first time at the “new” space technology museum then. Since, (and I am lucky to have family in DC) I have viewed numerous exhibits in the Art museums, the botanical gardens, the new Native American building……. all indeed amazing destinations.
The new campaign frames itself in terms of a giant human question mark – which is where all quests for knowledge begin. Some are seen below. I hope to bookmark the site and continue to learn from the rich heritage they are so able to bring us – all for free in case you have never been! Bright colors, funky objects – and burning questions.
here is the link to check out: Seriously Amazing
I found this beautiful new video today and wanted to share it with all. It preaches that same message of inclusion that we use in MEAN and everything else we do here at YPC. It is by a pop songwriter from Brooklyn named Ryan Amador and Jo Lampert and speaks to the many labels that society imprints onto us. And not being held back by them, but washing them away to become all that we can be. Special and a new anthem for us all.
I found this on my Google Current reads via Flavorwire – a media blog. It is all opinion based by the author and inspired by the 70th Anniversary of Exupery’s The Little Prince. I am by no means an expert in children’s literature, but was pleased to know that I am familiar with most and also own a handful of them. YPC has even brought several of them to life in class or on stage. Like most postings here – comments are welcome…
The Little Prince – deSaint-Exupery
Where the Wild Things Are – Sendak
The Pushcart War – Merrill
The Sweetest Fig – Van Allsburg
Matilda – Dahl
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Twain
Dealing With Dragons – Wrede
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Carroll
A Wizard of Earthsea – Le Guin
Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Baum
Harriet the Spy – Fitzhugh
Half Magic – Eager
Peter Pan and Wendy – Barrie
A Wrinkle in Time – L’Engle
Wind in the Willows – Grahame
Madeline – Bemelmans
Where the Sidewalk Ends – Silverstein
The Phantom Tollbooth – Juster
The Giver – Lowry
House at Pooh Corner – Milne
Story of Ferdinand – Leaf
Charlotte’s Web – White
Lizard Music – Pinkwater
I Capture the Castle – Smith
Oh the Places You’ll Go – Seuss
Always one to champion school music programs in conjunction to what we do; I saw an enlightening article in yesterday’s Sunday paper. Much as we may look at Meyer-Briggs tests for aptitude and job placement surveys to guide us in life – they laid out an approach for young students making the choice to play an instrument.
How many families have made the choice to buy a piano for lessons that takes up a corner of the living room for the next two decades untouched until it finds a taker on Craigslist? Or what about the little girl that goes the direction of a flute because it is small when she really wanted to play a trombone? Critical choices huh? The article focuses on what types of instruments are most compatible for which learning types. Tactile kids do well with big instruments like cellos & tubas which need hands to maneuver them. A visual student can work easier with a keyboard where all the elements are visible right before them. And so on. Makes logical sense to me. Check out the article below.
Loving the world of social media, this one comes via a minister father posting a letter on Facebook. I will not quote the whole thing, but the point is to confront Victoria’s Secret on launching their new line of “underwear” focused on teens called Bright Young Things!
“I am a father of a three year old girl. She loves princesses, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and drawing pictures for people. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, cheese and pistachios. Even though she is only three, as a parent I have had those thoughts of my daughter growing up and not being the little girl she is now. It is true what they say about kids, they grow up fast….. one day she will be a rebellious teenager that will more than likely think her dad is a total goof ball and would want to distance herself from my embarrassing presence.
Recently I read an article that Victoria’s Secret is launching a line of underwear and bras aimed at middle school aged children. The line will be called “Bright Young Things” and will feature ” lace black cheeksters with the word “Wild” emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with “Feeling Lucky?” and a lace trim thong with the words, “Call me” on the front. As a dad, this makes me sick.
I believe that this sends the wrong message to not only my daughter but to all young girls.
I don’t want my daughter to ever think that her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments. I don’t want my daughter to ever think that to be popular or even attractive she has to have emblazon words on her bottom.
I want my daughter to know that she is perfect the way she is; I want my daughter to know that no matter what underwear she is wearing it does not define her. I believe that this new line “Bright Young Things” thwarts the efforts of empowering young women in this country. “Bright Young Things” gives off the message that women are sex objects. This new line promotes it at a dangerously young age.
I implore you to reconsider your decision to start this line. By doing so you will put young girl’s self-esteem, self-worth and pride above profits.”
What more can I say other than I agree!
** pps – I have since been told that this media hoax was originally part prank and ignited much heated conversations on both sides of the issue. Although VS may have some questionable marketing procedures – this particular product line was not one of them. However – I am excited to know that this blog is sparking interest and creating dialogue; heated or not. I encourage all of you to make it a larger conversation and put your opinions as official posts here so that we can learn from each other
The power of social media. What happens when you mix photo shop and the possibility of what if? This is a video mash up that imagines a world that could have been without tragic loses such as Martin Luther King, Mathew Shepherd, Anne Frank and others. Dynamic in the tragedy of what was lost but also empowering in the aspect of what an impact a person can make. Watch it.