Today’s post is brought to you by a person who is full of hope, knowledge and love for his students.  I say this not just because he is my husband, but because it is the truth.  Michael Brown, or Developing Dad, is an elementary school music teacher in the Fieldcrest Elementary School District.  He has an ever growing fan club of students, parents and friends because of his dedication to working with his students, taking risks in the learning environment and bringing more fun to the classroom than they have seen in years!  Last year, Michael was told that he would no longer have a job, due to budget cuts.  Several letters were sent in support of keeping both him and his fellow art teacher.  You can read more about that campaign here.  Needless to say, both music and art remain in the school with qualified and loving teachers.  When Michael isn’t in the classroom, he is spending time with our family, loving the outdoors, cooking fantastic dinners and teaching guitar and piano lessons.  Thank You for all you do Mike and thanks for posting on the Developing Melodies Blog!

A review of the website Playing For Change

Recently, as I was looking for new music for an upcoming Grandparents Concert, I discovered a piece from India and its performance through the Playing for Change Foundation.  As I explored this amazing website, I was blown away by all it had to offer.  The basic premise of the foundation is to raise money to keep or bring music back to impoverished areas of the world, while employing local music teachers, performers, and street musicians.
The one area that really had my attention, was where several musicians from around the world work together to perform one song.  A local street musician performs or records a song and then the producers take the recording to someone else in a different part of the world where another layer is added onto it.  This process is repeated until a complete band is performing the song but from different locations and through different styles!
I had the opportunity to bring this website to school with me and show my 4th graders using Smart Board technology, and I must say there was not a peep during the whole viewing.  Afterwards, every hand was up to ask a question about instruments played, countries visited, and even where they had seen street musicians here in Illinois.  This is a wonderful learning opportunity to not only experience a culture of music by singing and playing in class, but then to have a visual of other musicians performing the piece in native languages.  I even caught some of them singing along!
Definitely a must see site, and recommended to anyone not afraid of something a little different!