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What an interesting evening

I had a great day at the Cadets.

and then came home to coffee, to shopping and to work.

Well, I flipped on the television and watched

> Everyone's Fine --- a great movie. The power of family, the dysfunction of family -- its all there. It made me miss my dad, it made me wish for a family ( more than Kate and me) and well .. it allowed me to be introspective.
A good hour or so ...

> and then .. what came on was one of the more interesting movies ( documentaries) I have ever seen - "Dad's in Heaven with Nixon". About a family , a father who killed himself, a learning disabled child and tons and tons of emotions and considerations.

I sat here to work and I watched. It was a good use of my time. A good release of emotions.

How i get all done for work ... no way. But ... for now ... this seemed like the right thing to do this evening.

Reflection ... Emotions ...

Happy February !! Here it comes!

today could be my big chance :-)

Your horoscope for January 28, 2011

You feel as though you are finally being heard. Colleagues respond with interest to views you have long expressed. It's hard to know what caused their change in attitude, but by all means take advantage of it, Hop. This would be a good time to put your ideas in writing and submit them in a formal report to the higher-ups. If you do, there is a good chance you will be singled out to spearhead some innovative new project.

A Dream about Music Education

anuary 19, 2011
From: George Hopkins

My Dream – Part 1

For years and years, I have been a part of the scholastic music community within the United States. For 30 years, I have been the director of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, a 9 time world champion, and 19 time national champion marching music organization. For 22 years, Youth Education in the Arts, the organization I serve as CEO, has managed the US Scholastic Band Association, a program offering competitive experiences to 800 bands in 20 different states through 150 different events. In short, I havecreated a place where I am known in the world of marching music, and scholastic music education.

Through judging, through observation, and through conversations and research, I have come to the conclusion that the curriculum used today to prepare college music education students to be successful teachers is severely lacking. The statistic that over 35% of music education majors leave the profession within the first three years of their position, lends credence to my concern. My own observations fuel my thinking and possible effort.

What to do?

I would like to be a part , a catalyst, in the reshaping of the curriculum, across the nation that is utilized in the preparation of music educators for the classroom

A few of my points of interest include:

Although music for the sake of music is a grand effort, it is recognized that less than 5% of any band class will move on to careers in music education or performance. With this in mind, the skill is not the actual end game. What is, and should be emphasized as the end game, are the life skills learned and reinforced through the effort of learning to play and perform, as part of a musical ensemble.

Ø Work Ethic – it takes time and patience to be proficient in performing – just as in all life skills
Ø Cooperation – one may not like the other 100 folk in the band, but we learn to collaborate, to participate and to cherish each other
Ø Sportsmanship – how to win, and how to lose
Ø Performance – the skill to perform when called to the floor
Ø Self Control
Ø Self Discipline

And I can go on, and on.

But, as I have learned and developed, in order for therelationships between music and life to be recognized, such needs to be brought forward and taught to the folks in the classroom. It’s not just as a by product that these skills are taught … it is the true reason for teaching

And at another level, there are real and honest technical skills that many know, and yet, few are taught to college students. Some deal with music and some with the process of being a music instructor

Ø How to manage band parents
Ø Budgeting for your superintendent
Ø How to play as an ensemble across 100 yards
Ø How to hire and manage a percussion instructor
Ø Where to purchase equipment
Ø How to handle the adjudication process
Ø Financial management for band directors

These skills and this information would make a difference. I know for I taught my curriculum for a few semesters at William Paterson University in North Jersey.
But what I want it so systematize by efforts and to make available to the 2 million students in high school band a program that willassist them in rising to higher performance levels but more importantly, empowering these students as human beings taking on life!!!!

To do this will require much. I need to create detailed curriculum, I need to meet with college professors, we will need to work through curriculum committees and much more.

My when … 2022 … would be great to have this system for teaching in 100 universities and colleges.

All for now ..


From the Harvard Business Review ....

That's a central challenge for innovators everywhere. Sometimes, the most important form of leadership is resisting an innovation that takes hold in your field when that innovation, no matter how popular with your rivals, is at odds with your values and long-term point of view.

Can you distinguish between genuine creativity and mindless imitation? Are you prepared to walk away from ideas that promise to make money, even if they make no sense? Do you have the discipline to keep your head when so many around you are losing theirs?

Those questions are something to think about. They help smart people avoid doing dumb things.

What legacy do you want to leave behind? I know, the fish needs
feeding and the dog needs walking, the house is a mess and so is the
car, and there's a show you want to watch in a few minutes. Daily life
is so full that we don't often step back to see if we are even heading
in the direction we want to go in.

Take a moment today to think about how you want to be remembered.
Then think about your day's agenda. Have you scheduled time to do
things that will help you achieve that legacy?

happiness -- a quote

"One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows of the necessary ingredients of happiness — simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain."
— George Sand

Going after it ... in 2011

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you."
William James
December 31, 2010
If Only
Locating The Underlying Cause

If only I had a new car or a new house. Turn external thinking into internal thinking, it isn't about the car or house.

Often, when we're unhappy, we fall into the habit of thinking that, if only one or two particular things in our life would change, everything would be fine. We might focus on the fact that we need a new car, or a raise, or a change in our living situation. We dwell on this one thing and strategize, or complain, or daydream about what it would be like to have it. Meanwhile, underneath the surface, the real reason for our unhappiness sits unrecognized and unaddressed. And yet, if we are able to locate and explore the underlying cause of our discontent, all the surface concerns have a way of working themselves out in the light of our realization.

Maybe we really do just need a new car, and maybe moving to another city would improve our life situation. However, it can only help to take some time to explore what's going on at a deeper level. Sometimes, when we take a moment and stop focusing on external concerns, we get to the heart of the matter. We might realize that all our lives we've been dissatisfied, grasping at one thing after another, only to be dissatisfied about something else once we get what we want. Or perhaps we'll notice a pattern of running away from a place, or a relationship, when things get too hard. We might then wonder why this keeps happening, and how we might work through the difficulty rather than just escaping it. The point is, slowing down and turning our attention within can save us a lot of energy in the long run, because it is very often the case that there is no external change that will make us happy.

Once you've taken the time to inquire within, you can begin to make changes that address the deeper issue. This can be hard at first, especially if you've grown used to grasping for outside sources in order to quell your discontent, but in the end, you will be solving the problem at a deeper level, and it will be much less likely to recur.

Field of Dreams

It's amazing to me that I can sit today, 20 years after I first saw Field of Dreams, and still react with such emotion.

Indeed, I know why!

The idea of having a catch with my dad today ... and him being in front of me at the age of 30 ... well ... that is just too much to bear. My dad played catch with me almost every night. I was a pitcher in Little League and he would catch for me until we could no longer see. Night after Night.

And I never really understood. What he went through, what happened in the family, the pressures of being 28 years old with 4 kids ... How could I understand? The man I knew was indeed beaten down by life. He was surviving. He was providing for his kids and he was in a marriage that I ascertain as lacking in love and passion.

He worked hard . very hard ... but he also did things that I am sure he was not proud of. We were abused kids in a world where many lived like that, and ... it took me years to deal with it; but I did

Alas, I move from the point.

To see my dad today would be beyond spectacular. Of course it is not possible but, its great to dream.

One other piece from the movie ...

just before " the catch" Ray's dad asks ... " is this heaven". And Ray says ..."no, it's Iowa". He then asks his dad, back from the dead " is there a heaven"? Dad answers " oh yea ... it's the place where dream comes true".
Ray looks about ans sees the house on the hill, the picket fence, the wife he loves and the daughter ... and he says " maybe this is heaven".

This scene tore my heart out in 1989 and it still does now.

For me, the lesson was that I had to rebuild my own dreams, and i do so now. Many of us grow up with the dreams of others, including societal, and well, sometimes things do not go as planned.
So, we re-create. We re-do.

Perhaps heaven is a cup of coffee and the NY Times on a snowy day.
Perhaps heaven is the look of total joy in your daughter's eyes as she performs
Perhaps heaven is simply having the chance to wake each day and live a life you love.

We all have our own visions to embrace.
We all have our own chance for heaven.

Let's get that snow out to Allentown.
Happy Day after Christmas!!! to all !!!

it is true ... a world of contrasts

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
— Anne Bradstreet

This is something I see and wonder all of the time. Indeed .... if we lived to be 1000 there would be no real urgency to live life full out. There would be time to correct mistakes and so much more. But ... we will pass from this world so it is important, so i think, that we not watch mindless television, we not argue about that which seems beyond our control, and we learn to live the life we choose, the life we love, the life that "lights us up"

Merry Christmas !!!!!